Press Releases - 2019

President Trump Scores Cheap Political Points at Women’s Expense

Washington, DC – In response to President Trump’s anticipated State of the Union address this evening, Catholics for Choice President Jon O’Brien released the following statement: “President Trump’s attack on women’s basic rights as political payback to religious archconservatives is despicable. This is not a president who found religion—this is a president who has no […]

Catholics for Choice Speaks Out Against Proposed Anti-Abortion Insurance Rules

“As written, the Proposed Rule undermines a woman’s fundamental ability to make the conscience-based decisions that are best for her. It scorns the important Catholic principle of social justice by putting at risk further vulnerable communities – like low-income women, rural communities, and communities of color – which Catholic teaching asks us to prioritize and […]

Global Groups Decry Pope Francis Comment on Abortion

Washington, DC –Catholics for Choice organized a group of 50 abortion providers and advocacy organizations across more than 20 countries to send a joint letter to Pope Francis decrying the Pontiff’s comments that compared providing abortion care to contracting a killer. “Once again Pope Francis has revealed he has a serious blind spot when it […]

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 […]

It’s morally bankrupt to deceive poor women – NIFLA v. Becerra ruling

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5 to 4 vote striking down California’s law requiring health centers to provide comprehensive healthcare information to their patients. Catholics for Choice’s Domestic Program Director, Glenn Northern, issued the following statement: “We are deeply disappointed with today’s ruling. At the heart of our Catholic faith […]

Casey Baker

Argentina’s First Step Towards Justice for Women

Washington, DC – Last night, the Argentinian chamber of deputies voted to liberalize their abortion laws. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said: “We congratulate the Argentinian chamber of deputies and the Argentinian people for taking a historic first step towards justice for women.  For too long, Argentina’s strict abortion law has unfairly punished women, […]

We will stand with all Janes until they have moral agency over their lives.

Washington, DC -Today the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a lower court ruling that allowed a young migrant detained by officials in Texas to seek an abortion, declaring it moot since the young woman already had an abortion. Catholics for Choice director of communications Cynthia Romero issued the following statement: “While Jane Doe’s case may […]

Casey Baker

Catholic Ireland votes yes to abortion

The citizens of Ireland voted to Repeal the 8th Amendment and loosen the country’s draconian abortion law. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice and Dublin native, said: “The yes vote to repeal the 8th was a historic step for Ireland and women’s rights and dignity. As a Dubliner from Drimnagh, I came of age […]

Trump religious conservatives seek to muzzle and bankrupt care for America’s poorest women

Washington, DC – President Trump’s administration announced plans to seek to put in place a domestic “gag rule” restricting family planning facilities receiving federal Title X funds from mentioning abortion. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement in response: “This move is the latest step in a concerted strategy by the […]

Trump Administration Panders to Religious Right at Expense of Everyday Americans

Washington, DC—Today the Trump administration is opening a “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” within the HHS Office of Civil Rights to support healthcare providers with moral objections to abortion care and care for LGBT individuals. Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Vice President of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement in response: “As a Catholic who supports […]

For Immediate Release

Catholics for Choice Statement on Religious Freedom Day

Washington DC—Today on Religious Freedom Day, the Trump administration issued a proclamation once again pandering to the ultraconservative religious right and heralding religious exemptions that allow institutions to discriminate against individuals and deny people care. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement: “Again today, President Trump reaffirmed a view of religious […]

For Immediate Release

Catholics for Choice Hosts Religious Freedom Event at the Newseum

Washington, DC-At a time when religious freedom debates are front and center in Washington, Catholics for Choice will host a major public event on the issue on October 16 at the Newseum. Convened in partnership with the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Center and Spiked magazine, “Church and State: How Separate Should They Be?” will feature thought […]

Trump Administration Hands Win to Bishops at the Expense of Women’s Healthcare

Washington, DC—Today the Trump administration handed a big political win to Catholic bishops and religious ultraconservatives by carving out sweeping exemptions to the birth control requirement in the Affordable Care Act. The decision—which broadens the original exemption for “religious employers”—allows any organization or corporation to deny birth control insurance coverage for religious objections or vaguely […]

Illinois Leads the Way for Women’s Abortion Access

On the heels of the anniversary of the passage of the federal Hyde Amendment, Governor Bruce Rauner took a bold step by announcing he will sign into law House Bill 40, allowing state public funding for abortion and ensuring it remains legal in Illinois. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement. […]

Catholics for Choice launches Second Phase of Abortion in Good Faith ad campaign

This week, Catholics for Choice released the second phase of its multi-year campaign Abortion in Good Faith that lifts up the voices of everyday Catholics nationwide who believe that all women deserve the right to equitable reproductive healthcare, including abortion access —no matter how much money they have, where they live or what they believe. […]

Over a dozen progressive Catholic organizations express disappointment over Bishop Paprocki’s decree

Washington DC— Over a dozen progressive Catholic organizations representing diversity within the Church signed a joint letter to Bishop Thomas Paprocki expressing disappointment over a decree he issued denying communion and funeral rites for same sex spouses. The groups—representing a broad coalition of feminist, LGBTQI and prochoice Catholic voices– called upon the bishop to unite […]

Trump Administration Horse Trades Women’s Health for Religious Special Interests

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Domestic Program Director Catholics for Choice issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s anticipated roll back of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, which expands dramatically the ability of any corporation to seek a moral or religious exemption to deny birth control coverage in their employer insurance. “Make […]

Warning: US Foreign Assistance Can Kill You

Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s directive to US agencies significantly expanding the Global Gag Rule on foreign assistance. “With this action, President Trump continues to provide political payback to antiabortion groups. This action will shut out qualified, experienced aid groups which refuse to toe […]

Catastrophic, Callous and Cruel— GOP Bill Guts Social Justice

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to pass a GOP bill to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act that guts coverage for millions of Americans, defunds Planned Parenthood and reverses Medicaid expansion. Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement: “As Catholics who live by social justice we are compelled to […]

President Trump Takes Steps to Destroy the First Amendment

Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s release of an executive order to grant sweeping exemptions from federal regulations to religious individuals and organizations, including lifting restrictions that prevent tax-exempt houses of worship from engaging in partisan political activity. “This executive action by President Trump is […]

Catholics for Choice Condemns House Minority Leader Pelosi for Remarks on Abortion

Catholics for Choice issued a letter today to US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemning her remarks discarding the importance of prochoice principles to the Democratic Party. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization: “As Catholics, we are dismayed by Minority Leader Pelosi’s out of touch […]

Religious Groups Announce Support for Planned Parenthood

Washington DC— Over 60 faith based organizations across the country signed a letter to Congress reaffirming their support for Planned Parenthood, which was featured in an ad that appeared today in The Washington Times and The Hill. The ad comes on the heels of renewed efforts by the far right to push for defunding Planned […]

On UNFPA Trump is Not Letting Facts Get in the Way of Political Pay Back

The Trump administration’s decision to deny funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will hurt millions of vulnerable women around the world.  The announcement of this decision on the same week as the 50th session of the Commission on Population and Development is a deliberate slap in the face of women as the UN […]

Catholic Leaders across the Nation Reaffirm Support for Planned Parenthood

Today, over 100 Catholic state leaders and legislators from 33 states joined together to reaffirm their support for Planned Parenthood in a two-page spread in Politico.  The House Freedom Caucus and other ultraconservatives in Congress are bent on using any legislation necessary to defund the organization, including possibly holding hostage the continuing resolution to keep […]

Media Advisory: US delegation to CSW includes groups bent on dismantling UN reproductive health institutions

To: Reporters From: Catholics for Choice Date: 15 March 2017 Re: US delegation to CSW includes groups bent on dismantling UN development and reproductive health institutions The Trump administration’s agenda to “deconstruct the administrative state,” as stated by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was made evident to global allies at this week’s sixty-first session […]

“She Decides” Conference: The International Response To Trump’s Global Gag Rule

She Decides is a new global initiative on sexual health and family planning that aims to support the fundamental right of women and girls to decide if, when and with whom they want to have children. The She Decides initiative is in response to President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, better known as […]

Catholics Cannot Support Gorsuch

Statement from Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, on the Gorsuch nomination for SCOTUS: President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court throws American women’s reproductive rights under the bus and puts real religious freedom in jeopardy. Rather than being the candidate some thought would shake up Washington, the president is […]

Catholics Support EACH Woman Act

Today, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) have introduced the EACH Woman Act alongside Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and 100 other members of Congress. This bill ends bans on federal funding for abortion services—like the Hyde Amendment—and ensures that every woman in the United States can access […]

Trump’s America Takes 10 Steps Back, Reinstates Global Gag Rule

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today decrying the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule by President Donald J. Trump. “Today’s decision reinstating the Mexico City Policy, or the Global Gag Rule as it is better known, is a huge step backwards for the United States as a responsible global leader, […]

Is Your Health Care Compromised When You Walk through the Doors of a Catholic Medical Facility? New Report Looks at the Big Business of Catholic Healthcare

