Bishop Tylka, others gives thanks for Supreme Court’s decision in abortion case
Reaction is coming in quickly to the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning its nearly 50-year-old decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in this country. Following are some initial local reactions received by The Catholic Post. National reactions are found here.
FROM BISHOP LOUIS TYLKA
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. This ruling has a significant impact on the issue of abortion, which was legalized in the Roe v. Wade decision some fifty years ago. Today’s decision overturns what was previously a federal legalization of abortion and has returned the issue to individual states to decide the matter for themselves. Clearly, there is much more work to be done.
“Life is a gift from God. From the very beginning, the Church has clearly proclaimed the sanctity of human life – from conception until natural death. As Catholics and as Americans, we must continue to be a voice that defends life – in all its stages and from all its threats – so that we can truly build a culture of life in our country and in the world. As the Bishop of Peoria, I call upon all people of goodwill to support the efforts that uphold the dignity of human life, especially those efforts that offer material, emotional, and spiritual support to families and to women with unplanned pregnancies, as well as the efforts to offer ongoing support and care for children.
“Today’s decision is not the last word in this matter. It is, however, a significant moment in the efforts to work toward a greater respect for life and it is a reason to give thanks to God. May the Holy Spirit instill in all of us an ever-greater respect for the sanctity of every human life, especially the lives of unborn children.”
(Related story: Practice Bishop Tylka’s Four C’s of Respect for Life)
FROM THE CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS
“We are pleased with the United States Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that has overturned the landmark abortion case of Roe vs. Wade. Throughout its history, the Catholic Church has consistently opposed legislation and other policy initiatives designed to undermine the sanctity of human life at any stage from conception to natural death.
The Catholic Church through its various ministries interacts daily with women in unexpected pregnancies; every woman’s situation is different, yet one thing is always the same – an abortion is not the answer. The Catholic Church has always provided a safe haven for expectant women and remains poised to provide aid to all women-in-need through real assistance and educational resources.
“Any woman — regardless of age, religious belief or affiliation, marital status or immigration status — who is pregnant and in need can come to these ministries and they will provide the services and supports needed to help carry a baby to term and beyond. In addition, any woman struggling with post-abortive issues is also welcomed for care and healing.
“Locally, we fully understand that this Supreme Court decision will not reduce the availability of abortion in Illinois. With that reality as a backdrop, state government has nothing to lose and everything to gain by working towards reducing the number of abortion and increasing assistance to help pregnant mothers in need.
“Our mission will continue to focus on the real decisions surrounding pregnancy, and we look forward to a day when the law, and our culture, will recognize what we all know to be true – an unborn child deserves full protection because life begins at conception and every human life has dignity and value and should be protected by the law. Together, we can change Illinois’ culture, support mothers in need and welcome all new lives.”
FROM FATHER WILLIAM MILLER, CHAIRMAN, DIOCESAN RESPECT LIFE BOARD
“We can expect the good the bad and the ugly.
“The good is that many preborn babies will be spared death by abortion and their mothers delivered from a terrible wound to their soul, mind and body. The bad is that in states like Illinois where pro-abortion ideology dominates the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, abortions are likely to go up. The ugly is the threat of ramped up further violence against all pro-life entities that offer alternatives to abortion.
“All the more we must pray for the conversion of our enemies and the protection of our allies in the battle for upholding the humanity and worth of every child in the womb. We all have a responsibility to foster a culture of life by the way we treat one another, stand up for the voiceless and care for the most vulnerable. We do this most often in the little acts of love that make up our daily life.
“Do not underestimate the power of genuine acts of love for ‘God is love.’ The way of this love is the way of Christ crucified and risen who has already won the victory over sin and death. As we continue to fight the good fight, ‘do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.’”
FROM CECILIA SOÑÉ, DIOCESAN DIRECTOR OF RESPECT LIFE
“I believe and hope that in the end the truth will reign. We have a lot of services that serve mothers in crisis pregnancies via pregnancy centers, Catholic Charities, Gianna Pantry, etc.
“Many babies’ lives will be saved and mothers will not have to undergo the trauma of post-abortive syndrome. One of the concerns is that possibly more will turn to chemical abortions and we will need an increase in awareness of the side and adverse effects of this option. Many will attempt to get the medication online and delivered to their homes and via the use of telehealth will abort their babies at home, many times alone. Therefore, the need for the RU486 reversal protocol is paramount as well as outreach and education on the dangers of the use of the chemical abortion. This means educating parents, students at schools, youth groups and, yes, hearing it from our pastors, rabbis, etc. via every social media outlet out there: the beauty of choosing life and not death.
