Letters & Op-Eds - 2012

RH Reality Check Philippines Reproductive Health Bill Passes House of Representatives Despite Aggressive Opposition from Bishops

In the early morning of December 13th, 2012, the Philippines House of Representatives voted to pass the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 (commonly known as the RH bill), which will give millions of women access to contraception and other reproductive health services that were in many cases out of […]

Magdalena Lopez

RH Reality Check President Obama: Do the Right Thing on HIV Prevention

This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will release PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation, the Obama administration’s plan for combating HIV and AIDS. For the plan to be effective, both family planning and condoms for HIV prevention must be included. Unfortunately, when it comes to making sure taxpayer-funded AIDS programs are comprehensive and designed […]

Jon O'Brien

THE SOUTHLAND TIMES (NEW ZEALAND) Opposition to abortion not the stance of all Catholics

The move to bring abortion services to Southland Hospital is to be applauded. It is the right thing to do and serves the local community well. Sadly for the majority of Catholics who are pro choice, the Catholic hierarchy, through Bishop Colin Campbell of Dunedin, has been leading the opposition. In addressing his resistance to […]

Jon O'Brien

Politico Letter in response to “Abortion-rights groups absent on fetal pain laws”

Kudos for challenging your readership by raising the issue of later abortion,“Abortion-rights groups absent on fetal pain laws” on August 13. It would be a mistake, however, to be taken in by the Trojan horse of “fetal pain” as a wedge issue – that may, in fact, be the stroke that is “handing victories to anti-abortion […]

Jon O'Brien

San Jose Mercury News Catholic Church inhibits AIDS work in Philippines

At the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC this week, activists from around the world are exchanging experiences about what works in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Advocates from the Philippines will be paying attention to the wisdom gathered in other areas. Unfortunately, we are hindered in accessing one lifesaving tool–condoms. HIV has had a […]

Magdalena Lopez

Religion Dispatches The Truth about Catholics and Condoms

As the XIX International AIDS Conference comes to Washington D.C., the issue of condom use to prevent the spread of HIV will certainly be a central topic of debate. For many involved, the statement that Pope Benedict XVI made in 2010 still resonates. In a great leap forward for the Catholic Church, he said that […]

Jon O'Brien

The Hill - Congress Blog Freedom of religion: The liberty of individual conscience

Wednesday’s vote in the House to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act is not the only path being taken to trample on women’s rights. A new bill from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) seeks to allow employers to discriminate against their employees in new and far-reaching ways. HR 6097 would mean […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Post Government’s role in reaching pluralism

His protestations to the contrary, Michael Gerson has a strange notion of how to achieve a true respect for pluralism [“Obama’s culture war,”op-ed June 20]. We agree with Mr. Gerson that a political community may contain many people pursuing different ways of life, but we reject his assertion that government should not have to defend […]

Jon O'Brien and Nancy Kaufman

New York Times Catholics and the Birth Control Mandate

To the Editor: You highlighted a misconception about religious freedom that the American bishops are trying to manipulate into reality. The bishops have the freedom to preach, but not the freedom to steamroll policy over the existing, thoughtfully crafted protections for religious freedom. They seek to restrict others’ conscience rights to protect a fictional monolithic […]

Jon O'Brien

Denver Post Catholic Church’s adherence to its stance on birth control

Your article’s treatment of the papal encyclical on birth control, “Humanae Vitae,” ignores that document’s difficult birth. When married couples joined the group of clergy and laypeople appointed by the Pope to re-evaluate the ban on artificial contraceptives, they told of the impact that a mechanistic and unnatural method called natural family planning had on […]

Jon O'Brien

CONTRACEPTION When did family planning become a risky proposition?

To the Editor: In “Title X: A Proud Past, An Uncertain Future,” Coleman and Jones [1] describe a robust family planning network that was created and maintained in a politically divisive environment. The legislators who crafted Title X 40 years ago kept the focus on their constituents and were able to create centers where “no […]

Jon O'Brien

IRISH AMERICA What America Can Learn From Ireland

The Irish, a fiercely independent people ruled by another country for centuries, have a unique appreciation for irony. As an advocate for reproductive rights in Ireland, I saw the travesty in a church-sanctioned anti-contraception policy that harmed women and families in the name of saving them from sin. Here, in the country that espouses religious […]

Jon O'Brien

Legislative Gazette The Reproductive Health Act: Common sense values for the common good

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) protects women’s rights, health and the consciences of providers and patients. This is just good common sense. Further, it meets the Catholic injunction to protect the common good—of all New Yorkers, Catholic and non-Catholic. The act contains many familiar principles. The RHA affirms that “every individual has a fundamental right […]

Sara Hutchinson

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH Reclaiming religious freedom

The decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to extend no-copay contraceptive coverage to employee health plans caused a veritable firestorm. Leading the voices of opposition has been the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose representatives claimed that they “cannot — will not — comply with this unjust law [because] people […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Post - Acts of Faith Did the bishops forget about women?

This morning, President Obama announced what was called an “accommodation” on the rule relating to access to insurance coverage for birth control. While I was glad that the administration did not cave completely to the demands of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the reality is that this compromise relies on insurance companies to […]

Jon O'Brien

Albany Times Union It’s a matter of conscience

Family planning is under attack. The decision by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to require most employers to cover preventive health care for women, including family planning at no extra cost, has met with intense opposition from conservative forces. Leading the charge have been the nation’s 260 Catholic bishops. Their coordinated campaign […]

Sara Hutchinson

Washington Post Workers, not Catholic hierarchy, should choose their health care

Michael Gerson imputed nefarious motives to President Obama for his administration’s requirement that contraception be made more affordable and available for American workers. He lamented the decision’s effects on a bishop, a priest and the vice president. Tellingly missing from this analysis: the profound and beneficial effects on the millions of American women and their […]

Jon O'Brien

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL Catholic or not, give women choice

Catholic Healthcare West’s decision to become a secular medical provider may well allow it to be more Catholic in the long run. The major difference between Catholic health care providers and their secular counterparts is in the provision of reproductive health services. The majority of bishops have decreed Catholic institutions should not provide contraception or […]

Jon O'Brien

THE CONCORD MONITOR Religious freedom in the crosshairs of Catholic bishops

Who should publicly funded community health programs serve, other than the needs of the community? In a cunning sleight of hand, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the creation of its new Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, wants to redefine freedom of religion to mean that the bishops are allowed to impose their […]

Jon O'Brien
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