A Statement from Bishop Robert Deeley Regarding Bill L.D. 227

A proposed bill to create new rights for “gender-affirming care” and “reproductive health care” in Maine law is a direct attack on the beauty and truth of human life as embodied in the natural reality of the human family. It is both unconstitutional and immoral.

Any change to the law to promote abortion on demand will harm unborn children who cannot speak for themselves but will suffer the ultimate price. Pope Francis reminds us that this is evil and on its most basic level is, in truth, “the termination of human life in the maternal womb, in the name of safeguarding other rights.”

In addition, Catholics acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God.

Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can "change" their sex or, further, be given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we should urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of "first, do no harm." Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.

Catholics desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person's sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their biological sexual identity.

The Diocese of Portland will continue to accompany any woman, regardless of faith, who is experiencing difficulties in pregnancy through our various Catholic agencies in Maine, including pregnancy help centers and parish-based initiatives like Walking with Moms in Need. We will also support and assist those who have been involved in an abortion through our Project Rachel program. 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. To learn more about programs and initiatives in the Diocese of Portland and across the country that care for and promote healing for women and families in need, visit www.portlandiocese.org/DobbsDecision.