A statement on the Dobbs decision by the Catholic Bishops of New York State
We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This just decision will save countless innocent children simply waiting to be born.
On this historic day, our gratitude extends to the millions of heroic Americans who have worked tirelessly toward this outcome for nearly a half-century. Women and men, children and adults, believers and non-believers, people of every culture and background have advocated for life. They have been a charitable and compelling voice for the voiceless, and today, their voice has been heard.
As Catholics, we have prayed and fasted, held vigils, offered Masses, and peacefully witnessed in these last five decades. We have joined others in educating schoolchildren, opening pregnancy care centers, walking with mothers, offering post-abortion counseling, and marching, year after year, to the United States Supreme Court to witness for life. Today, our voice has been heard.
With the entire pro-life community, we are overjoyed with this outcome of the Court. However, we acknowledge the wide range of emotions associated with this decision. We call on all Catholics and everyone who supports the right to life for unborn children to be charitable, even as we celebrate an important historical moment and an answer to a prayer.
We must remember that this is a judicial victory, not a cultural one. The culture remains deeply divided on the issue, which will be evidenced by the patchwork of state statutes pertaining to abortion across the country. To change the culture and build a culture of life, we need to enact family-friendly policies that welcome children, support mothers, cherish families and empower them to thrive. We outlined our vision for a pro-life New York in our recent statement, available here, and we rededicate ourselves to helping every expectant mother to carry her baby to term.
Building a culture of life is not solely the responsibility of the government or those heroic individuals working on the front lines, in crisis pregnancy centers and other ministries. All of us need to respect the dignity and sanctity of human life in everything we do: in how we treat our children, spouses and parents; in the way we behave in our place of work; in sum, how we live Jesus’ two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor.
Love, charity and reverence for human life from the moment of conception through natural death – these will build and sustain a culture of life.
Millions of Americans have worked tirelessly for almost 50 years towards this outcome. We thank them with every fiber of our being. Their vital work continues, and we commit ourselves to it.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany
Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Brooklyn
Most Rev. Michael W. Fisher
Bishop of Buffalo
Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg
Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano
Bishop of Rochester
Most Rev. John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Most Rev. Douglas J. Lucia
Bishop of Syracuse
And the Auxiliary and Emeritus Bishops of New York