More than one in six hospital beds is Catholic-owned or –affiliated, and millions of people rely on Catholic healthcare each day in the U.S. Whether they are seeking routine or life-saving medical care, are their options more limited than would be offered at a secular facility? The newly released report, Is Your Health Care Compromised? […]

Statement by Catholics for Choice on World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, we remember those who have died and the communities around the world that have been devastated by this tragic disease. We also express solidarity with the millions who live with HIV and our support for the services and care they need. Children are orphaned, economies are weakened and poverty increases as […]

Statement from Jon O’Brien About Pope Francis Extending Permission on Abortion Forgiveness

Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien issued the following statement reacting to Pope Francis extending permission on abortion forgiveness: As a Catholic, I welcome today’s announcement from Pope Francis who again has taken a much more pastoral, rather than political, approach to abortion – one of the most contentious issues in the Catholic Church. He […]

New Poll: Catholic Voters Favor Clinton for President

As the two Catholic candidates for vice president prepare to face off in a debate on Tuesday at Longwood University, a new poll of likely Catholic voters shows that Clinton leads Trump. The poll also shows that Catholics do not toe the hierarchy’s line on abortion, healthcare and religious refusals. Since 1972, the Catholic vote […]

Statement from Jon O’Brien in Response to Cardinal Dolan’s Statement about Abortion in Good Faith Campaign

Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien issued the following statement reacting to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s criticism of the Abortion in Good Faith campaign: It should come as no surprise that Cardinal Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, does not like the Abortion in Good Faith Campaign that Catholics […]

New Campaign: Catholics Support Public Funding for Abortion in Good Faith

Today, Catholics for Choice launched Abortion in Good Faith, a multi-year campaign dedicated to amplifying the voices of Catholics across the country who want abortion to be accessible and affordable for everyone—no matter how much money they have, where they live or what they believe. This first phase of the campaign includes ads featuring Catholics […]

Memo: The Democratic National Convention and Democrats For Life of America

To: Reporters From: Catholics for Choice Date: 21 July 2016 Re: The Democratic National Convention and Democrats For Life of America Language in the 2016 draft Democratic Party platform strongly affirms a woman’s right to access abortion and calls for an end to the Hyde Amendment. Like the Democratic Party faithful, the vast majority of […]

Catholic Groups Call on US Bishops to Build ‘A Church for Our Daughters’

Huntington Beach, CA…“A Church for Our Daughters,” a grassroots movement organized by 30 Catholic-rooted organizations, gathered outside of the US bishops’ June meeting to present “A Declaration for Our Daughters,” calling for church leaders to strike down every oppressive practice, teaching and law that assigns women and girls to a subordinate status. With more than […]

New Broad-Based Alliance Launched to Protect and Defend Universal Human Rights in Europe

Today a new alliance of organizations dedicated to building support for choice and dignity for all in Europe was launched at the European Parliament. High Ground: The Alliance for Choice and Dignity in Europe was formed to work toward a European legal and political landscape which secures and enables the full realization of human, sexual […]

Catholics Agree: Real Religious Liberty Means Do No Harm

Washington, DC — Catholics for Choice joined some 40 organizations voicing their support for the Do No Harm Act, announced today by Representatives Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA). The Do No Harm Act would amend the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to protect the religious, civil and conscience-based rights of […]

Statement by Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice, on Zubik v. Burwell Decision

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Zubik v. Burwell. It is extremely disappointing that the Court has chosen not to side with the conscience-based decision making of workers. They have punted the decision to lower courts. The blame for the current impasse can be laid […]

On May Day, Catholics Rally in Support of Polish Women’s Abortion Rights

Today, American Catholics and other reproductive rights activists are rallying against a proposed total ban on abortion at the Polish embassy in Washington, DC. Poland has been rocked by protests since Prime Minister Beata Szydło, backed by the nation’s powerful Catholic hierarchy, indicated she would support the ban. The leader of Szydło’s far-right ruling Law […]

Catholics Welcome Support for Planned Parenthood

Catholics for Choice applauds the recent guidelines issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which clarify current law that prohibits states from excluding qualified healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood from participating in the Medicaid program. Recent months have shown us how antichoice zealots have been willing to contort laws to achieve their end […]

No One Is Practicing What the Catholic Hierarchy Preaches

The release of Pope Francis’ “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) today speaks to Catholicism’s greatest secret: there is an immense chasm between church policy and what everyday Catholics practice. The law says one thing, but Catholics the world over behave according to their conscience. In his nine-chapter, approximately 250-page document that spans subjects from […]

Catholics Urge SCOTUS: Protect True Religious Liberty and Birth Control Access

Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, the latest case to challenge the implementation of the no-cost birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Catholic hierarchy has been a major player in challenging this employee benefit, and it has been leading the charge in Zubik. “The Catholic bishops would […]

Pope Francis Offers Little to Those Facing Zika Crisis: His Business-as-Usual Approach Displays a Blind Spot on Women

Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement in response to Pope Francis’ recent comments about abortion and contraception on the papal plane back from Mexico: “For the Global North, Francis’ comments about abortion being ‘absolute evil’ are profoundly disappointing and wrong. For the Global South, the pope’s remarks are devastating […]

Catholics for Choice Beats Censorship in Nicaragua

La Prensa, a newspaper in Nicaragua, refused to publish an advertisement that had been booked to run during the papal visit to Mexico unless all references to abortion were deleted. The open letter was sponsored by Catholics for Choice and Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Nicaragua as part of a campaign asking Pope Francis […]

What Catholics Are Saying About Planned Parenthood on Valentine’s Day

Today, legislators and Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States received an anthology of letters from Catholics in 39 states expressing their appreciation for the services Planned Parenthood provides.  Read the book.                               “At Catholics for Choice, we’re painfully aware that […]

Catholic State Leaders Stand with Planned Parenthood

Today, more than 90 Catholic state leaders and legislators from 31 states joined together in a two-page spread in Politico, vowing to stand with Planned Parenthood. Factions in Congress continue to try to defund the organization during the ongoing battles on spending bills. This month, conservative extremist groups are again threatening to hold government funding […]

Fighting AIDS under Francis?

Francis has become a symbol of fresh air in the institutional Catholic church. He’s been lauded in the media as a progressive pope, an environmentalist—on his recent trip to Africa, he was nicknamed the Pope of Hope. But has his more pastoral tone made any substantive change within the church? Are the Catholic bishops following […]

New Poll: What Do Millennials in the Time of Francis Believe?

When Pope Francis visits the United States this fall, he will no doubt be surrounded by young Catholics. But new polling of Catholic Millennials released today in Conscience magazine shows that while they have positive views of Pope Francis, they express beliefs that stand in stark contrast to the Catholic hierarchy on everything from abortion to […]

Catholic State Leaders Urge Congress to Take a Stand on Planned Parenthood

Today, over 60 Catholic state leaders and legislators from 25 states banded together in a full-page back-cover ad in the Washington Post urging Congress to preserve federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The statement draws on Catholic social justice and tells representatives in Congress that defunding Planned Parenthood would give the least among us even less. […]

What Will Pope Francis Say at the UN?

Tomorrow, Pope Francis will address the General Assembly of the United Nations. Will he arrive with a pastoral message or a political one? Will he talk about his general concerns from a humanitarian point of view by addressing immigration, peace, poverty? Could this be an opportunity to lead by example, to show that he has […]

Pope Francis’ Remarks at the White House: A Possible Preview of His Message to Congress?

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, reflects on Pope Francis’ address at the White House: It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that it appears Pope Francis may have felt forced to throw a bone to the lobbying agenda of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Referencing the bogus “religious liberty” campaign by the […]

Francis’ Statement on Abortion and What Catholic Women Really Want

Once again, Pope Francis practices what he preaches in his statement today about women and abortion. Francis has announced that priests have the discretion to formally forgive women who have had abortions and seek absolution during the Roman Catholic church’s upcoming Holy Year. Francis has a far more pastoral, not political, approach to abortion—one of […]

Catholics Show Sweet Support for Planned Parenthood

Women’s health clinics across the country will again be harassed by the antichoice movement this weekend. In response, Catholics organized to remind clinic staff that we stand with Planned Parenthood and support the important work they do. Today, Catholics for Choice delivered cakes and messages of goodwill to women’s clinics on behalf of Catholic supporters, […]

Another Effort to Get Obama to Do the Right Thing on Helms

Today, 81 members of Congress released a letter calling on President Obama to take action on his administration’s continued harsh interpretation of the Helms Amendment, which effectively eliminates access to safe and legal abortion for many women around the world. Led by Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), the letter asked […]

In Advance of Obama Visit, Kenyan Government Agents Tear Down Billboard

In response to President Obama’s visit to Kenya next week, we were informed that agents of the Kenyan government tore down—without explanation—a billboard we had placed legally on Chiromo Road. The billboard was sponsored by the international organization Catholics for Choice in partnership with Reproductive Health Services Kenya. Both groups were greatly concerned about the […]

