July 21, 2022 

Indiana Catholic Conference’s (ICC) Reaffirmation to Support and Protect All Human Life Through Prayer, Advocacy, and Service following the Dobbs Decision

On behalf of the Indiana Bishops Rhoades, Doherty, Siegel, McClory, and Archbishop Thompson, the Indiana Catholic Conference, as a reaffirmation to support and protect all human life through prayer, advocacy, and service, issues the statement below: 

The Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC) strongly supports the Dobbs v. Jackson decision by the United States Supreme Court which overturned Roe v. Wade. The faulty reasoning in Roe has finally been reversed after so many years of prayer and sacrifices, advocacy and peaceful witness for the protection of the lives of the innocent unborn. The ICC encourages prayer for peace while we remember that the Dobbs decision does not mean an end to the struggle to support human life at all its stages. The gravity of this decision and its implications for Indiana deserve everyone’s attention. This moment provides an opportunity to reflect on our commitment to uphold the dignity of life and an opportunity to strengthen our commitment to serving the most vulnerable people in our society.  In the meantime, we must make every effort to ensure the protection of human life from the moment of conception to natural death in recognition of the inviolable dignity of every human person.   Here in Indiana, let us continue to advocate for laws to protect the lives of the unborn and support mothers in need.   

All those who value life, from conception to natural death, should remain vigilant about legislation and judicial appointments.  

We must recognize that abortion on demand is not illegal in every state and states can now legislate abortion availability. Other states may continue to allow abortion. Here in Indiana, we have an opportunity to promote a culture of life when our legislators meet on July 25. While originally slated to discuss inflation relief measures, laws restricting or eliminating abortion on demand will also be discussed. The ICC offers the following guiding principles for legislative proposals: 

  • Preborn human life should be protected to the greatest possible extent. 
  • Legislation should convey the equal dignity of the mother and child, and acknowledge that every pregnancy involves at least two individuals, two patients, with the goal of good medical care being to provide as much as possible for the needs of both.  
  • In the case of any conflict, the interests of both patients should be protected to the greatest extent possible. 
  • Legislation, which should prohibit direct attacks on unborn human life, need not preclude medical interventions that indirectly result in a loss of unborn life when the intention is to save the life of the mother. 
  • Legislation should seek to limit or prevent drugs dispensed primarily for the purpose of inducing an abortion. 

Legislation should advance policy that uplifts and supports families, such as:  

  • Increasing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) 
  • Providing paid family leave 
  • Raising the minimum wage in Indiana  
  • Providing effective pregnancy accommodations for pregnant workers. 
  • State level child tax credit 
  • Enforcing child support guidelines and payments  
  • Promoting Adoption 
  • Real Alternatives pregnancy support, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, and Care Portal 

In keeping with its history and experience assisting pregnant women, young mothers, and families, the Church will continue to: 

  • Support mothers and families through various ministries including Women’s Care Centers and Walking with Moms in Need. 
  • Extend Christ’s mercy through Project Rachel to those who have had an abortion. 
  • Offer material relief to families in need through Catholic Charities and parish-based ministries. 

Finally, the ICC will continue working to advance a consistent respect for the dignity of all human life through advocacy and education on issues related to abolishing the death penalty, reducing gun violence, caring for creation, and overcoming racism.  

Through education and our witness to service, we will continue to work to change hearts and minds to recognize the dignity and rights of the pre-born child. We must also pray that women, who believe themselves unable to care for their infants, will allow their children to born, and if need be, will either make an adoption plan for their child or place their child in a safe haven.  

We have a historic opportunity in Indiana to secure protections for unborn life. We thank God for bringing us to this moment. We recommit ourselves to lovingly and peacefully moving forward together to care for all mothers, families, pre-born and born children.

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