DALLAS — Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday's outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.
In light of the Supreme Court's decision today and its impact on Roe v. Wade, we're tracking reactions from religious leaders in North Texas. Here's a look at the reactions from religious leaders in the Lone Star State:
Dr. Robert Jeffress – First Baptist Dallas
"There is ONE reason Roe was overturned today: in 2016 Evangelicals elected Donald Trump who kept his promise and appointed 3 pro-life SC justices. Full stop."
Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth
"The long-awaited decision in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been announced today by the U.S. Supreme Court. This decision overturns the 1973 Roe v Wade decision and effectively closes a shameful period in American history that witnessed the evil and legalized killing of 60 million unborn babies throughout the United States of America. While the Catholic Church in the United States, the faithful of the Diocese of Fort Worth, other men and women of good will, and I have prayed and worked diligently for this day to arrive, we must thank God and acknowledge that this decision does not end our work for unborn children and their mothers and fathers. We must be mindful that at the heart of our prayers and labor is not the changing of law but the conversion of hearts — including our own — towards greater gratitude, respect, and love for each human person. Human beings are only as safe as the most vulnerable member of our society. If unborn babies are not protected by law and safe from harm, then it follows any injury to any person can be falsely justified by law and society. The Diocese of Fort Worth through its Respect Life Office, working in concert with our 91 parishes and the many prolife apostolates in our area, will redouble our efforts to serve expectant mothers who are in duress and to promote the care and support for the pre-natal and early development of their children. It is inherent to the mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ entrusted to us as His Church to turn our hearts away from violence and death as the false solutions to our shared problems of poverty and sickness and turn towards solidarity and compassion for all of God’s children. This will entail an ongoing promotion of behaviors and policies that foster the safety and flourishing of family life anchored in a loving, healthy, respectful, and fruitful marriage between one man and one woman. The anchor of society is not the individual but the family. The family is indispensable for healing our social anarchy and the trauma experienced by survivors of abortion caused by closing our hearts and minds to God and to the design of His creation. Let us pray for those men and women who have procured abortion and, in their suffering, now rage in anger. With the release of the Dobbs decision by the U. S. Supreme Court, I ask all Catholics in the Diocese of Fort Worth to remain prayerful, peaceful, and vigilant especially in case of possible intimidation or the outbursts of protesters and social agitators at Mass. Now is a time for perseverance and resilience in faith in Jesus Christ who alone can grant us peace.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael F. Olson"
Bishop Edward Burns - Catholic Diocese of Dallas
"Recognizing both the laws of nature and God’s divine plan, we acknowledge that life begins at the moment of conception. At that moment of conception, the child has the right to be born, the child has the right to life. Since 1973, we have prayed and marched for the right to life. We are grateful that this day has come and give thanks to God for the gift of life. Let us continue to pray that all will come to acknowledge this sacred right to life. The Catholic Diocese of Dallas will continue offering support for women in need through the efforts of the Catholic Pro-Life Community, Catholic Charities Dallas, crisis pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and other pro-life organizations within our Diocese. We will also continue offering support through our three crisis phone lines (1-800-BABY-DUE, 214-557-5286, or 972-BABY-DUE) and we look forward to the opportunity to grow together in our goal to continue to offer as much additional support as possible to mothers in need and encourage them to make use of these resources. Let us now all join together in prayer asking God our Heavenly Father to bless our country with peace and help us seek understanding for one another and respect for life during this time."
Ed Young – senior pastor of Fellowship Church
"Thank you Jesus! Let us continue to pray for the moral courage of our elected officials to stand up for the rights of the unborn in every state across our country."
Catholic Pro-Life Community – the Respect Life Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas
"The Catholic Pro-Life Community, the Respect Life Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, applauds today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Mississippi’s Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health that upheld the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion ban.
Today’s decision overturns the 1973 ruling on Roe vs. Wade, which made abortion legal throughout the nation. Since then, states have passed laws anticipating the day when Roe would be reversed. Today is that day!
In the majority opinion, the Supreme Court states, ”There is nothing in the Constitution about abortion, and the Constitution does not implicitly protect the right.” The justices also assert that “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."
“This is a momentous day for life,” said Geralyn Kaminsky, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Community. “This decision corrects an egregious wrong and returns authority over abortion laws back to individual states. We are so proud of our lawmakers who have led the way in making Texas a pro-life state, But our work is not done yet, far from it. We have a responsibility to walk with moms who believed that abortion was their only option, and we will walk with them until they can walk on their own!”
For almost 30 years, the CPLC has supported moms in crisis and assisted them financially, spiritually, and emotionally through its Project Gabriel Ministry.
“There are countless resources available to moms and families throughout our community and our country,” said Kaminsky. “We meet moms where they are in their situation and provide the assistance they need to choose life and save their child.
The CPLC partners with pregnancy resource centers, food banks, maternity homes, medical doctors, and private donors, as well as a host of other resources that enable us to provide necessary assistance that will put a pregnant or parenting mom in better circumstances to love and care for her child.”
Adam W. Greenway – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Today is the day for which pro-life citizens have prayed and worked for since 1973. This monumental victory is on par with Brown v. Board of Education as it overturns a clearly unjust ruling. Now, we must seize this opportunity to enact just laws that protect unborn human life. More than ever, those who value all human life must demonstrate their commitment not merely with their words, but also by their deeds. We must urge legislators to protect the unborn, and we must provide compassionate support for women that will help them choose life. Joining with many other faithful Christians, I pray for the day when abortion will be an unthinkable option because our society truly values all human life.”
Rev. Dr. Neil G. Thomas – Cathedral of Hope
"This is a catastrophic day for America. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, sets civil rights in our nation back at least three generations.
With this ruling, it is clear that the Supreme Court of the United States intends to limit human rights that Americans have counted on and puts at great risk rights of privacy for contraception, same-sex relationships, and gay marriage.
The right of women to choose what they can do with their bodies has been a fundamental human right for almost fifty years. This majority opinion from the Supreme Court rips away that right, and the United States stands poised to join the company of a few countries where democracy has been faltering, like Poland and El Salvador, in enacting new restrictions on abortion.
This opinion is part of a rising tide of increasingly authoritarian actions around the world and signals a disturbing disregard of established legal precedents on which people in this country have relied to protect all our human rights.
The opinion is very dangerous direction for everyone in the United States and a frightening signal to authoritarians around the world that they can strip long-established rights from their citizens.
And in a separate opinion on the case, Justice Clarence Thomas has voiced his strong opinion that the Court should consider abrogating other rights based on the 14th Amendment's rubric of privacy that Americans count on--from the right to contraception to marriage equality.
All of us should be very, very afraid for the dark days ahead.
That said, we must fight through the courts and through our Legislatures. We must work together to register every person of legal voting age. We must not rest until we have leaders and judges elected or appointed who will uphold civil rights for all.
Our faith tells us that pessimism and hopelessness is the tool of the oppressor. As such, we must fight against all forms of prejudice, hatred, and indifference.
Today, we grieve and pray. Tomorrow, we get to work. We must--and we will."
Jack Graham – Prestonwood Baptist
"Today is a day we have prayed and worked toward for decades. All praise to God who is the one who makes human life sacred. The end of Roe is a tipping point to yet another day when all abortion will not just be rare but unthinkable."
WFAA also put together a list of reactions of Texas leaders, politicians and organizations. You can view those here.
More Roe v. Wade coverage: