Protecting All Human Life
Responding to the Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade
President Patricia McGuire
Trinity Washington University
June 24, 2022
A truly good society respects and protects the dignity and worth of all human life, at all life stages. Achieving that goal requires continuous education for the development of sound moral judgment and the ability to make good moral choices about how we treat each other, how we protect those who are vulnerable and marginalized, how we respect difference while building a cohesive, unified community. Secular law is no substitute for sound moral judgment, and law that denies the human agency to make personal moral choices is, itself, a denial of human dignity.
Today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, returning abortion policy to the states, is unlikely to stop abortions but will most definitely further fragment a nation already traumatized by political corruption and unrest. Rejecting a woman’s right to privacy in her own medical treatment disrespects the moral agency of women and treats women as objects of politically-driven mandates. Overturning Roe now exposes women, their doctors and advocates to newly enacted state laws that encourage citizen surveillance and criminalize not only the act of abortion but medical advice and assistance as well. This does not help the cause of protecting life and human dignity; women will suffer and die as a result of this decision, particularly those women who lack economic security.
Protecting unborn lives is important, yes, and abortion is a grave moral problem. We should strive to build a society in which abortion is rarely, if ever, necessary. But pitting the right to life of the unborn against the rights of women will solve nothing, and in fact, takes this nation even farther away from a real consensus about how to protect all life and human dignity.
As a Catholic college with a primary mission to the education and advancement of women, deeply rooted in social justice, Trinity shares the Church’s teachings on life and human dignity. Trinity is proud to serve a majority of women of color, women who have experienced marginalization and discrimination. Many Trinity students are also mothers and the primary caregivers in their families, exemplifying their devotion to life principles each day. Trinity is developing additional forms of support for students who have children, and our team will work with every student parent or expecting a child to have a good plan for family support. We will continue to work in every way possible to develop the ability of our students to make good moral choices, to elevate their dignity and worth in this society, and to ensure their ability to live in safety, in peace, and with justice.