We received news this morning that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v Wade. It must be underscored that this decision further endangers the lives of vulnerable women living in poverty, people who are often Black and brown. The road to restore justice in the wake of this traumatic decision will be a long one, and it will require tremendous conviction, compassion, kindness to one another, and self-care.
Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, has issued a lengthier statement than this, which both explains and grounds the Episcopal Church stance on reproductive rights in the legislation of our Church. Such Church legislation shows a long-standing commitment to the protection of life – the life of women, the unborn and of children.
Presiding Bishop Curry speaks to the reality of the impact of this decision, saying, “While I, like many, anticipated this decision, I am deeply grieved by it. I have been ordained more than 40 years, and I have served as a pastor in poor communities; I have witnessed firsthand the negative impact this decision will have.” Please see his full statement here. This decision, coming as it does on the heels of a decision that fuels, rather than tamps down the wildfire of gun violence in the United States, is beyond disturbing. Our Supreme Court should, in the broadest sense, work to make Americans – all Americans – safer and more secure, more able to enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” not to make life more dangerous and difficult.
It should not be the case that the state where one lives, one’s race or economic status determines how full and free one’s life is. The Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization opens the door to a patchwork landscape across our country, marked by varying degrees of inequality.
We call on faithful Episcopalians in the Diocese of California and indeed all Americans to prayerfully pursue nonviolent and unrelenting efforts to work for justice. Jesus of Nazareth, the founder and center of our faith, both honored the laws of Moses, and sought to purify the understanding and practice of them. Again and again, he helped people understand that laws didn’t exist for themselves, nor for the purposes of oppressing people, but to liberate all people, all of life. As an early follower of Jesus, Paul, wrote, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was not ‘Yes and No’; but in him it has always been ‘Yes’.’” For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’” I take this to mean, as Bishop Curry often says, that God is “… life-giving, liberating, and loving.”
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, PhD | Bishop of California The Rev. Cn. Debra Low-Skinner | Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of California The Very Rev. Malcolm Clemens Young, ThD | Dean of Grace Cathedral The Rev. Greg Kimura, PhD | Vice Dean of Grace Cathedral