“In regards to all the life-affirming/pro-life providers and centers we need an active response from government leaders to protect these centers of hope and generosity! We need to pray for the conversion of those that want to destroy the rights of the women who have made a choice to keep their babies and seek out assistance from these wonderful life-affirming/pro-life centers.”
FROM CONNIE MCCLURE, DIRECTOR, WOMEN’S CARE CENTER, PEORIA
“Our focus always remains with our moms and babies that we care for. No matter what changes happen in regard to abortion laws we stand committed to our moms and babies and supporting them and their families.
“We have been so touched by the outpouring of love and concern in our Peoria community. We remain grateful and hopeful and pray for all decision-makers.
“Of course we are aware of the many attacks on pregnancy centers recently. We are taking every precaution and have increased all security measures to ensure the safety of our staff and the moms and their families that come to us. We look forward to the opening of our new building (2609 N. Knoxville) where we can serve even more women here in Peoria. We are hoping to be seeing clients there by the last week in July!”
FROM LINDA RUBEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN’S CHOICE CENTER, BETTENDORF, IOWA
“Today we woke up to another new day of the post-Roe America we are blessed to live in. This blessing is one that many have prayed for, including our own WCC Family and other local and U.S. pregnancy centers, for nearly 50 years. Thank you to ALL who have been standing in the battle for LIFE. We thank God to be among those blessed by you and your support for LIFE as WCC is honored to serve mothers and families with free medical, counseling and support services in our redeemed Center and 24/7 via technologies.
“Threats to pregnancy resource centers are on the rise in our country from various groups and organizations including ‘Jane’s Revenge.’ With threats and promises from this group to destroy every prolife center, being proactive is essential and we at the Women’s Choice Center are taking steps to prepare.
“Helping centers like ours is important locally and also nationwide. . . . Daily I seek you prayers specifically for the protection of clients, staff, volunteers, board, supporters and prayer warriors at Women’s Choice Center and other pregnancy resource centers — and for every individual involved in any way in protecting LIFE within our community and in our great nation. May God bless and protect you, your family, everyone in your church, and America always.”
FROM MARY NORTON, PRESIDENT, KNOX COUNTY RIGHT TO LIFE
“It’s a God-send in so many ways. A blessing. So thank God for that.
“We’re going to still have a big fight on our hands, because it’s going to be state-by-state, and of course Illinois (politics) is not very pro-life. We have so much push for abortion. Hopefully, as the states start wrestling with this, more states will protect the children in the womb. And hopefully they will realize that by violence in the womb, we’re experiencing so much violence in our nation. I think it has led to a disrespect for all forms of life.
“We have to pray for our justices – there have been so many threats against them. Thankfully, they went back to what was the law . . . . not making law. The Constitution didn’t give anybody a right to abort babies. It’s just not there.”
FROM KATE SMART, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, GIANNA WOMEN’S CLINIC, PEORIA
“The number of states permitting abortions will now become much smaller, and the need for crisis pregnancy assistance and the medical services we offer will become even more pronounced.
“I believe that it is an opportunity to encourage women to forgive. An opportunity to pray with women. An opportunity to give them the knowledge of God’s love for them. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to educate women on the beauty that suffering can yield for those who align themselves with Christ. The world fears suffering so much, but God will never be outdone, and as I recently told a client, only love overcomes evil. The choice to keep her baby is the choice of love.
(Regarding any threats of violence to pro-life centers after the ruling): “Only love casts out fear. I choose to love, not worry. . . . ‘Jane’s Revenge’ is really sad. There is so much darkness in the world. Every woman who graces our doorstep appreciates a prayer. They are open to considering marriage and some even consider baptism. God has given each person a conscience, and there are those who harden their hearts either through fear or hopelessness.”
FROM AGNES CHRISTMAN, DANVILLE, LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY, PEORIA DIOCESAN COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC WOMEN
“I am overjoyed by the Supreme Court decision. We would all like to consider this to be the final nail in the coffin, but not so fast! The abortion question will now go to each individual state. If and when two-thirds of the states codify abortion into law, as our State of Illinois has already done, then the U S Congress can consider adding an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to legalize abortion nationwide. So, no, the fight is not over yet.
“I say keep praying because the devil doesn’t give up so fast. And, praise God for the women of our Diocese of Peoria who diligently work through the Women’s Care Center to rescue mothers and their preborn babies.”
