Catholics for Choice – What’s New

Conscience Magazine

Future Church

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.

In the News

Politico: Illinois Playbook

CHICAGO – Catholics for Choice opposes any city plan to subsidize Presence Health downtown headquarters given the hospital rejects abortion and contraception. In a letter to aldermen and obtained by POLITICO, Catholics for Choice says Catholic bishops are allowing women “to be treated as second-class citizens in facilities supported by public dollars.”

This piece was originally published by Politico.

Letters & Op-Eds

Cuomo followed his conscience on the Reproductive Health Act

The article “Bishop sees shift in youths,” Jan. 18, provides an important opportunity to remind readers that the bishops of New York do not speak for all the more than 7 million Catholics across the Empire State. Like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, those faithful, everyday Catholics understand the sacred duty of each individual to listen to their conscience and our duty to protect others’ right to do the same. The governor’s support of the Reproductive Health Act is an act for the common good, and he does so in good conscience.

Catholics for Choice lifts up the voices of the millions of faithful Catholics around the globe. We know Catholics do not want their representatives blindly following the church hierarchy’s opinion on public policy in place of their own. As a statesman who is also Catholic, Cuomo faithfully follows his conscience in upholding the rights of New York’s women to follow their consciences regarding pregnancy and abortion. He is, after all, the governor of all of New York, not a marionette of the bishops.

This article was originally published at the Albany Times-Union.

Letters & Op-Eds

We want our leaders to speak with moral clarity on abortion

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

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

91 Percent of Irish Catholics Disagree With Contraceptives Ban on 50th Anniversary

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

Fifty years on, and Catholics are still in turmoil over contraception

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.

Press Releases

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.

2018 National Survey of Catholics in the United States

Belden Russonello Strategists commissioned a national survey of Catholics in the United States for Catholics for Choice in 2018. The polling data relates to the Vatican’s ban on birth control, Humanae Vitae, and it’s public perception.

View the polling data here.

Catholics for Choice