More Employers Now Allowed to Deny Benefits

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement: “The government issued the final regulation today responding to the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision regarding contraceptive coverage for employees who work at for-profit companies that object to the coverage on religious grounds. The administration claims this rule will ensure that all women will […]

Catholics Herald Bill to End Harsh Hyde Amendment

Today Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky and Diana DeGette led more than 70 cosponsors to introduce the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Woman Act) that would ensure that every woman in the United States can have access to health coverage for abortion services, no matter where she lives, how she […]

New Campaign Calls Out Bishops for their Crusade to Discriminate

Catholics for Choice will launch a campaign on the front cover wraparound of the Washington Post Express that points a finger at Catholic bishops for discriminating against people in DC—and throughout the country. The ad will reach 316,000 commuters in the DC metro area. “The truth is that the bishops want to take taxpayer money […]

Catholics to House of Representatives: Don’t Legislate For Discrimination

Today, a subcommittee of the House of Representatives will debate the FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill, an annual funding bill for labor and health programs throughout the federal government. If the current bill moves forward, the regular business of our federal government will once again be distorted to serve […]

Catholics to US Senators: Do Not Support Harsh Abortion Ban

Tomorrow, Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to introduce a harsh ban on abortion—based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science—that would put women’s health and rights at risk. It’s so extreme that back in January, when a similar bill was presented in the House of Representatives, the women of the Republican Party told House leaders that […]

Faith Leaders to President Obama: Take Executive Action Now on Helms

Today Catholics for Choice joins a diverse coalition of faith-based and other advocacy organizations from around the country, as well as a rape survivor from Kenya, to urge President Obama to take immediate action to end the implementation of the harsh Helms Amendment. During a press conference at St. John’s Church near the White House, […]

Cruel Bill Plays Politics with Women’s Health and Lives: Why Catholics Reject 20-Week Ban

After a failed attempt in January, Congress is at it again—representatives scheduled a vote on HR 36, a bill that would ban abortion across the country after 20 weeks. “This cruel bill, which is based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science, would put women’s health and rights at risk, particularly poor and marginalized women,” […]

Stop Abusing Religion to Discriminate Against DC Workers

Tonight there is a critical vote. Congress will vote on the DC Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), a bill unanimously passed by DC City Council that would protect the conscience rights of those living and working in the District. If RHNDA is overturned, employees in the District could be fired or face other retribution for […]

Catholics to Congress: Respect the Conscience Rights of DC Residents

Today, Catholics for Choice spoke out for the conscience rights of DC residents at an event with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, representative for the District of Columbia. The Catholic bishops are trying to bully the District’s elected representatives by urging Congress to block DC’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. This blatantly disregards the will of the […]

Faith Organizations Urge President Obama to End Helms Amendment

Today, Catholics for Choice joined 30 other faith-based organizations in a letter to President Obama, urging him to take immediate action and end the implementation of the harsh Helms Amendment that all but eliminates access to safe and legal abortion for many. “Helms hurts the most vulnerable people first and worst, denying them the right […]

Catholics Urge Congress to Protect the Conscience Rights of DC Residents

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ demand that Congress should oppose the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act and Human Rights Amendment Act flies in the face of our Catholic values. “Catholics believe that religious liberty rights belong in the hands of individuals, not institutions,” said Glenn Northern, domestic program senior associate. “We […]

Catholics Call on Pope Francis to Open Crèche at the Vatican

Today, in light of Pope Francis’ comments that he believes “not having children is a selfish choice,” Catholics for Choice suggests that the pope, cardinals, bishops and priests that make up the citizens of Vatican City consider opening and running childcare facilities for the women in the world to give the hierarchy some hands-on experience. […]

Extremism Defeats HR 36 on Eve of Antichoice Roe v. Wade March

Last night, the women of the Republican Party told the leadership of the US House of Representatives that a 20-week ban on abortion was too extreme. HR 36 was based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science that would impose a dangerous limitation on abortion, putting women’s health and rights at risk. It was too […]

Catholics to Pope Francis: We’re Not Rabbits

“Pope Francis’s comments yesterday disparaging Catholic men and women for ‘breeding like rabbits’ are particularly troubling because of the Catholic hierarchy’s continued global war on birth control and reproductive choice,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “Pope Francis needs to confess the sin he is guilty of—along with his brother bishops in the […]

Why Religious Exemptions Hurt—and Why Catholics Oppose Them

“The bishops’ demands that the government allow them to discriminate against people who hold different religious beliefs about marriage, family life and health care are in stark contrast with Catholic values, and with what most Catholics in the US believe,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke of DignityUSA at a briefing on Capitol Hill convened by Catholics for Choice. […]

Catholics Unite to Defeat Colorado Personhood Ballot Measure

Catholics in Colorado joined their neighbors, friends and family in defeating a ballot measure that would have banned abortion in all circumstances and limited access to contraception and other reproductive health services in the state. These everyday Colorado Catholics spoke out in the weeks leading up to the defeat of Amendment 67 by a 2-to-1 […]

Catholics in Colorado: The Bishops Don’t Speak for Us

Colorado Catholics are speaking out against a harsh ballot measure that would ban abortion in all circumstances and limit contraception and other reproductive health services in the state. The truth is, the vast majority of Catholics believe that abortion should be legal and that women must have access to the reproductive healthcare they need without interference […]

Administration’s Fix is a Farce

The Obama administration has issued two new rules to fix alleged problems related to the contraceptive coverage benefit in the Affordable Care Act. The first, in response to the recent Supreme Court decision on cases brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, proposes a rule to expand to some for-profit corporations the existing accommodation […]

Supreme Court Hands Reins to Religious Extremists

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a devastating blow to real religious liberty in America,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “The claim that institutions or corporations have a conscience or religious liberty is disingenuous and offensive. Conscience and religious liberty rights belong properly to individuals. The majority of Catholics use and […]

New Video: Hobby Lobby Case Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

All eyes are on the Supreme Court, as the imminent decision in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases could alter the definition of religious freedom as Americans know it. But these cases are the just tip of the iceberg, part of a long line of complaints brought by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops […]

Catholics Speak Up for Consciences of DC Workers

Today Catholics for Choice presented testimony supporting the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014—a bill that would ensure all workers in the city are able to make their own reproductive health decisions without fear of retribution from their employers. This bill would guarantee that no matter what happens at a national […]

Catholic Leader Calls out False Dichotomy in Abortion Polling

“The latest Gallup polling on abortion portrays a false dichotomy between ‘prochoice’ and ‘prolife,’” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “How people describe their instinctive reaction to the prochoice vs. prolife binary is very different to how they react when they or a loved one is facing an unintended or problem pregnancy. That’s […]

People Power in Philippines: Reproductive Health Law Upheld

After more than a decade languishing in Congress and another year in the courts, the Philippines’ Reproductive Health Law (RH Law) was declared largely constitutional by the Supreme Court earlier today. The RH Law will provide millions of women in the country with improved access to the reproductive healthcare they need, including contraception. “Today, conscience […]

Catholics Lift Up Voices of Faith in Dallas for Reproductive Rights of Texas Women

Today, Catholics for Choice co-sponsors an event in Dallas that will celebrate voices of faith, and remember their important role in the fight for choice in Texas—and the country. “Again in Texas” will honor members of the original Women’s Alliance at Dallas First Unitarian Church who quietly sparked the movement for access to legal abortion, […]

President Obama, Consider This When You Meet Pope Francis

When President Obama visits Pope Francis Thursday at the Vatican, he will find an open letter in the International New York Times from Catholics for Choice calling for the president to heed these words of wisdom from John F. Kennedy: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic […]

More than 40 Coalition for Liberty & Justice Member Organizations Urge Supreme Court to Reject Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage

As the Supreme Court begins to hear arguments from Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., 44 members of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice, a broad alliance of faith-based, secular and other national organizations, endorsed the statement below in support of real religious liberty for all. If you would like to contact any of the […]

Catholics Blast Bogus Claims of Religious Liberty in Washington Post Ad and at Faith Rally

As the Supreme Court hears arguments from Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. about the contraceptive coverage benefit in the Affordable Care Act, a full-page advertisement in tomorrow’s Washington Post takes on the arguments of those who seek to impose their religious views on everybody else. Asking the all-important question: “What’s happening to the separation of […]

Pope Francis at Year One: More Pastoral, Less Political

“When the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics look at our church after a year with Pope Francis, it feels different than the church of Pope Benedict XVI or Pope John Paul II,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “In just one year and through simple words and gestures, Pope Francis has changed the church’s […]

Time for Pope Francis to Bring Back Authentic Catholic Teachings

“Pope Francis has an opportunity this week to put real action behind his words by creating a Catholic church that is ‘home for all’ and not a ‘small chapel’ obsessed with sex and political power,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “It’s a chance for renewal and reform within the church. “As 150 […]

More Proof that Catholics Oppose Vatican Dictates on Sexual and Reproductive Issues

The results of an international survey by Univision show that large majorities of Catholics around the world support the use of contraception and access to abortion care. “The world now knows what Catholics have known for a long time—we reject the Vatican’s dictates on sex, family life and reproductive issues,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for […]

