Today’s ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and upending the constitutional protections that have been afforded to women for half a century is a troubling sign for the future of individual rights and liberties. 

To be clear, the Episcopal Church teaches that “all human life is sacred” and that there is a “tragic dimension” to all abortions. At the same time, the church stands with women in defending reproductive freedom, declaring an “unequivocal opposition” to federal and state laws that would “abridge or deny” any woman’s ability to make informed decisions about reproductive health.

We are concerned this decision will only further inflame the country’s profound division on abortion. The fears and anger that this decision unleashes are real, and all Americans will need to dig deep to summon their better angels in the months and years to come. 

This country is built upon a set of shared understandings that rights, once granted and secured through our Constitution, must be protected. That same principle applies to the rights to vote, to marry, to privacy and to so many others. By upending a half-century of judicial precedent, we worry that today’s decision puts that principle at risk. 

In this moment of deep uncertainty and anxiety, this Cathedral stands with all those who fear that their individual rights and liberties are now at risk. We believe in an America where the circle of inclusion and liberty is drawn ever wider. In this time of polarization and deep division, we pray that God will hold us close in God’s ever-expanding arms of love. 

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
Dean, Washington National Cathedral

Kevin Eckstrom, [email protected]


About Washington National Cathedral
Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.