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Roe v. Wade Overturned: A Response to Critics

Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,

Yesterday we marked an enormously momentous day here in our country as we witnessed the Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. For many people, including myself, this was a moment I never thought I would see in my lifetime. And I have to confess that it was a moment for me that was marked by great joy and sorrow. Joy because this decision is one that will have profound consequences for protecting the lives of millions of unborn children (although this is only the beginning, and there is still much more work to be done at the legislative level to ensure that this happens). But sorrow at the recollection that over the past 50 years while Roe was in effect, over 60 million children have been killed through abortion.

The sorrow was also compounded later as I began to read the comments of so many people, including many Catholics, who were upset or angered by this decision. Some of the comments included: “Why does the Church get involved in government and politics?” and “The Church only cares about unborn babies and doesn’t care about the mothers and the babies after they are born.”

In all truth, comments like these baffle me because they have no basis in reason or fact. Although I cannot answer these comments in detail in a letter like this, I would like to respond very briefly. To the first question regarding why the Church gets involved in government and politics, I would answer, “When government and politics are addressing issues that facilitate the killing of unborn children, how could the Church not be concerned? When the dignity of God’s children is attacked at such a fundamental level, how can the Church remain silent?”

And to the second comment regarding the Church not caring about mothers and babies after they are born, I would state, “This is simply not true.” I hope that you are all aware of the incredible work being done by so many pro-life pregnancy resource centers around our country, many of which are run by Catholic organizations. I hope, in particular, that you are aware and are supporting the efforts of the Pregnancy Aid Clinic (PAC), which is a Catholic pregnancy resource center here in the Archdiocese. And I hope that you are also aware of the many other Catholic organizations like Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul which provide support to families in need (including mothers and babies). And finally, in our own parish, we have the beautiful ministry, Walking with Moms in Need, to help any woman who needs assistance before and after the birth of her baby.

There is one final comment that I would like to address as well. This is a comment that I have heard many times, and I think it is important that we are able to refute it for the myth that it is. “Outlawing abortion does not reduce the number of abortions, it simply makes them more dangerous.” Once again, comments like this have no basis in reason or fact. And for a quick response to this, I would reply, “Abortion, whether it is legal or not, can never be safe; it is always dangerous for the baby that is being killed.” Admittedly, the comment needs to be addressed in more detail, but rather than try to list out all the statistics and arguments in this letter, I would like to refer you to the following article from Human Life International that makes the arguments well. And finally, I would also refer you to an excellent general resource called Speaking for the Unborn: 30-Second Pro-Life Rebuttals to Pro-Choice Arguments by Steven A. Christie, who is a medical doctor and an attorney.

At the beginning of this letter, I mentioned that the overturning of Roe v. Wade is really only the beginning of this new effort to end the scourge of abortion in our country. There is still much prayer and a great deal of work to be done. But we are grateful to God for this gift that was given to us yesterday on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and also the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24th). And we pray, especially, that through the intercession of St. John the Baptist who leapt in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, that all unborn children will be welcomed with love and joy in this life and one day be united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and enjoy God’s love forever in eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Neil


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