Church Leaders Respond to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Ruling

on June 27, 2016

It’s a sad day for American women when our Supreme Court Justices prioritize political bias over women’s health and safety. Women deserve better than outdated, unsanitary and unsafe abortion clinic safety standards.

Even so, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellterstedt, striking down part of a Texas law requiring abortion facilities to meet the same basic sanitary and safety standards as any other ambulatory surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event a woman experiences post-abortion complications necessitating emergency medical attention. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court found these safety standards placed an “undue burden” on abortion providers.

Thus far, many Christian leaders denominations have not released official comments on the Supreme Court’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling. But here is a rundown of several Church leaders’ comments:

“The Court handed down a sad and pathetic ruling,” said Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in a video message:

Newly-elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Steve Gaines, tweeted:


Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) pro-life spokeswoman, Deirdre McQuade, responded:

The Court has rejected a common-sense law protecting women from abortion facilities that put profits above patient safety. The law simply required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers – standards like adequate staffing, soap dispensers, and basic sanitary conditions. It required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that hallways be wide enough to allow emergency personnel through with stretchers, should a life-threatening emergency arise.

Abortion claims the lives of unborn children, and too often endangers their mothers, as well. This ruling contradicts the consensus among medical groups that such measures protect women’s lives.

Priests for Life released this joint statement:

The Supreme Court is now the Supreme Medical Board, setting its own standards for patient care in the United States.  This decision is an outrageous usurpation of legislative power and it only underscores the critical importance of electing a President who will nominate — and Senators who will confirm — justices to the Supreme Court who will adjudicate, not write the law.

Of course, not all faith-based organizations have condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), which represents “various Protestant, Catholic and Jewish denominations,” released an official press release:

We are very pleased with today’s decision. It is a vitally important judicial affirmation of a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices and to access abortion care. At the same time, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is deeply concerned about the future of reproductive freedom because on these issues the extreme religious and moral views of the religious right have dominated America’s public debate.

The fact is, not all people of faith think alike on these issues. Because of our religious convictions, our coalition representing various Protestant, Catholic and Jewish denominations offers women spiritual support and solace as they make their reproductive choices.

Catholics for Choice posted this on Twitter:

Do you have a comment on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt? How should the Church respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling? 

  1. Comment by Glen from the mail room on June 27, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    its rather obvious the vote of the people means nothing, the only votes that count are those of the kangaroo court

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