Stop Playing Politics with Religious Liberty

Today Catholics for Choice and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), co-conveners of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice, participate in a day-long forum on religious freedom with leading experts in women’s rights, LGBT rights, religion and constitutional scholarship. Twenty-one experts will lead discussions on the impact that recent attacks on religious liberty will […]

Pope Francis: Act Now on Child Abuse

“During their hearing in front of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Vatican officials insisted that priests who sexually abused children were the responsibility of local bishops, not the pope or the Vatican,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “If the pope is serious about turning the page on […]

Catholics Urge Congress to Oppose the Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

For Immediate Release “Today, the House of Representatives will likely vote on HR 7, a bill designed to prevent women from accessing insurance coverage for abortion in both private and public health insurance plans,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “This act is an unconscionable attack on access to abortion services—especially for poor […]

Catholic Organizations: Supreme Court Should Protect Real Religious Freedom

Today, Catholics for Choice and 29 other faith-based organizations filed an amicus brief in two contraceptive coverage cases pending before the Supreme Court: Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius and Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius. Drafted by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the brief is signed by faith-based organizations committed to real […]

Catholics Oppose Harsh Congressional Bill Against Abortion Rights

This morning, the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice marked up an antiabortion bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). HR 7, the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” would expand existing federal policy banning federal funding for abortion to include any funding, subsidy or […]

Archdiocese of Washington’s Lawsuit Not Reflective of Catholic Opinion

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has joined other Catholic organizations and requested that the Supreme Court hear its case and block the Obama administration’s contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said that in filing the suit, “the archbishop is not representing the views of the […]

Catholics Oppose Latest Congressional Attack on Abortion Rights

This morning, the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing on a vehemently antiabortion bill. Introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), HR 7, misleadingly named the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” expands current federal policy banning any federal funding for abortion to […]

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 […]

Catholics Frustrated with Obama Administration’s Continued Support for Abortion Restrictions

“Under the president’s budget for FY 2014, more than nine million women—women who are young, poor or disabled, as well as women serving our country in the military, the Peace Corps, the civil service and many others—will be denied coverage for abortion,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “In the budget, President Obama […]

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 […]

Inter-American Court Approves Access to IVF in Costa Rica

Today, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a final ruling in favor of the right to access in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Costa Rica. This is a win for women and Catholics and a blow to the bishops and conservatives who want to deny individuals the right to decide whether and when to have […]

Corte Interamericana avala el acceso a la fecundación in vitro en Costa Rica

La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos publicó hoy una sentencia definitiva a favor del derecho de acceso a la fecundación in vitro (FIV) en Costa Rica. Se trata de una victoria para las mujeres y para las personas católicas, así como un revés para los obispos y conservadores que pretenden negarle a cada persona el […]

New Investigative Report Exposes Group’s Efforts to Restrict Academic Freedom on Catholic Campus

WASHINGTON, DC — A new report from Catholics for Choice unravels the ultraconservative agenda of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), a self-appointed “watchdog” of Catholic higher education. The organization is notorious for inventing “scandals” on Catholics college campuses in order to marginalize those who legitimately dissent from some church teachings. In-depth research illustrates the society’s systematic efforts […]

Catholics Applaud Final Passage of Reproductive Health Law

Today in the Philippines the Reproductive Health Bill (known as the RH Bill) cleared its final hurdle when it was passed by the Senate 13-8 on its second and third reading. The bill will give millions of women the right to access contraception, which was, in many cases, out of their reach. Reproductive health has […]

Catholics Herald Passage of Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines

The Philippines House of Representatives has voted to pass the Reproductive Health Bill (commonly known as the RH Bill), which will give millions of women access to contraception that was, in many cases, out of their reach. Despite widespread support for the move, and the fact that almost a third of Filipino women have an […]

Catholic Group Calls on Obama Administration to Do the Right Thing on HIV Prevention

Calls for condom provision and access to family planning to support ongoing prevention efforts Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today: “This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will release ‘PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation’—the Obama administration’s plan for combating HIV & AIDS. For the plan to be effective, […]

“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics”

Catholics for Choice Releases Film Setting the Record Straight on Catholic Teaching WASHINGTON, DC — “The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics,” a new documentary-style film produced by Catholics for Choice, sets the record straight about Catholic social teaching on issues related to sex and sexuality. In the wake of a bruising campaign season, during which Catholic […]

Bishops’ Meeting Needs to Reflect on Cost of Failed Campaign

BALTIMORE, MD—As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathers today, Catholics for Choice called on the bishops to engage in a serious examination of conscience as they reflect on their divisive political activities this year and the millions of dollars they spent trying to influence elections. “The bishops had a miserable return on […]

Bishops’ Ballot Measures Fail

Voters in five states sent down in flames attempts to legislate preposterous restrictions on reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and religious liberty—measures for which the Catholic bishops had campaigned heavily and spent mightily. These victories in Florida, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington provide important insight into the “Catholic vote.” Meghan Smith, the domestic program associate at […]

Catholic Leader to Obama: We Still Hope for Change

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, made the following statement today: “Catholics for Choice congratulates Barack Obama on winning a second term as president of the United States. We look forward to working with his administration for another four years. During the campaign we heard the president reassert his commitment to women’s reproductive health. […]

Catholics for Choice Mobilizes Florida Catholics against Amendments 6 & 8

Catholics across the state of Florida have taken action to oppose two proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution: Amendments 6 and 8 appear on the November 6 ballot. If passed, Amendment 8 would gut the separation of church and state in Florida’s constitution, give a free pass for religious organizations to discriminate and create a […]

New Poll: Americans Oppose Using Religion to Deny Reproductive Health Services

A new poll, jointly commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union and Catholics for Choice, shows that Americans reject policies that allow institutions to refuse to provide reproductive health services on religious grounds. When asked about the general concept of such exemptions and about specific examples, large majorities of those polled opposed the denial of […]

Abortion in the Vice-Presidential Debate: Catholics Are Still More Concerned about the Economy

Last night’s vice-presidential debate concluded with a brief, five-minute discussion about abortion and religion. Both candidates expressed their party’s position, their own personal perspective and how it related to their Catholic faith. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, responded: “The candidates are right that women and men do consider their faith when they are […]

Catholic Voters Reject Political Influence of Bishops

New Poll Reveals How Catholics View Key Election Issues As the two Catholic candidates for vice president prepare to face each other in a debate tonight, a new poll of 1,000 self-identified Catholic likely votersshows that, despite the best efforts of the bishops, they are least concerned about abortion and gay marriage. Catholic voters are most […]

Líder católico acoge con agrado la decisión con respecto al aborto en Uruguay

Jon O’Brien Presidente de Catholics for Choice acoge con agrado la aprobación por la Cámara de Diputados de Uruguay de un proyecto de ley que despenaliza el aborto. “Lamentablemente durante muchos años la jerarquía católica a influido negativamente en políticas públicas de salud reproductiva en Uruguay tanto como en otros país de América Latina. Como […]

Catholic Leader Welcomes Abortion Decision in Uruguay

Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, welcomed the vote in the Uruguay to legalize abortion. He said, “For far too long, the Catholic hierarchy has negatively influenced reproductive health policies in Uruguay and other countries in Latin America, forcing women to resort to illegal, often unsafe backstreet abortions. It is heartening that both […]

Progressive Advocacy Groups Call on Democrats to Defend Individual Religious Freedom

Charlotte, NC— During the Democratic National Convention a unique gathering of progressive advocacy groups came together in Charlotte with a message for the Democratic National Committee. They called upon the committee to stand up for people of faith and no faith and not allow conservative politicians and religious leaders to redefine the meaning of religious liberty. […]

Faith and Freedom Groups Call for Inclusivity in GOP Platform

New Polling Data Released on Republicans and Choice Tampa, FL—A unique gathering of advocacy groups came together in Tampa to urge the Republican Party Committee on Resolutions (the platform committee) to consider all faith viewpoints when it comes the country’s most pressing social issues—including access to reproductive healthcare and the freedom to marry. In response […]

Colorado Ruling Endangers Women’s Health

Catholics Demand Respect for Employees’ Consciences A Federal District Court in Colorado ruled today that a private air-conditioning manufacturer can discriminate against its employees and refuse to cover contraception as required by the Affordable Care Act. Catholics for Choice is dismayed by the injunction in favor of Hercules Industries, a for-profit, private, heating and air […]

Catholics Call for an End to Second-Class HIV-Prevention Programs

Why not provide condoms? “The XIX International AIDS conference this week in Washington, DC, has highlighted the involvement of faith-based organizations in providing AIDS care around the world,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “Catholic people and organizations have been on the front lines of providing care and treatment for many years—and the […]

Catholics Pleased with Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act

Catholics for Choice is pleased that the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. We are also aware, however, that the battle to ensure that individuals can make conscience-based decisions about their healthcare is not over. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has made clear that it will stop at nothing […]

Catholics Reject the Bishops’ Fortnight for Discrimination: It’s Not about Freedom

