Press Releases - 2013

New Investigative Report Exposes the Truth about the Knights of Columbus

This holiday season, as the Knights of Columbus host cookie bake sales for charity, coat drives for the needy and other charitable activities, a new report from Catholics for Choice reveals the conflict between the group’s professed benevolent mission and the reality of its ultraconservative agenda. The largest Catholic lay organization in the world is […]

New Video Highlights the Truth about Global Development Aid

  To mark World AIDS Day 2013, Catholics for Choice is releasing a short movie that highlights the dark side of development aid. Faith-based organizations—particularly Catholic agencies, which the Vatican claims provide 30 percent of AIDS care in Africa and 25 percent of AIDS care globally—take taxpayer money to provide healthcare services to the neediest […]

Pope Francis Exposes His Blind Spot on Women

  Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, released the following statement about Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. “Pope Francis reassured Catholics today that some groundbreaking reforms in the church are on the way. The reform of the curia, the emphasis on economic justice and moves toward improving interfaith relations will receive considerable support from […]

Catholics Respond to Supreme Court Hearings on Affordable Care Act

Today, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear two challenges to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act. (For details of the cases involved, see below.) Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said of the announcement, “The court’s decision in these cases could have far-reaching implications—not only for employees’ right to decide […]

Catholics Play Major Role in Defeat of Albuquerque Antiabortion Ballot Measure

Catholics in Albuquerque joined their neighbors, friends and fellow residents in defeating a ballot measure that would have banned abortion in the city after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of a pregnant woman. Catholics across the city spoke out in the weeks leading up to the vote, taking a […]

Prochoice Catholics in ABQ Are Raising Their Voices in the Media

Albuquerque Catholics are speaking out in a media campaign against a harsh ballot measure that would ban later abortion in the city. The ballot measure, if passed, would ban abortion after 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of a pregnant woman. As the US Senate considers similar legislation, Albuquerque Catholics […]

Bishops’ Hardline Restrictions Written into Government Shutdown Deal

The bishops and their radical allies in Congress showed that they are willing to go to any lengths in their latest gambit in the culture wars—even forcing a shutdown of the US government—so they can control what women do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The House of Representatives, spurred on by the United States […]

Cardinal Burke’s Comments: Incomprehensible, Disingenuous and Wrong

In an interview with an ultraconservative Catholic newspaper, Cardinal Ray Burke, a Vatican official, said that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi should be denied Communion because of her prochoice views. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “Congresswoman Pelosi was speaking not only herself, but for millions of Catholics in the US and around the world […]

New Video Sheds Light on Religious Extremism at the UN

Is Pope Francis going to conduct business as usual at the United Nations? All eyes are on the UN as the General Assembly begins its annual meeting. We have yet to see whether Pope Francis’ recent conciliatory words will be put into action at the UN, or if the Holy See will continue to use […]

Catholic Leader Welcomes Pope Francis’ Words on Hot-Button Issues

“We welcome what Pope Francis said today when he called for the Catholic church to be ‘home for all’ and not a ‘small chapel’ focused on doctrine and limited views on moral teachings,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “This message resonates with so many Catholics because it reflects our personal experiences—Catholics are […]

Global Alliance Responds to Challenges from Religious Extremism

Religious extremists impose harsh restrictions on sexual and reproductive rights across the world by advancing policies that deny condoms to those most vulnerable to contracting HIV, restricting access to life-saving medical care and discriminating in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation. In the face of these attacks on human rights, the Global Interfaith […]

Defending Real Religious Liberty for All

“The launch of the US State Department’s Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives indicates that the Obama administration plans to continue bending over backwards to appease some religious voices in the development of public policy,” said Sara Hutchinson, domestic program director at Catholics for Choice, speaking today as part of an expert panel on religious liberty. […]

Statement of Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for A Free Choice, in response to the vote on House Concurrent Resolution 253 about The “See Change” Campaign

In an effort to counter a strong international non-governmental organization campaign calling on the United Nations to review the Non-member State status of the Roman Catholic church at the UN, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) brought to the House floor today a non-binding Congressional Resolution (H. Con. Res. 253) purportedly supporting the Non-member State status of […]

Catholics in Texas are Prochoice

Catholics in Texas expressed their opposition to SB 1 and HB 2, bills that will limit abortion access across the state, leaving only five abortion clinics and banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. An advertisement in the Austin American-Statesman this morning featured statements from some of the many Catholics who have spoken out against the bills […]

New Global Alliance Pledges to Fight Religious Extremism

The Global Interfaith and Secular Alliance (GISA), a new international alliance of religious and secular groups, has pledged to counteract attempts by religious extremists to influence public policy and limit access to reproductive and sexual health services and resources. GISA experts from around the world spoke today before a major UN meeting on human rights […]

Catholic Leader Rejects US Bishops’ Orwellian Interpretation of Religious Freedom

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, rejected the open letter issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its conservative allies about employer coverage of contraception. “If ever we needed proof that the bishops’ agenda had nothing to do with religious freedom, this document proves it. While they pretend to cherish freedom […]

Obama Administration Caves to Ultraconservative Religious Leaders

“The Obama administration has once again listened to the bishops instead of to Catholic voters on a matter that deals with both women’s healthcare and religious freedom,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “Thousands of women will be left without contraceptive coverage as a result of a compromise that the government has made […]

Representative Trent Franks Renews His Attacks on Abortion Rights

Catholics have denounced a new attack on abortion rights after Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) reintroduced a bill to ban later abortions. Modeled after one from his home state that has already been declared unconstitutional, HR 1797 would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Originally directed only at women living in Washington, DC, the Arizona congressman […]

