A Statement from Bishop Robert Deeley Regarding Bill L.D. 780

A proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion into the Maine constitution is immoral and unnecessary. This is a political attempt to distract from the heinous law passed last June that eliminated any restrictions for abortion. A change to the constitution to promote abortion on demand will affect 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 “the termination of human life in the maternal womb, in the name of safeguarding other rights.”

It is quite timely that today the “9 Days for Life” national prayer campaign for the protection of human life begins. Sponsored by the Committee on Pro Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, this novena includes the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on January 22. 

This week I will travel to Washington, DC to participate in a vigil Mass and the March for Life, joining tens of thousands of people who will gather to uphold the dignity of all human life and pray for an end to abortion. Nearly 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade, the court overturned the 1973 decision by giving individual states the power to regulate abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The 2022 ruling marked the beginning of a new phase in protecting human life.

As my brother bishops have said, “In this shifting political landscape, we persist confidently in our efforts to defend life. The work that lies ahead continues to be not just changing laws but also helping to change hearts, with steadfast faith in the power of God to do so. The task before us begins with our knowledge of the truth and our courage to speak it and to live it with compassion. Each of us is called to radical solidarity with women facing an unexpected or challenging pregnancy. That means doing whatever we can to provide them with the care and support they need to welcome their children.” 

The Diocese of Portland will continue to accompany any woman, regardless of her 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.portlanddiocese.org/DobbsDecision.