Catholic Standard El Pregonero
Classifieds Buy Photos

‘Protect Women: Vote No’ – a message from the Catholic bishops of Maryland

Pro-life advocates take part in the 51st annual March for Life rally in Washington Jan. 19, 2024. The bishops of Maryland have urged voters to reject a November ballot proposal to enshrine abortion into Maryland’s constitution, saying if it passes, it would further perpetuate a “throwaway” culture that devalues human life and fails to provide adequate support and alternatives for women facing difficult decisions regarding their pregnancies. (OSV News photo/Leslie E. Kossoff)

In November, Maryland voters will be asked to vote on a “Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment.” This measure is asking Maryland voters to approve or disapprove an amendment that would basically enshrine abortion in the state’s constitution. The following is a text of a letter sent May 7, from the Maryland bishops to state residents laying out their opposition to the ballot initiative. It was issued in both English and Spanish by Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, and Wilmington Bishop William Koenig, whose three dioceses encompass the state of Maryland.


This November voters across the country will cast their ballots in national and local elections. Maryland is one of several states that will ask voters to enshrine abortion into their state constitution.

This is an important time for us to reiterate our commitment to the protection of all human life. We oppose the “Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment” as it contradicts the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity and the inherent right to life.

Our opposition to this initiative is rooted in our unwavering concern for the well-being of women and children. Abortion not only ends the life of an innocent child but also poses significant risks to the physical, emotional and spiritual health of women.


Enshrining abortion into Maryland’s constitution would further perpetuate a “throwaway” culture that devalues human life and fails to provide adequate support and alternatives for women facing difficult decisions regarding their pregnancies.

Pope Francis consistently reminds us that “…people are never to be thrown out. The disadvantaged cannot be thrown away. Every person is a sacred and unique gift, no matter what their age or condition is. Let us always respect and promote life! Let us not throw life away.”


Enshrining abortion in the constitution would divert attention and resources away from broader efforts to promote women’s well-being and address the root causes of abortion. Instead of a sole focus on access to abortion, it is necessary to advocate for comprehensive solutions that provide women with access to healthcare, resources for families, and education and job opportunities.

We must foster a culture of life where every person is valued and supported, and where women facing difficult decisions regarding pregnancy and parenthood feel respected and empowered.


By enshrining abortion in the constitution, we risk undermining existing protections for religious freedom, conscience rights, and the rights of healthcare providers
to practice according to their beliefs.


A constitutional amendment severely limits legislative flexibility and prevents elected officials from enacting laws that respond to changing circumstances or new evidence related to abortion policy and the protection
of women.

The unfortunate reality is that nothing regarding abortion in Maryland would change if this amendment were defeated. Sadly, Maryland has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the country, allowing for abortion at any stage of pregnancy, including right up to the moment of birth.


We stand in solidarity with women and children, and we reject the notion that abortion is a solution to the challenges faced by women in crisis situations. It is essential that we pursue solutions that include compassionate support, resources, and alternatives to abortion for women facing difficult circumstances.

We urge voters to reject this ballot initiative and stand with us in upholding the sanctity of all human life, safeguarding conscience rights, and standing in solidarity with women and children in need. Together, let us work towards building a culture of life in which every person is valued, cherished and protected.

Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington

Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore

Most Reverend William Koenig, Bishop of Wilmington