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is kicking off its so-called Fortnight for Freedom this evening. Fortnight for Discrimination would be a better name for it. The bishops seem to be most concerned about their own power to discriminate against others’ freedom to act according to their conscience. Catholics and other believers in true […]

Catholics Tell HHS: We Support Contraceptive Coverage

Thousands Reject Bishops’ Claims and Demand Equal Treatment for All Thousands of Catholics from across the country spoke out this week, making clear their support for coverage of contraception at no additional cost in insurance plans, and showing without a doubt that the bishops do not speak for them on issues of family planning or […]

Catholics Reject Bishops’ Attempts to Redefine Religious Freedom

As Bishop Lori and his colleagues discussed alleged threats to religious freedom at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Catholics in the US shrugged and went about their daily business of putting food on the table and keeping their families healthy and happy,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics […]

An Unconscionable Attack on the Abortion Rights of Women in Washington, DC

“The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution has launched an unconscionable attack on the right of women in the District of Columbia to access late abortion services,” said Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice. “The hearing today on the misleadingly-titled “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is simply another means for […]

Kansas Governor Signs Law that Ignores Women’s Needs; Attacks Individuals’ Conscience Rights

“The ‘Health Care Right of Conscience Act,’ signed yesterday by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, will impose outrageous restraints on women seeking healthcare services,” said CFC president Jon O’Brien in a statement today. “In addition, it uses fake science in equating emergency contraception to drugs like RU-486—despite the best efforts of antichoice activists, the scientific consensus […]

Bishops Seek to Redefine Religious Liberty

The latest salvo from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) marks a new battle line in their campaign to deny religious freedom to all Americans. Published today, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” a document outlining the bishops’ campaign, was developed by the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. Jon O’Brien, president of […]

Supporters of the Blunt Amendment “are on the wrong side of history,” says Catholic leader

By a vote of 51-48 this morning, US Senators blocked an amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have allowed any employer or insurance company to override an individual employee’s right to access comprehensive healthcare and therefore to make healthcare decisions based on their own beliefs. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, […]

Insensibles comentarios del Papa con respeto a la infertilidad demuestran una falta de entendimiento de la realidad de la comunidad católica

En una conferencia sobre la infertilidad convocada por el Vaticano la semana pasada, el Papa Benedicto XVI arremetió contra las técnicas de reproducción asistida como la fecundación in vitro. Hablando en el Vaticano ante una audiencia de investigadores y médicos conservadores, el Papa advirtió contra “las ganancias fáciles” que se podrían lograr gracias a la […]

Pope’s Comments on Infertility Shockingly Insensitive and Out of Touch with the Catholic Community

At a Vatican conference on infertility last week, Pope Benedict XVI railed against reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization. Speaking in the Vatican to an audience of conservative researchers and medical experts, the pope warned against the “easy income” that could be made from the “fascination of the technology of artificial fertility.” Both scientists and […]

Hearing on Religion and Freedom of Conscience Was “Misleading, Unbalanced and Inaccurate.”

Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing titled, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” The title of the hearing was clearly a leading question, and the fact that no witnesses who might have rebutted the assertion were […]

More than Twenty Religious Leaders Issue Statement in Support of Current Policy on Contraceptive Coverage in Healthcare Reform

This morning, leaders of more than twenty mainstream religious traditions issued an open letter to the White House, supporting the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that contraceptive services must be covered by most insurance policies without deductibles or copays, with only religious organizations to be considered exempt. Jon O’Brien, one of […]

The Bishops’ Lobby Shouts, “Jump”; Senator, Opinion Writers Ask, “How High?”

The campaign by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops against alleged religious intolerance should be seen today for the shell that it really is. In a nation where the largest single religious denomination in Congress is Catholicism; where six of the nine Supreme Court justices and more than a quarter of the population were […]

President Obama Finally Does the Right Thing for Women

President Obama listened to all of the women and men who called, e-mailed and wrote to the White House to express their support for family planning decisions staying in the hands of women. In so doing, he remained true to the original vision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and refused to bend the knee […]

Bishops Continue to Lobby on Healthcare Reform

Use Healthcare Industry to Put Pressure on Obama Administration The never-ending efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to force US law to comply with the bishops’ interpretation of Catholic teachings continue. The USCCB has rounded up its colleagues in the Catholic healthcare industry and allies in Catholic education, social services, NGOs […]

Hearing on Capitol Hill Examines Federal Grant-making Standards for Programs Serving Human Trafficking Victims

Bishops Demand Conscience Protections for Themselves; Ignore the Consciences of Those Trafficked Catholics for Choice provided testimony supporting human trafficking victims’ access to reproductive healthcare to a hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today. We are pleased that the hearing, called “HHS and the Catholic Church: Examining the Politicization of Grants,” is […]

Congressional Briefing Reveals the Real Story behind Attempts to Expand Refusal Clauses in Healthcare Delivery

Members of Congress and their staff will this afternoon hear from a diverse group of faith-based organizations about what is really at stake in the battle over refusal or conscience clauses in healthcare delivery. Religiously affiliated businesses are increasingly seeking to restrict their employees’ access to reproductive healthcare services, regardless of their employees’ beliefs or […]

President Obama, Don’t Turn Your Back on Women

In an open letter to President Obama published on today’s New York Times op-ed page, Catholics for Choice called on President Obama to stand up for what women and men want and ensure that family planning is included on the list of essential preventive services under the Affordable Care Act. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops […]

Pope’s Statement on AIDS in Africa Tells Part of the Story

Catholic Leader Agrees with Pope on Importance of Ethics, Disagrees on Priorities Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement this morning after the pope spoke about preventing the spread of HIV in Africa. “When Pope Benedict XVI raised the issue of AIDS prevention on his trip to Benin, he told […]

Catholics Praise Gov. Quinn’s Leadership, Reject Bishops’ Condemnation

SPRINGFIELD—Following an unprovoked attack from the Catholic Conference of Illinois on Governor Pat Quinn, Catholics for Choice has written to the governor expressing their support for his actions and thanking him for standing up to the local bishops. Last week, the bishops of Illinois issued a statement condemning Governor Quinn for his plans to present […]

Catholics for Choice Urges Congress to Protect Every Person’s Conscience

CFC President Jon O’Brien Testifies in Hearing on Access to Healthcare Today, Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien was invited to testify before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. The chairman of the Subcommittee, Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), called the hearing to address the question, “Do New Health […]

Mientras que los legisladores consideran incorporar cambios en la ley del aborto, Una nueva encuesta demuestra que los argentinos respaldan el acceso al aborto y rechazan la influencia de los obispos católicos

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Mientras que una comisión parlamentaria en la Argentina se prepara para debatir la liberalización de la ley del aborto en una audiencia que se realizará el 1 de noviembre, una nueva encuesta divulgada hoy revela que la mayoría de los argentinos está a favor de los componentes de los intentos legislativos […]

As Legislators Consider Changes to the Abortion Law, New Poll Proves Argentineans Support Access to Abortion and Reject the Influence of Catholic Bishops

Buenos Aires, Argentina – As a parliamentary committee in Argentina prepares to discuss liberalizing the abortion law at a hearing on November 1, a new poll released today reveals that most Argentineans are in favor of the components of legislative attempts to reform the abortion law. Currently, while abortion is legal in a few circumstances, […]

Congressional Hearing on Religious Liberty Misled by Bishop’s Testimony

A Congressional Subcommittee hearing today on the state of religious liberty in the US heard from Bishop William Lori, the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, who gave testimony on behalf of the bishops’ conference. The bishop’s testimony intimated that some Catholic teachings on religious liberty […]

Bishops Lobby Congress to Codify Their Beliefs into Law; Majority of Catholics Oppose Bill

Washington—Catholics today expressed anger about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ role in promoting support for the so-called “Protect Life Act” (HR 358), a bill that will endanger women’s lives across the US with an extreme ban on abortion coverage while expanding permission for health professionals to refuse to provide reproductive healthcare services, even […]

Decision Time at Health and Human Services

Will the Obama Administration Stand up for Workers or Cave into the Demands of the Catholic Bishops? Today the public comment period for the Department of Health and Human Service’s regulations on coverage for preventive health services comes to a close. Catholics for Choice has spearheaded advocacy from a broad spectrum of voices for those […]

Catholics Support Insurance Coverage for Family Planning

The president of Notre Dame, Rev. John Jenkins, has written to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling for the refusal clause in the HHS guidelines on contraception to be widened even further to include institutions “inspired by faith.” He complains that the refusal clause included in the guidelines […]

Catholic Politicians and Theologians Speak Out against Bishops

Open Letters to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Appear as Ads in Political Newspapers Two open letters—one from Catholic theologians and another from Catholic politicians—have been submitted to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, asking that she resist pressure from Catholic bishops and cover all women under the proposed regulations […]

Catholic Organizations Expose What the Bishops Won’t Tell You about Family Planning

Open Letter Asks HHS Secretary Sebelius to Stand up for Workers’ Rights In an open letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Catholics for Choice, along with 15 other Catholic organizations, urged Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to uphold access to family planning by rejecting the proposed refusal clause in regulations for coverage of […]

