" Our goal has never been simply to make abortion illegal. Our goal is to make it unthinkable.

" — Archbishop Alexander Sample
Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample called today’s reversal of Roe v. Wade an answer to prayer and the result of heroic effort. He also urged pro-lifers to act with compassion, not a sense of triumph.

The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ends a national right to abortion and returns regulation of abortion to the states. Though abortion will continue to be legal in Oregon, the archbishop said the ruling makes a broader statement on human life.

“This is an important step forward in rebuilding a culture of life that respects and protects the inherent dignity of every human being, from conception to natural death, especially for those who are disproportionately targeted by the abortion industry,” the archbishop said in a statement released on his Facebook page.

He urged pro-life activists to continue their work.

“Although this is a promising decision, it does not mark the end of our efforts: it marks a new beginning,” he said. “Our goal has never been simply to make abortion illegal. Our goal is to make it unthinkable. Our battle to protect the most fragile and vulnerable of all human life, namely the unborn child, continues on the state level, including here in Oregon.”

The church, the archbishop said, has helped women and men heal from abortion, has provided support to women who choose life, has offered love and compassion to former abortion workers, and has provided meaningful alternatives to abortion. But, he added, that can’t count as enough.

“We must not rest in our efforts until the day no one chooses to pursue an abortion,” he wrote. “The mercy of God knows no bounds, for both the unborn child and those women and men who have sadly experienced the tragedy of abortion in their own lives. I pray for the profound healing only Jesus can bring.”

The archbishop recognized that while the ruling comes with a sense of victory for many, it has left others confused and angry.

“It is precisely now that we must show them we are the people of hope and forgiveness,” he said. “It is not a time for triumphalism — it is a time for gratitude, and for mercy.”

The archbishop urged listeners to him in supporting women with difficult or unplanned pregnancies with love and support.

For more information on pro-life ministry in the Archdiocese of Portland, go to archdpdx.org/pro-life.