Society of Jesus Statement on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
22 January 2013
On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus in the United States (the Jesuits), the largest religious community of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church, vigorously affirms our opposition to abortion and our support for the unborn. Our commitment is shared by people of conscience seeking to restore our country’s respect for all human life.
Ten years ago, on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Society of Jesus issued “Standing for the Unborn: A Statement of the Society of Jesus in the United States on Abortion”; this statement (updated in 2018) speaks of the sacredness of human life in all its forms, and we again uphold its vision. In those ten years, 16 million more abortions have taken place, bringing the 40-year total to more than 55 million. Throughout this period, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has served as a powerful voice for life. This task has not been easy, and the Society of Jesus stands with the bishops in our words, deeds and prayers.
As all human life is sacred and should be protected by law, the Society of Jesus believes in a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, an ethic which includes our opposition to the death penalty and assisted suicide and our support for improved palliative care. All human life deserves dignity and respect, and all of God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable, must be protected and supported by the laws and policies of our nation.
On this 40th anniversary, let us continue to work and pray for consistent and forceful support of all human life.
About the Society of Jesus
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest religious community of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries on six continents and in 127 nations around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In the United States, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, 59 Jesuit high schools and 16 middle schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit www.jesuit.org.