Statement from Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre

We welcome today’s announcement of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision with gratitude to God and all those who, over the last fifty years, selflessly witnessed to the sacredness of every human life. The right to life is inalienable and the foundation of every other human right.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade rectifies a grave injustice that has resulted in the taking of more than sixty million preborn, innocent lives and caused an avalanche of devastation to families, the dignity of women, and our culture. However, this decision does not automatically set everything right—it returns to each state the opportunity to protect the lives of those not yet born.

After a half-century of living under the flawed reasoning of Roe v. Wade, we should applaud the courage, wisdom, and fortitude of the Supreme Court in correcting this injustice. Just as we look back now with approval at Brown v. Board of Education which reversed the wrongly decided, longstanding precedent on racial segregation, we pray that one day the good sense behind overturning Roe v. Wade will be acknowledged with the same universal respect.

Unfortunately, recent legislative efforts in New York State have focused exclusively on promoting abortion. So, our work to promote and defend life with humility and compassion must continue stronger than ever. Supported by scientific advances that ever more clearly confirm the life of the unborn child, it is our God-given right and our solemn duty to proclaim the truth about abortion. We continue to work and pray that all hearts will be open to recognizing the sacredness of every human life and make this a world in which abortion is unthinkable.

We renew our commitment to accompany women facing unexpected, challenging, or difficult pregnancies that undermine their confidence to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

The Catholic Church stands with expectant mothers in need. We will help meet their physical, material, emotional, and spiritual needs, not just before and at birth, but into infancy and beyond. Moreover, for those who have suffered a past abortion, we offer help in healing these wounds as well.

We pledge to persevere in prayer, fasting and witnessing to the sacredness of every human life. A network of resources and assistance is ready to help all these expectant mothers in need, regardless of status or ability to pay—but we need your help to grow and sustain a culture of life in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Join us in promoting the Gospel of Life.

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