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Kentucky’s Roman Catholic Bishops Mark 28th Year of Roe v. Wade Decision

Frankfort, KY (January 22, 2001) – Kentucky’s four Roman Catholic bishops issued a joint statement calling for a renewed respect for the inherent dignity of all human life on the 28th year following the now infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

As citizens and Church leaders, the bishops have an obligation to speak out whenever human life and dignity, in all its conditions, are threatened. Thomas C. Kelly, Archbishop of Louisville stated "Recent FDA approval of the abortion pill, RU-486, has given us a fresh focus on the abortion question … and it is important to strengthen our convictions and to be passionate about them."

The bishops’ statement calls the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe "a national scandal" which has eroded respect for the value of all human life. The statement condemns the Roe decision as serving to "… coarsen our national character." Jane Chiles, Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky stated "What gets lost in much of the effort to secure abortion rights is that this distraction has consumed disproportionate energy around a single issue while efforts to address other critical needs of women and children are woefully inadequate."

Citing cultural shifts more accepting of fetal tissue experimentation, promotion of euthanasia as an option for the terminally ill, and growing use of capital punishment, the bishops’ statement calls on Catholics and persons of all faiths to act on behalf of the sanctity of human life. Health care professionals, lawyers, researchers and elected officials are called upon to exercise their moral responsibilities to protect the weak and defenseless in society.

J. Kendrick Williams, Bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, stated "In the year 2001 it is ever more important for our nation to guarantee all persons, in every stage of development, their constitutional right to life."

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Catholic Conference of Kentucky

1042 Burlington Lane

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

502-875-4345 502-875-2841 Fax cckstaffATccky.org

Last modified: October, 2010