June 24, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reverses the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, is a welcome and potential watershed moment in the history of the United States. This decision means that states, including Ohio, now have the option to legally protect the most vulnerable of all human beings: babies in the womb.
The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that human life begins at conception. God alone is the Author and Lord of life. Therefore, the intentional taking of innocent human life is intrinsically evil and must always be opposed. Modern science only strengthens the Church’s opposition to abortion, as advancements in genetics and prenatal imaging increasingly demonstrate that a unique human life begins at conception.
For the past 50 years, Catholics and other people of good will have peacefully prayed in front of abortion clinics, marched in Washington, D.C. and petitioned their lawmakers, hoping that the blessed day would come when communities would no longer be required by law to sanction the killing of innocent human beings in the womb. Equally important, we have assisted women in unexpected or crisis pregnancies with material resources and personal accompaniment, both during pregnancy and after their child is born. Expectant mothers can face many challenges, including lack of support from the father, financial strains, concerns about her own health and that of her child, and pressures from family and friends. Thank you to the pregnancy centers, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul conferences, Catholic healthcare systems and other wonderful pro-life ministries that have steadfastly walked with women in need, helping them navigate these difficult circumstances.
For a listing of the many resources available for women in unexpected or crisis pregnancies in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, please go to https://catholicaoc.org/forlife.
Despite these efforts, more than 65 million innocent children have lost their lives to abortion in the United States since Roe v. Wade. This sad fact demonstrates the desperate need for conversion of hearts and minds to a culture of life in our country, one that respects the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human being from conception to natural death.
The reversal of Roe v. Wade will not by itself bring about this conversion, but prayer and a joyful outpouring of love and support for pregnant women, especially those most in need, will bring us closer. No woman should feel so alone, coerced or hopeless that she chooses to end her child’s life through abortion. I urge everyone in our archdiocese to both pray for and actively assist all expectant mothers. Together, let us redouble our commitment to caring for women, children and families so that abortion is not only illegal, but unthinkable.
O Blessed Mother, you received the good news of the incarnation of Christ, your Son, with faith and trust. Grant your protection to all pregnant mothers facing difficulties.
Guide us as we strive to make our parish communities places of welcome and assistance for mothers in need. Help us become instruments of God’s love and compassion.
Mary, Mother of the Church, graciously help us to build a culture of life and a civilization of love, together with all people of good will, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life. Amen.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati
A PDF version of this letter is available: Letter Regarding Overturning of Roe v Wade – English
A PDF version of this letter is available: Letter Regarding Overturning of Roe v Wade – Spanish