Social Justice Leaders Question Obama’s Commitment to Upholding Nondiscrimination Laws

Following recent comments regarding the Obama administration’s commitment to upholding nondiscrimination laws in the work place, Catholics for Choice joined 55 other religious, civil rights, labor and health organizations and delivered a letter to President Obama demanding a clarification of his stance. At a town hall meeting on July 22 in College Park, MD, the […]

Catholic Leader Gives Statement on Rejected Abortion Bill in Polish Parliament

The following statement may be attributed to Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. Today Poland dodged the bullet of a draconian abortion law that would have dragged Polish women even further into the dark ages. The bill was rejected by 191 parliamentarians to 186 who voted for the ban. Sadly, it is likely that the proposal […]

Censored Condoms4Life Campaign Is Beamed Around the World

Campaign’s Night Projections Target Censors during Catholic World Youth Day This week, The Condoms4Life Campaign brought the message that good Catholics use condoms and condoms save lives to the pilgrims of World Youth Day and the people of Madrid. Despite attempts by the local authorities to ban our ads, hundreds of thousands of people saw […]

Pope Arrives in Spain Amid Censorship Controversy

International Youth Coalition Seconds Archbishop’s Affirmation of Freedom of Expression The World Youth Day 4 All coalition welcomed the remarks from Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez of Toledo, Spain, who pointed out that the Catholic World Youth Day celebration is taking place in a country where freedom of expression is protected. “Spain’s openness to freedom of expression […]

International Youth Coalition Backs Pope on Condoms at Catholic World Youth Day – Warns that Vatican Conservatives Want to Turn Back Clock

Léalo en español MADRID, SPAIN—Catholic World Youth Day has drawn an unusual coalition of activists to Madrid this year—young people who are thanking the pope for recognizing that condom use saves lives by preventing the transmission of HIV. The World Youth Day 4 All coalition is a global initiative led, organized and staffed by young […]

Catholic Leader Condemns Expansive Refusal Clause in HHS Ruling

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidelines on the Institute of Medicine’s call to include comprehensive family planning services as a preventive benefit for women’s health under the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, the ruling “allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception […]

Catholic Organizations Call on Secretary Sebelius to Include Contraception as a Preventive Method under Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Washington, DC – On the 43rd anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s groundbreaking decision to reaffirm the Vatican’s ban on contraception, a score of progressive Catholic organizations wrote to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, calling on her to “implement the coverage recommendations of the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report which include […]

Faith Groups Applaud Report on Including Contraception in Health Care Reform

Washington, DC – Leading faith-based organizations, representing millions of individuals across the country, joined together today to applaud the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report advocating coverage without copays of the full range of contraceptive services under a provision governing women’s preventive health benefits in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The organizations include Catholics for Choice; […]

Censorship Rears its Ugly Head in Spain

Versión en español a continuación Publimedia, an advertising company based in Madrid, Spain, has announced that it has rejected the Condoms4Life advertisements that had been booked to run on the Madrid transport system during this year’s Catholic World Youth Day. Catholics for Choice, the organization responsible for the campaign, prepared the ads to thank the pope for […]

Faith Voices Lead Briefing on Religious Support for Abortion Services

Coalition supports access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, in coalition with more than a dozen faith-based organizations, will participate in a briefing today on Capitol Hill to highlight religious support for access to a comprehensive […]

CDD-El Salvador Receives First Rosemary Radford Ruether Award for Prochoice Catholicism

Léalo en español On Saturday, June 4, members of El Salvador’s Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (CDD – Catholics for the Right to Decide) came to Washington, DC, to receive the Rosemary Radford Ruether award for prochoice Catholicism. In 2010, Catholics for Choice established the Rosemary Radford Ruether Award in honor of longtime board […]

Catholics Stand Behind Pope’s Statement that Condoms Save Lives—Urge Conference Attendees to Resist Minority Dissent

In an unprecedented statement in Rome’s prominent daily, Corriere della Sera, Catholics for Choice and the Condoms4Life campaign welcome attendees to Saturday’s Vatican conference on HIV and AIDS with the message: We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. We believe in caring for each other. We believe in using condoms. We thank Pope Benedict for […]

Magazine Raises Questions about President Obama’s Prochoice Record

In an unprecedented move, Conscience magazine asked leading authors to provide a comprehensive analysis of President Barack Obama’s prochoice record. Many in the progressive reproductive rights and women’s rights field have whispered it, some have murmured it, but Conscience has finally broken the silence about the administration’s abysmal failure to take action on choice issues. David Nolan, the editor […]

Catholics Decry Cuts to Vital Social Services; Praise Family Planning Decisions

Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the FY2011 spending bill that was passed by Congress today. “There was both good and bad news in the budget deal that Congress passed today, but, as usual, women, especially lower-income women, took some big hits. Lower-income women in DC lost the […]

More than Fifty Catholic State Legislators Urge Congress to Keep Title X Funding

In an unprecedented effort, fifty-seven Catholic state legislators have signed a letter urging their counterparts in Congress to keep Title X funding for family planning services in the federal budget. Citing their responsibility as Catholics to protect the rights of the most vulnerable Americans, the legislators say the proposed cuts would unfairly target the poor […]

Ireland’s Victorian abortion laws highlighted at St. Patrick’s Day event in Washington

Catholics for Choice sponsors a briefing on Capitol Hill this morning for a reproductive rights delegation from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to raise awareness about Ireland’s draconian abortion laws. Abortion is criminalized in almost all circumstances in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. A law from 1861, which is still in […]

Catholics to US Bishops: Stop the Attacks on Planned Parenthood

Catholics for Choice is deeply ashamed that one of the groups at the forefront of the continued attacks on Planned Parenthood clinics is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Time and again we have seen US bishops, individually and collectively, denounce the excellent work done by these clinics and their staff. Today’s attempt in […]

Catholics and HR 3

Today’s congressional hearing on HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” is notable for many reasons. The proposed legislation would enact unreasonable obstacles to reproductive healthcare for millions of American women. It would grant a right to refuse to provide abortion or contraception to insurance companies, HMOs and hospitals based on a specious […]

Women’s Healthcare Services Now in Jeopardy as Catholic Entity Gets Go-ahead in Maryland

Today’s decision by the Maryland Health Care Commission to allow the Catholic entity, Holy Cross Hospital, to build a new facility in Montgomery County, Md., is troubling. Despite concerns from health advocates that the new hospital would be subject to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and therefore not provide a […]

The Pope Did Acknowledge that Condoms Can Help Prevent the Spread of HIV

  Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sought to clarify the pope’s comments on condom-use. “The statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith today on condoms and what the pope did or did not say changes nothing about […]

A Sad State of Affairs in Phoenix, Arizona

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today after Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, declared that a local hospital could no longer describe itself as Catholic. “The decision by Bishop Thomas Olmsted to declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital may no longer be considered Catholic is a sad one. “It’s sad that […]

Catholics Welcome Decision on Abortion in Ireland

Today’s judgment by the European Court of Human Rights declaring that Ireland’s abortion law violated the rights of a woman who had to travel overseas to have an abortion is an important first step in ensuring that women in Ireland can access abortion services without having to leave the country. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics […]

HIV and AIDS Advocacy Groups around the World Call for More Funding Transparency

International development agencies in nine countries—Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America—have been asked to explain their criteria for funding HIV and AIDS assistance—and whether faith-based organizations get special concessions when they apply for public funds to deliver prevention and treatment programs abroad. Sixteen national and international nongovernmental organizations today wrote to nine national overseas […]

Pope’s Clarification Reveals Significance of Condom Statement

  Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement on the most recent news from the Vatican on condom use. “The Vatican’s acknowledgement that Pope Benedict’s acceptance of condom use to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections relates to everybody shows how significant the pope’s comments are. “This morning, the Vatican’s […]

Pope’s Statement on Condoms Is a Victory for Common Sense and Reason

  Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement after Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged that condoms have a role to play in preventing the transmission of HIV: “We are delighted that the pope has acknowledged that condoms can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. It is a marvelous […]

Five Myths about the Catholic Vote in Election 2010

As the election nears, many news outlets are repeating misinformation about what Catholics believe and what they can and should do when it comes to voting. Conservative groups have targeted a largely Catholic group of antichoice Democrats who voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, falsely claiming that the bill permits […]

Bill Donohue and his Bullying Tactics Headed for a Fall

Catholic organizations have written to the management company of the Empire State Building supporting its decision not to accede to the latest self-promotion campaign of Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. Donohue wants the Empire State Building lit up in blue and white for Mother Teresa on August 26, the 100th anniversary of […]

Catholics Express Support for New Planned Parenthood Clinic

In a letter to the staff of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, expressed sadness over a protest by the local prelate, Archbishop George Lucas, at the site of a new clinic in Omaha, Neb. The letter, which also appears as an ad in the Omaha World-Herald on […]

New Report Questions the Funding and Activities of Faith-Based HIV/AIDS Organizations

