Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and Auxiliary in Westminster, issued the following comment following the US Supreme Court decision to overturn the Roe v Wade judgment:
'The recent decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v Wade judgment and so affirm that the constitution does not confer a right to abortion is momentous and of huge significance. It reflects the prayers, dedicated work and commitment of those who seek to protect women who are pregnant and the unborn child. Pope Francis reminds us of how abortion laws have trivialised the gift of human life, “It is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of a human life as a solution to problems that can and must be solved for both the mother and her unborn child.” (Pope Francis to UN, September 2020)
'The judgment not only calls for reflection in the US, but also for significant reflection in our country as we see again the rising numbers of abortions in 2021. The many painful situations which lead to abortion are reflected in these shocking statistics and call for better legal and social protections for women and the unborn child. They call for much more reflection on what is needed for relationships and sex education that is rooted in respect and self-restraint, support for the family and single mothers. We need to reduce the upper time limit for abortions and re-examine the law which permits a child with disability to be aborted up to birth. This is a moment that calls for the building of a culture of life and welcome where all are recognised and treated as a gift. This is the work of the evangelisation of culture.
'The Church will strive to offer hope and healing for all those hurt by the tragedy of abortion.
'We wish to see fruitful debate on these important topics, avoiding polarised ideologies. The value of human life is too precious for such an approach.
'We ask the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St Gianna Beretta Molla and remember the prayer of the Hail Mary, "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus".'
Further resources are available from the following:
Life Charity’s ‘Pregnancy Matters’ offers emotional and practical support for pregnant women.
Rachel’s Vineyard offers support for those affected by the trauma of abortion.