The "Dobbs" Decision and the Diocese of Portland

CoupleOn June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturning the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that legalized abortion. Since 1973, more than 60 million innocent lives have been taken. States will now be able to protect the lives of preborn children and millions of women from the tragic consequences of abortion.

From religious communities to pregnancy care centers, from refugee resettlement services to foster care and adoption agencies, and from maternity homes to parish-based ministries, the Church consistently bears witness in word and deed to the beauty and dignity of every human life—including both mother and child. Here is a list of pregnancy support centers in Maine.

On this page, you will find resources about the many ways in which the Diocese of Portland accompanies any woman, regardless of faith, who is experiencing difficulties in pregnancy and how the diocese supports and assists those who have been involved in an abortion, including women, men, parents, grandparents, former abortion workers, and others. God is merciful, and it is of paramount importance that people who experience distress grow in understanding of this truth and are guided on a path to emotional and spiritual healing.

Basic Facts

Over 150,000 low-income women deliver their babies at Catholic hospitals each year.

Dioceses and church ministries like Catholic Charities serve women and their children long after they are born, offering comprehensive social services to those in need.

The Church continues to reach out to women and men who have been involved in an abortion and then find themselves in emotional and spiritual turmoil.

Women huggingWalking with Moms in Need

“Walking with Moms in Need” is a nationwide initiative that increases support for pregnant and parenting mothers facing difficulties. The initiative was launched by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is inspired by Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life).

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities works with parishes to implement “Walking with Moms in Need." Each parish participates in its own unique way, but a basic framework is provided that can be adapted to each local church’s needs.

It is a time of service in which Catholic parishes and communities "walk in the shoes" of local pregnant and parenting women in need. Everyone should know how to help moms in difficult circumstances. While not trying to turn Catholic parishes into pregnancy centers, "Walking with Moms in Need" can support local pregnancy centers and also share other resources with pregnant and parenting women.

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women Health Organization case brings hope not only for the advancement of human rights but, just as importantly, brings into sharper focus the moral responsibility to care for and assist pregnant mothers and preborn children.

The initiative is already bearing fruit, including at the Parish of the Holy Eucharist in Falmouth.

For more information about the program, click here.

Project Rachel

Through Project Rachel, the Diocese of Portland offers hope, understanding, and healing to women and men whose lives have been affected by abortion. We do this through developing tools for parish leaders, working with participants individually, and hosting Rachel's Vineyard weekends.

The weekends gather anyone who has been affected by an abortion, including women, their spouses, parents, grandparents, and friends, even former abortion workers.

They are a journey to spiritual wholeness and healing. As a person who had an abortion many years ago, facilitator Judy Shaw draws upon personal experiences in helping participants discover God’s love and forgiveness.

Project Rachel aims to offer solace, peace, and inner healing to any individual connected to an abortion, regardless of the role they played, providing a safe place to grieve the loss and to understand how abortion has affected them, so they can grow beyond it.

Read about a recent Rachel's Vineyard Weekend in Maine and learn more about Project Rachel by clicking here.

Mother Seton HouseMother Seton House

Mother Seton House is a nonprofit home in Fryeburg for pregnant women in difficult circumstances.

The organization’s goal is to provide education, counseling, referrals, and physical, emotional and spiritual support in a caring community.

Single, sober pregnant women, or single, sober women with one child under the age of 1, are eligible. Women are invited to live in community in the house in Fryeburg, at no cost, throughout pregnancy and until the baby’s first birthday.

Mother Seton House welcomes all women regardless of their race, color, religion or national origin.

Classes are also offered in cooking, baby basics, parenting, lactation support, application assistance, and much more.

For more information, visit

Online Assistance and Resources

Pregnancy Support Centers in Maine and Catholic Charities Maine
Learn about the many resources available and access contact information for services across Maine.

Respect Life Prayer and Action
Sign up to receive prayers, action alerts to contact Congress, and ways to strengthen a culture of life in your community.

USCCB Pro-Life Action Alerts
Sign up for pro-life action alerts so that you can contact your elected representatives to express your concerns and opinions on upcoming legislation. (Make sure to select "Pro-Life" under Areas of Interest.)

Word of Life
Word of Life is a monthly resource, available in English and Spanish. Each month, you will be provided with special feature resources, intercessions, and bulletin quotes and graphics. (Subscribe here.)

Hope After Abortion
Learn more about the Church’s nationwide, parish-based effort to support people in need.

Respect Life
Find ready-to-use resources, prayers, graphics, and information on various Respect Life topics.

Project Rachel in the Diocese of Portland
Learn more about the program and discover ways in which to receive compassionate, non-judgmental assistance.

Mother Seton House in Fryeburg
A nonprofit home for pregnant women in difficult circumstances that provides education, counseling, referrals, and physical, emotional, and spiritual support in a caring community. Mother Seton House welcomes all women regardless of their race, color, religion, or national origin.

How to Support an Expectant Mom
Learn ten tips on how to offer support that an expectant mom might otherwise not receive.

Expectant Moms Considering Adoption
Learn how to offer ongoing support to moms considering adoption.

Intercessions for Life

For the legal protection of unborn children
and for loving support for their mothers
before and after their births;
We pray to the Lord.

For expectant mothers considering abortion:
May the Lord give them the grace to choose life
for their children and send them caring people to help them meet their needs;
We pray to the Lord.

For expectant mothers:
May they be lovingly supported
by the fathers of their children
in welcoming new life;
We pray to the Lord.

May friends and families of women
with difficult pregnancies
provide loving, life-affirming support
for both mother and child;
We pray to the Lord.

May Catholics recognize the needs
of pregnant and parenting women present in their communities
and help them to obtain the necessities of life;
We pray to the Lord.

May Catholic parish communities strive
to provide compassionate, tangible support
to pregnant and parenting mothers in need of assistance;
We pray to the Lord.

For the Church:
May we faithfully witness in word and in deed
to the dignity of every human life
through comprehensive care of mothers and their children;
We pray to the Lord.

May the Church redouble its efforts to accompany mothers in need,
offering them compassionate care and support;
We pray to the Lord.

May the Church better understand
the challenges facing mothers in need
and respond with increased care and support;
We pray to the Lord.

May Catholic parishes become islands of mercy for women, children, and families in need of assistance;
We pray to the Lord.

For our nation:
May we create a society in which
the legal protection of human life
is accompanied by profound care
for mothers and their children;
We pray to the Lord.

For those who have participated in an abortion
and feel they have committed an unforgiveable sin: May they come to know the Lord’s limitless mercy, and turn to Him for forgiveness and healing;
We pray to the Lord.

For those who suffer after participating in an abortion:
May they find peace through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be consoled through the Church’s abortion healing ministry;
We pray to the Lord.