Northern Illinois Roman Catholic bishops on Friday approved of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned abortion protections and returned the matter back to states’ control, but they said they felt there was more work to be done.
The Most Rev. David J. Malloy, bishop of the Rockford Diocese, called the decision “a moment of profound reflection for our nation.”
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court does not end our national debate about protection for the right to life of the preborn. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has recognized the flawed legal reasoning that removed that discussion from the legislative bodies elected by the voters,” Malloy said. “Today’s decision now returns the abortion debate to each state’s legislative body. That legislative process will continue and, as people committed to human rights and the protections for both those not yet born and for expectant mothers, we need to engage our representatives by persuasion and by our votes. Our voices can save lives.”
The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. While abortion remains legal in Illinois, the court’s overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in about half the states.
Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, of the Joliet Diocese, said he celebrated the court’s decision. Hicks also said the ruling marked “an answer to decades of prayer and upholds the protection of the most innocent of all human life.”
“I celebrate this ruling yet mourn the fact that here, in our home state of Illinois, it will have no immediate impact given the state’s 2019 enshrinement into law of abortion as a misguided fundamental right. Perhaps the court’s ruling and recent public conversations, coupled with our own prayers, will stir within the hearts, minds and souls of our elected political leaders a greater respect for the beauty and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.”
Bishop Louis Tylka of the Peoria Diocese said “clearly, there is much more work to be done” despite the court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“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,” Tylka said. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.