Inter-American Court Rules in Favor of “Beatriz”

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has ruled that a Salvadoran woman known as Beatriz should be granted the abortion that her doctors say she needs to save her life. The country’s Supreme Court denied her access to an abortion on Wednesday. Jacqueline Nolley Echegaray, senior international program associate at Catholics for Choice, said, […]

Catholics Denounce Ruling Denying Life-Saving Abortion to “Beatriz” in El Salvador

Catholics expressed outrage at last night’s decision by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador denying “Beatriz,” a 22-year-old mother suffering from lupus, authorization to undergo the abortion her doctors say she needs to save her life. “This will continue to happen until countries make laws that respect women’s autonomy,” […]

Catholics Counter Irish Bishops’ Antiabortion Campaign

The Irish bishops have made clear their opposition to any changes in the country’s abortion law. It’s also apparent that in taking this position they are in a small minority; the majority of Catholics in Ireland want abortion to be safe, legal and accessible. Rather than trying to convince people with reasoned arguments, the bishops […]

Catholics Condemn Delay in Ruling on Life-Saving Abortion for “Beatriz” in El Salvador

Critically ill woman denied immediate access to care by the country’s Supreme Court Catholics expressed dismay at the unnecessary delay in El Salvador’s Supreme Court ruling on the case involving “Beatriz,” a 22-year-old mother suffering from lupus and kidney failure who sought authorization to undergo the abortion doctors say she needs to save her life. […]

Six Questions for the Kenyan Bishops

Do the Kenyan bishops reject statements in support of condoms by their brother bishops in Africa?  Following the release of a report showing that among all religious people, Catholics are the most supportive of the use of condoms for contraception and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, Mombasa Archbishop Boniface Lele said, “With some counseling—and this is […]

Catholic Leader Disappointed that Kenyan Bishops Chose to Attack Catholics

“It is sad that the Kenya Episcopal Conference chose to attack Catholics today rather than addressing the critical issue raised by the Condoms4Life campaign, one that simply states the truth: We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. We believe in caring for each other. We believe in using condoms,” said Jon O’Brien, president […]

Catholics Condemn Obama Administration’s EC Decision

“The Obama administration’s decision to appeal a federal judge’s order to make emergency contraception (EC) available to women of all ages without a prescription makes absolutely no sense,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “Both the FDA and the courts have agreed that there are no good reasons to restrict access to this […]

Catholic Leader Rejects Ireland’s Band-Aid on Abortion Access

“The Irish government has done what was required of it by a 1992 Irish Supreme Court ruling and a 2010 European Court Human Rights decision, but that does nothing for the vast majority of those Irish women who seek abortions,” said Jon O’Brien, the Irish-born president of Catholics for Choice. “Prime Minister Enda Kenny took […]

Billboard and Newspapers in Nairobi Proclaim that “Good Catholics Use Condoms”

Nairobi, Kenya—The Condoms4Life Campaign today assured Kenyans that Catholics support the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. A billboard in Nairobi and newspaper ads in the Standard (today) and the Daily Nation (on Sunday) show an authentically Catholic message supporting the use of condoms as an HIV prevention method. “The campaign is vital,” said […]

Bishops’ Protest Does Not Speak for Catholics

The New York bishops’ conference, the lobbying arm of the Catholic hierarchy in the state, continues to argue that equal access to a comprehensive range of reproductive health services is not what Catholics want. The bishops have it all wrong. Their protest against abortion rights is a public demonstration about something that is a private […]

Catholic Leader Welcomes Ruling on Access to Emergency Contraception

“Today is an important day in the ongoing battle to ensure that all women have access to the reproductive health services they need,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “The ruling by Federal District Judge Edward Korman that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must remove the age restriction on emergency contraception (EC) […]

Welcome Pope Francis: The Catholic Church Needs a Change in Culture

“We welcome Pope Francis,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, “and look forward to hearing about his priorities in the coming days. We do not expect very many changes, but sincerely hope that the culture will change to better reflect the needs of the church and of Catholics. As Cardinal Bergoglio, he was […]

Catholics Call on the Next Pope to Listen a Little and Learn a Lot

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Magdalena Lopez, director of the international program at Catholics for Choice, spoke about the challenges and opportunities for the next pope, and the hopes of Catholics for our church. She was speaking on the eve of the Vatican Conclave at an event organized by Catholic Organizations for Renewal […]

Catholic Leader Applauds Philadelphia Resolution on Reproductive Healthcare

“The Board of Health’s resolution supporting comprehensive reproductive healthcare is one of the most sensible public policy statements we’ve seen in some time,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, about the Philadelphia Board of Health action Thursday. “Recent public policy proposals have been used to put a stranglehold on reproductive healthcare access, but […]

“We Need a Miracle,” Says Catholic Leader

“It will be nothing short of a miracle if the next papal conclave produces a good leader,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II stacked the College of Cardinals with ultraconservatives. This means that it is highly likely that they will elect somebody very like them. “The […]

What is the Matter with the Bishops?

CFC president Jon O’Brien issued the following response to complaints from the USCCB about the Obama administration’s accommodation over contraceptive coverage. “What is the matter with the bishops? Last week the Obama administration conceded the health and welfare of women to placate the bishops, and yet they’re still railing that they’re somehow offended. The new, […]

Doing “The Right Thing the Wrong Way”

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today about the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services on contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. “Today the Obama Administration did the right thing the wrong way. According to the proposed rule, some women whose employers have a religious […]

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