In the News
Mimicking the Global Gag Rule that prevents overseas health-care providers from presenting their patients a full set of reproductive health options, the administration has enacted what amounts to a domestic gag rule that restricts free speech and freedom of choice within our own country. Clinics receiving family planning grants to provide contraception, STD tests and other much-needed services to low-income patients will have to stop providing abortion referrals or lose their funding.
Catholics in particular should be especially angered by people trampling the rights of the already downtrodden. Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, Catholics use birth control and Catholics also access Title X services.
Ninety-eight percent of sexually active Catholic women have used a form of birth control banned by the Vatican. Though our own church hierarchy has labored to prevent Catholics in the pews from using birth control and historically overridden rights, choice and conscience, they failed.
Read the full op-ed at The Hill.
Washington, DC— The deadline for family planning clinics to provide written assurance that they will comply with the Trump Administration’s domestic gag rule is next Monday, August 19. Similar to the Global Gag Rule, the new policy restricts providers and clinics that receive federal Title X funds.
Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement:
“Clinics receiving family planning grants to provide contraception, STD tests and other much-needed services to low-income patients will have to stop providing abortion referrals or lose their funding. Without relief from the courts, family planning clinics that choose to meet the needs of their patients, and not abide by the gag rule will be forced out of the Title X. Cheating millions of vulnerable Americans of the ability to exercise their conscience and access birth control and other reproductive health services is unconscionable. Catholics for Choice calls on Americans who support affordable reproductive healthcare to contact their members of congress to protect Title X and safeguard access to birth control regardless of one’s means.”
On Sunday June 23, 2019, Catholics for Choice published a full-page ad, running throughout the Chicago area, which addresses these timely issues around the proper role for church and state when it comes to matters of public policy.
Click here to see the full ad.
Letters & Op-Eds
Alabama’s HB 314 is an immoral, extremist action by anti-abortion zealot’s hell bent on taking America backwards and is a slap in the face to core American values of freedom and liberty. Having failed time and time again to persuade the majority of Americans to embrace their anti-freedom agenda, abortion opponents are using the legislative process to put safe medical care out of reach.
The grotesque irony is that the 25 men who voted for this despicable measure will never have to face the realities of unsafe abortion. Insulated by privilege and power, the rich can circumvent any restriction with their pocket books — it is the poor who suffer when choice is denied.
Of course, these legislators freely admit that their extremist bill is just a play to trigger a Supreme Court battle over Roe v Wade. Drunk on the reckless rhetoric of a president beholden to them, these anti-abortion fundamentalists are spoiling for a fight. They want to play their political game and if that means sacrificing the health, safety and freedom of women and girls in Alabama, so be it.
It is a dark day for freedom in America.
Click here to read the rest.
In church pews across the United States and around the world, we look furtively around as yet another priest tells us, as he has countless times, how sorry he is for the appalling mess the Catholic hierarchy has gotten us into. Abuse scandals and related cover-ups are just the tip of a very large iceberg. Sadly, for many Catholics, that scandal is one of many as we have watched the dereliction of leadership and the sin of clericalism strike blow after blow to the battered body of the church. In this issue of Conscience, we look beyond this discouraging state of affairs to ask what a future church should look like. We begin to map out a route that will get us there, finding hope in the shantytowns of South Africa — where a real church leader shares his vision of a church built on service to the poor — and in interviews with strong role models for women’s leadership in the future church.
What does it mean to trust women and value individual conscience? World-renowned experts agree: Catholics – and many people of faith – all over the world are prochoice, and always have been. Watch the film here.
Letters & Op-Eds
When President Trump was elected, many women realized that something that seemed a far prospect could become reality — that Roe V. Wade could be overturned. In the face of this threat, we have also seen something inspiring. State legislators across the country — from Oregon to Illinois to New York — have passed a wave of progressive laws to protect access to abortion and safeguard a woman’s autonomy to make her own moral choices over deeply consequential, deeply complex decisions around when and whether to continue a pregnancy.
This piece was originally published by The Hill.
Letters & Op-Eds
Re “The War of Words on Abortion” (Op-Ed, Jan. 10):
Charles C. Camosy is wrong in throwing up a smokescreen to pretend that the abortion debate is a struggle over language.
Pro-choice victories in Ireland, Chile and likely soon in Argentina clearly demonstrate that increasingly, on a global scale, people in Catholic-majority countries are taking a stand for the values, morals and ethics of defending a woman’s right to choose.
Those who favor women’s rights are not running away from fundamental principles like conscience; they are embracing the reality that women’s rights are human rights. They understand the challenges to women’s health and well-being when we deny their right to make free choices over their bodies.
This letter was originally published in the New York Times.
In the News
As the Roman Catholic Church marked the 50th anniversary of the major Humanae Vitae encyclical, which prohibited the use of condoms and contraceptives, a worldwide survey from a Catholic pro-choice group found that large majorities of Catholics disagree with the ban.
Catholics for Choice revealed last week statistics from a survey it carried out on people who identify as Catholic, asking them whether they agree or disagree with Pope Paul VI’s document that said using such birth control methods is morally wrong.
This piece was originally published by the Christian Post.
In the News
Launching a report, Humanae Vitae and the Damage Done, Jon O’Brien of the US-based Catholics for Choice said: “Many Catholics choose to ignore the Vatican’s ban on birth control, but the world’s poorest people do not have that luxury. For half a century, the Catholic hierarchy has blocked funding and access to contraception for family planning and HIV/Aids prevention, with deadly impacts for the most vulnerable globally.”
This article was originally published in The Guardian.
Global poll and report shows poorest communties are hurt by Vatican ban on birth control
Washington, DC – Today Catholics for Choice launched a new report and global poll—in advance of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican’s ban on contraception on July 25—detailing half a century of hurt this policy has caused for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.
While Humanae Vitae, the Vatican’s ban on contraception, has shaped policy on birth control and HIV/AIDS prevention globally, many people are not aware of this policy, know its influence or the damage it has caused.
Read our full statement here.