Letters & Op-Eds - 2009

New York Times Abortion and Health Care Legislation

To the Editor: Re “A Victory in Health Care Vote for Opponents of Abortion” (front page, Nov. 9): It is worrying that so many members of Congress succumbed to lobbying by the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops, no matter how “forceful.” Health care reform will affect all Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. The bishops’ […]

Jon O'Brien

Politico The Catholic Bishops’ Double Standard

As advocates for reproductive health, we are outraged at what transpired in the House over the weekend. The passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment goes far beyond the status quo on abortion restrictions and would make it nearly impossible for insurance plans in the new system to offer abortion coverage. This campaign succeeded in large part […]

Nancy Keenan and Jon O'Brien

Washington Post - Acts of Faith What Catholics Want in Health Care Reform

The United States is embroiled in a debate over health care. Ideological divides over morality and money are front and center, and threatening to derail any real progress on what has become a major crisis. There is a curious divide in the national conversation we are having about what exactly health care is or what […]

Jon O'Brien and Sara Morello

THE LANCET Was the Pope Wrong?

The Lancet rightly reflects on the global consensus that the Pope’s comments on condoms were irresponsible and dangerous. What is especially troubling about his comments is that when an influential religious leader such as Pope Benedict speaks, we sometimes see public health policies crafted around the beliefs of that faith group. This happened in the […]

Jon O'Brien

The Economist The Challenge of AIDS

A crucial addition to your evaluation of the pope’s comments is that Catholics the world over ignore the church and use condoms. However, it is tragic that while Catholics choose to ignore the Vatican, the Catholic hierarchy in the United States seeks to deny others that choice. Last year, the bishops lobbied successfully to take […]

Jon O'Brien

There Is Ample Middle Ground between Patient Rights and Doctor’s Conscience

Regarding the March 26 article, “Obama weighs patient rights vs. doctor’s conscience”: In this article the Monitor presents a false choice between the “freedom of conscience for healthcare workers and unfettered access to healthcare, especially reproductive services.” There is ample middle ground between those two scenarios to meet the needs of healthcare workers and of […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Times Keep Politics Out of the Church

Like the majority of Catholics, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s choice to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, seems to be able to reconcile her faith with her political beliefs, including her position on abortion (“HHS nominee Sebelius caught between her politics and faith,” Page 1, Tuesday). Archbishop Joseph Naumann […]

Jon O'Brien

The Times (UK) Cracks in the Hierarchy are Magnified in Shanty Towns

The Pope is being more than disingenuous in his statement claiming that condom use will not solve the Aids crisis. No responsible agency or individual claims that condoms are a panacea. But they are a critical aspect of any programme that seeks to stem the spread of HIV. The problem with the Vatican’s position is […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Times Foreign Aid and Abortion

In response to “Catholics hit Obama on pro-choice agenda” (Nation, Thursday): The U.S. bishops´ campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that has not yet been introduced into the 111th Congress, is not based on fact or reality. Instead, it seeks to stir up fear among churchgoing Catholics about the intentions of the […]

Jon O'Brien
Catholics for Choice