FROM KAREN GUTH, 40 DAYS FOR LIFE, PEORIA
“Roe versus Wade is overturned. Hallelujah. Praise God. I am crying for joy.
“It was wrongly decided by unelected judges. Now it will go to the states.
“What we do will stay the same. Abortion will be legal in Illinois for now. We stand up against those laws, stand in witness to those who are not sure, who are afraid. We stand with the pregnancy centers to help the pregnant women.
“Hold on. The forces of evil do not want that law to be gone. We pray for the Supreme Court, the pregnancy centers, the Students for Life, all of us who stand and speak for life including our Catholic Church. God give us the strength to face what is to come.”
FROM RENEE MULLEN, HOLY CROSS PARISH, CHAMPAIGN / 40 DAYS FOR LIFE
“My initial reaction is that “I will Raise a Hallelujah!” And I’ve been thinking that I want to go pray either outside the abortion clinic or at church to say prayers of thanks to God and all involved who have worked tirelessly for decades. And prayers for safety for everyone who works in pro-life ministry and for the Supreme Court justices and their families, just as I’ve been saying already.
“In terms of my own pro-life activity, I think it will mostly continue as it has already, in terms of helping to organize and coordinate various pro-life activities and events throughout the year including 40 Days for Life, the Life Chain, Peace in the Womb Christmas Caroling, etc. I will also continue to volunteer at one of our local pregnancy centers and the thinking is that the need for help at pregnancy centers will continue to increase.
“I am slightly concerned about potential negative response from radical pro-choice/pro-abortion groups, but it won’t stop me from being involved. Unfortunately, we’ve had decades of indoctrinating people to think that abortion is perfectly OK and just as we’ve sadly had more than 60 million babies whose lives have been lost, we’ve also got many millions of adults who have been misled and who need help and healing from post-abortion recovery programs.”
FROM DAN SMITH, HEART OF ILLINOIS LIFE CHAIN COORDINATOR, PAST PRESIDENT OF CENTRAL ILLINOIS RIGHT TO LIFE
“We are joyful that the Supreme Court courageously determined that the Constitution of the United States does not create a right to take the lives of preborn children. As citizens we now have the freedom for the first time in almost 50 years to work to protect the most defenseless among us.
“We must recognize that this decision still leaves preborn children without rights that we, who were once preborn children ourselves, are bound to respect. Like Frederick Douglass, who was once a slave, we must tirelessly speak out for those who cannot do so themselves.
The great task before us is to overcome the apathy of pro-choice citizens toward preborn children. In the words of the song, we must be the ‘dreamers who wake the nation.'”
DICK AND PAT CONKLIN, KNOX COUNTY RIGHT TO LIFE
“When you look at the totality of the two Supreme Court decisions it is not a cause for euphoria as some claim, especially here in Illinois. The Supreme Court decision doesn’t change the situation here in Illinois where abortion is allowed through all nine months and where we are even a sanctuary state for others coming from other states seeking abortions.
“Secondly, these decisions unfortunately will unleash further violence against pregnancy centers and Catholic churches. Forty such instances have been recorded since the unauthorized early release of the decision. Homeland Security recently stated they have credible evidence of nationwide networks planning violence against these same institutions. So what is in store for the pregnancy center in Peoria, or for volunteer prayer warriors taking part in the 40 Days for Life campaign this fall?
“Thirdly, in Illinois, and actually in all states and communities, it comes down to a battle for the minds and hearts of the people to generate a respect for the sacredness of life, all life, through all stages and conditions, biblically and constitutionally based. With that in mind, Knox County Right to Life, in conjunction with Central Illinois Right To Life of Peoria, is holding a one day Pro-Life camp for high school students in Peoria on Aug. 13. These camps are intended to educate the students on the sacredness of life and the arguments for and against abortion, preparing the students for what they will encounter in the classroom, amongst their peers, and for the almost certain anti-life environment they will encounter in college. We are inviting representatives from other communities to attend this camp to see if they may also want to bring these camps to their own communities.
“The Roe decisions make it more incumbent that each community, each church, each youth group, as well as we the parents become more involved in promoting the respect and reverence for life in our communities. We may not be able to win the legal battle in the foreseeable future; however, we can, if we choose, win the minds and hearts of our young people, providing them a respect for the sacredness of life making any anti-life legislation irrelevant.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Pro-life leaders who wish to comment on the Supreme Court ruling and their reaction are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.