Bishop's Response to Supreme Court Case: June 25, 2022
“Out of the depths have I called you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.”
Dear Siblings in Christ,
I am deeply saddened and sorely troubled by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the 1973 landmark case of Roe v. Wade. This decision, while not unexpected, is a severe blow to women’s reproductive rights, dignity, and worth.
Across our nation, and particularly in the State of Missouri, this ruling will remove the right of self-determination from women and place it in the hands of elected officials to determine deeply personal decisions on reproductive health and well-being. Anger, sadness, fear, dread, foreboding, and many other emotions have been my companions as this news and the wide sweeping ramifications become real.
The Episcopal Church, since 1967, has opposed any legislation that would diminish, degrade, or devalue the rights of women to make informed choices on reproductive health, family planning, or general health. As a follower of Jesus who in his life and teaching held up the rights of those marginalized, I stand with lay and ordained leaders across the Episcopal Church to declare:
- I support a woman’s right to determine what happens to her body.
- I believe that abortion should be accessible, safe, and rare.
- I believe that health decisions should be medically informed and not legislatively dictated, or judicially restricted.
- I believe that communities of color, and those without robust financial resources in particular, will be disproportionately affected.
While this decision is devastating in many ways, and has implications for the restrictions of other rights in the future, I live in the hope that the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice. Scripture tells us that God is in the business of moving our world always towards wholeness and completion. You and I are commissioned to be ambassadors of love who call our world towards Beloved Community. My prayer, my hope, my desire is that we engage in the civil process of voting, of letting our voices be heard in the public square, and that we advocate for and stand with our sisters in Christ.
Let us pray that with our voices raised, that our elected leaders may find the will and the courage to do justly, act with mercy, and serve humbly those they have been called to serve. Today we grieve and pray, tomorrow we take up the torch of justice and equity.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson
Eleventh Bishop of Missouri