A new report released on the eve of XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna calls for clarity regarding the funding and activities of faith-based organizations that are involved in HIV/AIDS work. The report, “Seeing Is Believing: Questions about Faith-Based Organizations That Are Involved in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment,” was commissioned by Catholics for Choice. Faith-based […]

Catholics Support Reproductive Healthcare Services for the Military

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the US Senate Committee Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that lifts the ban on access to abortion services for those served by military hospitals in the US and worldwide: “This amendment is an important step towards ensuring that all Americans have […]

Diocese of Phoenix Maligns Catholic Nun, Errs on Canon Law

The recent news about a woman in Phoenix who received an abortion in a Catholic hospital has raised again the issue of Catholics, abortion and excommunication. The bishop of Phoenix has declared that a nun who is a hospital administrator and a member of the ethics committee is excommunicated because of her alleged action, or inaction, […]

Truth in Advertising: Bishops Are Not Leaders in Fight for Civil and Human Rights

Late yesterday afternoon, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meekly followed the marching orders it had received from conservative Catholic advocates and withdrew from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the USCCB, made the announcement, claiming that the decision was made because the Leadership Conference […]

“Excommunication” of Nun in Arizona Very Troubling

This is a statement from Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice: The news that a nun who works at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, was excommunicated following her participation in a decision to permit an abortion to take place is very troubling. According to the local bishop, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of […]

Healthcare Reform: One Step Forward for America; One Step Back for Women’s Rights

The following statement may be attributed to Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. At the outset of the debate over healthcare reform, leaders in the Democratic Party made a number of promises to the American people. President Obama told us that he was “not restricting women’s insurance choices,” and promised that “if you’re happy […]

American Catholics Want Bishops Out of Healthcare Reform

“Interference by the US Catholic bishops in healthcare reform does not help women,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “The bishops claim that this is an issue of ‘conscience.’ However, in seeking to impose their views, the bishops show no regard for the consciences of millions of women in the United States who […]

Victory for Women in Spain after Battle over New Abortion Law

Marysa Navarro-Aranguren, Chair of the Board of Catholics for Choice, welcomed the victory today for women in Spain, after the senate voted to ease the country’s restrictions on abortion. In doing so, they rejected the opposition of the Catholic bishops and the Vatican over access to safe and legal abortion in that country. Navarro, who […]

Spanish Leader Right about Support for Abortion

“The leader of the Spanish Congress, Jose Bono, is absolutely right that Spanish politicians may vote for laws legalizing access to abortion,” said the president of Catholics for Choice, Jon O’Brien. “And, in taking this stance, Mr. Bono has listened to what Catholics in Spain are saying about abortion, something that the bishops clearly have […]

Un líder español se muestra de acuerdo con el apoyo al aborto

“El líder del Congreso de España, José Bono, está en lo correcto cuando insiste en que  los políticos españoles pueden votar a favor de leyes que legalicenel acceso al aborto”, afirmó el presidente de Catholics for Choice, Jon O’Brien. “Y al asumir esta posición, Bono ha escuchado lo que los católicos en España dicen acerca […]

In Taking a Lead from the Bishops, Democratic Leadership Is out of Step with Voters

A series of opinion polls on healthcare reform in four Congressional Districts reveals how out of touch some political leaders are with the views of the electorate. The polls, taken in the districts of four Catholic representatives who supported the restrictions on abortion imposed by the Stupak-Pitts amendment, show that voters do not agree with […]

Los obispos españoles cada vez más solos en su oposición al aborto

Más del 80% de los españoles apoyan que el aborto sea legal en una amplia gama de circunstancias Sólo el 19% de los encuestados están de acuerdo con la actitud de los obispos españoles Madrid— Según los datos de la encuesta realizada por Catholics for Choice para conocer las opiniones de los españoles sobre el aborto […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Healthcare Reform Package

Washington, DC —Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice had the following reaction to the deal that the Democratic Party made in order to get Senator Ben Nelson’s support for the healthcare reform package. “The latest language on abortion makes a mockery of the entire healthcare reform package. The idea that women would have to write […]

Catholics for Choice Calls on Irish Government to Lift Restrictions on Abortion

Washington, DC — Today, three Irish women challenged Ireland’s ban on abortion in the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the ban violates the rights to health and wellbeing outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Each of these women, after making the decision to have an abortion, was forced to travel […]

Senator Ben Nelson Puts US Bishops’ Interests Ahead of Americans’ Healthcare Needs

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement: “Today, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) put the policy priorities of the US Catholic bishops before the needs of women nationwide. Originally, Senator Nelson maintained that the abortion language in the healthcare bill was not a make-or-break factor in his vote.  This week, […]

Everybody’s Healthcare Is Threatened by Catholic Bishops’ Interference

Ad in Today’s Washington Post Highlights Dangers Washington DC – If the Catholic bishops have their way, many medical treatments and preventative measures we take for granted may be under threat.  The pressure that the US bishops have brought to bear on the debate over healthcare reform has been widely reported.  An ad in this morning’s Washington Post warns of […]

Catholics for Choice Supports DC Council on Civil Marriage Equality

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement on the Civil Marriage Equality vote by the DC council: “Today, in the face of protests, threats and attempts by the archdiocesan officials to withdraw from social service provision in DC, the city council put the interests of their constituents above the […]

Another Courageous Kennedy Shows True Leadership

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy’s support for women’s reproductive justice is strong-and he stands in solidarity with Catholics across the United States. He is one of many Catholic politicians who stand by both the courage of their convictions and their consciences to support women’s reproductive choices. Bishop Thomas Tobin’s recent statement that Representative Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) […]

Catholics Stand in Solidarity with Washington DC’s Gay and Lesbian Community

This week, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops released a pastoral letter on marriage that reiterated its opposition to any legislative changes that would extend marriage to couples that are not composed of one man and one woman. Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC, is also involved in a battle against same-sex marriage in the District […]

Catholic Reform Leaders Call for an Inclusive Pastoral on Marriage

At its annual fall meeting from November 16 – 19, 2009, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is expected to review a new pastoral letter pertaining to marriage. In a statement to the bishops, Catholic reform leaders call upon them to create a pastoral that addresses the real needs of Catholics in the […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Healthcare Reform Bill

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the passage of HR 3962: “Behavior in recent weeks tells us and the American voters a lot about core values. We in the prochoice community stayed true to our core values, seeking to overcome the struggles ordinary Americans have making ends […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Antichoice Amendment to Healthcare Reform

With the final House vote on healthcare reform nearing, antichoice extremists are holding the entire bill hostage to further their antiabortion agenda. They are demanding that the bill go far beyond the status quo restrictions on abortion that had been incorporated into the original bill.  In an outrageous amendment, which is expected to be voted […]

Catholics Do Not Support the Bishops’ Stance on Healthcare

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the US bishops’ recent letter to Congress about healthcare reform: “Last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote a letter to Congress urging legislators to “produce final health reform legislation that will reflect our principles.” In the letter, […]

Respect Life and the Truth on Respect Life Sunday

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement on Respect Life Sunday: “This Sunday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops holds its annual Respect Life Sunday. On this occasion, we would like to encourage the US bishops to also respect the truth. A recent publication by the USCCB, a brochure entitled Contraception: […]

Catholics Support Healthcare Reform, Including Coverage for Abortion

According to a new poll of Catholic voters carried out by Belden Russonello and Stewart for Catholics for Choice, Catholics support both a public option in healthcare reform and a plan that would include funding for abortion. The results show that the views of Catholics have been seriously misrepresented by the US bishops and by conservative Catholics […]

Catholic State Legislators Urge Congress to Pass Legislation to Reduce the Need for Abortion

“We are representative of Catholics across the nation who support policies that enable women to make decisions about whether to become pregnant, or whether to continue a pregnancy. As Catholics, we also strive to support parents who find themselves facing hard times, giving them access to the resources they need to provide for their families.” […]

Catholics for Choice Believes in Healthcare Reform, Supports Federal Funding for Abortion

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement on healthcare reform: “As Congress returns from the summer recess, we hope that we will soon see an honest and productive debate on truly comprehensive healthcare reform that leads to positive changes in healthcare accessibility for women and men in the United […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Senator Edward Kennedy

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement this morning about the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. “Senator Kennedy’s long career in politics epitomized the definition of working for social justice. As a prominent prochoice Catholic, he attracted criticism but never wavered from doing what he thought was right. He, […]

Catholics Call on Dutch Minister to Withdraw from Conservative Conference

Washington DC – The Catholics for Choice European Advisory Group today called on André Rouvoet, the Dutch Minister for Youth and Families, to withdraw from a conservative conference in Amsterdam. He is due to address the conference’s opening session by video feed on Monday. The World Congress of Families has been organized by the ultraconservative Howard […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement in support of the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act. “Catholics for Choice is delighted to give our backing to the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, sponsored by Representatives […]

The Pope and the President: Many Similar Outlooks but Very Different Roles

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the meeting today between President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. “In the last few weeks, many have speculated about the first meeting between President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI. We at Catholics for Choice have repeatedly been asked about […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on “Caritas in Veritate”

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today about the publication of Pope Benedict’s third encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”). In the statement, Mr. O’Brien applauds the pope’s dedication to improving development aid but also raises concerns about what is missing. “As President Barack Obama and other world […]

Antiabortion Advocate Appointed to Senior Position at HHS

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today about the announcement that Alexia Kelley had been appointed to be Director of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services: The antichoice organization Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) has announced that Alexia Kelley, its […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Dr. George Tiller

Gathered at a meeting in Washington, DC, the President and Board of Directors of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement. “Catholics for Choice extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed as he attended church today. Dr. Tiller was a courageous advocate for women. […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Honduras

Catholics for Choice celebrates this week’s victory for the women of Honduras.  CFC commends the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, for vetoing Congressional Decree 54-2009 which would have criminalized the use, sale, or purchase of emergency contraception, as well as its distribution in pharmacies, even if it was provided free of charge to women who […]

Catholics for Choice Declaración sobre Honduras

Catholics for Choice (CFC) celebra la victoria de la mujeres hondureñas de esta semana. CFC se permite elogiar al presidente de Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, por vetar el decreto del Congreso No. 54 -2009 en el cual se hubiera podido penalizar el uso, venta o venta de la contracepción de emergencia, lo mismo que su distribución […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Sebelius Appointment: A Victory for Common Sense

Washington, DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today congratulating Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on her appointment to head the Department of Health and Human Services: “Secretary Sebelius has an immense task ahead of her, one that we feel she is more than qualified to accomplish.  Her commitment to protecting the […]

Pope Not Infallible on Condoms

The Vatican has yet again been forced to revise statements made by Pope Benedict XVI as he embarked on a foreign trip. En route to Cameroon on March 17, the pope claimed that condom use would “aggravate the problem” of HIV. A transcript of the pope’s comments on the Vatican’s Web site altered the comment […]

The Pope Is Wrong on Condoms

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a response to Pope Benedict’s statement on condom use. “As the pope traveled to Africa, he chose this moment to make what appears to be his first unequivocal statement opposing condom use. In an interview on the papal plane to Cameroon, the pope acknowledged the […]

Catholics for Choice Decries Bishops’ Condemnation of Rape Victim

Washington, DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement regarding the Brazilian bishops’ claims of excommunication in the case of the nine-year-old girl who had an abortion after she was raped. “Last week, the Brazilian bishops shocked the world when they condemned a nine-year-old girl and her family after she had […]

Catholics for Choice Welcomes Support of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today welcoming the reversal of restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research by President Barack Obama. “Today’s executive order overturning the restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research is tremendously encouraging.  It marks not only a great promise of scientific advancement, but also an important step towards […]

Sebelius, Reproductive Health and Health Care Reform

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today about the role of reproductive health services in reforming the health care system in the United States: “Today, as the more than 100 health care experts attend a White House summit, we are reminded that there are many health care issues […]

Catholics for Choice Welcomes Efforts to Rescind Anti-Contraception Rule

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today on reports of the Obama Administration’s plan to rescind the Bush Administration’s anti-contraception provider refusal rule. “The conscience, or more correctly refusal, clause regulation, issued in the last days of the Bush Administration attacks the healthcare options open to women and men […]

Catholics Encouraged By Dialogue between Pope Benedict and Speaker Pelosi

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about today’s meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I was pleased to hear that Speaker Pelosi and Pope Benedict XVI had a cordial meeting today. At that meeting, Speaker Pelosi did justice to Catholics in the United […]

Pope Benedict and Speaker Pelosi Have Much in Common

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “As the United States, under the presidency of Barack Obama, seeks to lead the world out of the economic crisis, it is fitting that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the 80th Anniversary of the Lateran Treaty

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Lateran treaty between the Vatican and Italy on February 11. “Eighty years ago, the Holy See and the Italian government signed an agreement that gave legal status to the area we know as Vatican City. Since that […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Overturning of the Mexico City Policy

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today welcoming the reversal of the Global Gag Rule by President Barack Obama. “Today’s executive order overturning the Mexico City Policy, or Global Gag Rule as it is more commonly known, is tremendously encouraging. It marks the first step on President Obama’s journey […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

On the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States, Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement. “This anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a timely reminder of how important access to legal abortion has been in dramatically improving women’s health and lives and allowing […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Inauguration of President Barack Obama

Washington DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today on the inauguration of President Barack Obama. “After eight years of dismal reproductive health policy, which denied crucial health services to women worldwide, we expect the incoming Obama administration to close the book on this disappointing chapter and move towards repairing the […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on Caring for Victims of Trafficking

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement: “In a court case filed today, the American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court to ensure that government funds distributed through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act are not used to impose restrictions on reproductive health services that are based on religious beliefs. […]

Univision Listens to Latino and Catholic Voices and Agrees to Run Condoms4Life Radio Ads

Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health are pleased to announce that Univision Radio has decided to run two Condoms4Life radio ads. The two Spanish-language ads take on myths about condom use in Catholic and Latino communities and highlight the importance of condom use and that Good Catholics Use Condoms. The radio […]

Catholics Call on President-Elect Obama to Rescind Refusal Clause Regulation

Washington, DC —“The conscience, or more correctly refusal clause regulation issued by the Bush administration attacks the health options open to women and men throughout the United States,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice in a statement. “This regulation represents a low point in the administration’s eight-year campaign to restrict and deny access to […]

Statement on Dignitas Personae by Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice

“The Vatican’s new document on bioethics, Dignitas Personae, shows that the Catholic hierarchy is once again on the wrong side of science and the needs of contemporary society. There is little new in the statement, but it remains difficult to reconcile the Vatican’s self-avowed prolife approach with the rejection of in-vitro fertilization and embryo freezing, not to mention the condemnation […]

Catholics for Choice Decries Holy See’s Opposition to Gay Rights on the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice issued the following statement on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The hierarchy of the Catholic church and its conservative allies are marking this important anniversary by once again revealing their opposition to the rights of gay men, lesbians and persons with disabilities. As […]

Radio Ads Take on Myths about Condoms in Catholic and Latino Communities

Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health are proud to announce the launch of the first-ever Condoms4Life radio ads. The two Spanish-language ads take on myths about condom use in Catholic and Latino communities and highlight the importance of condom use and that Good Catholics Use Condoms. The radio campaign will launch […]

Population Research Institute, Inc. “expressly advocates the election of John McCain and the defeat of Barack Obama” in Presidential Election

Catholics for Choice Files Complaints with IRS and FEC Washington, DC—Catholics for Choice today filed complaints with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over a pre-election edition of Population Research Institute’s Weekly Briefing. Catholics for Choice charged that PRI had committed an egregious violation of the rules governing the behavior of […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the Common Good: Five Inconvenient Truths for the Bishops

Washington, DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today in response to discussions about abortion at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops fall assembly. “It is by now well-known that the majority of Catholics disagree with the dictates of the Catholic hierarchy on matters related to sexual and reproductive health. In […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on the US Election and Priorities for the Next President

Washington DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today on the US election results and the priorities for the next president. “Initial results show that 54% of the Catholic vote went to President-elect Barack Obama. This shows that the majority of Catholics voted their conscience when deciding who should be the next […]

Prochoice Catholic Policy Makers in the News

In recent weeks, there has been much discussion about Catholic teachings on abortion and the responsibility of Catholics in public life to their constituents. There is a concerted effort by some conservative Catholic bishops and the Pro-Life Activities Office of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and several conservative Catholic organizations to 1) present […]

Bishops Get it Wrong on Biden

Washington, DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the response from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to vice presidential nominee Senator Joseph Biden: “In their response to Senator Joseph Biden, the US bishops again miss the mark on political discourse in the United States. “Senator Biden stated that it […]

Bishops Still Playing Politics on Abortion

Washington, DC — Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the fact sheet on abortion released by the antichoice lobbying arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The fact sheet from the bishops’ lobbying arm, the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reaffirms the US bishops’ desire to place themselves […]

Catholics for Choice Responds to Bishops’ Comments on Speaker Pelosi

Washington, DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the response from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “In their response to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the US bishops commented on their interpretation of what Speaker Pelosi said, not what she actually said. Speaker Pelosi […]

Católicos pedem ao Papa na XVII Conferência Internacional sobre AIDS: Fim da proibição aos preservativos

CIDADE DO MÉXICO—Quando milhares de pessoas se reunirem na Cidade do México para a 17a Conferência Internacional sobre AIDS, de 3 a 8 de agosto, os Catholics for Choice e suas organizações irmãs Latino Americanas, Católicos pelo Direito de Decidir, estarão chamando atenção à oposição Católica à proibição do Vaticano contra os preservativos, usando materiais […]

Los católicos en la XVII Conferencia Internacional sobre SIDA le dicen al Papa: Levante la prohibición a los condones

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO—Mientras miles de personas se reúnen en Ciudad de México para la 17ma. Conferencia Internacional sobre el SIDA los días 3-8 de agosto de 2008, la organización Catholics for Choice y sus organizaciones hermanas en Latinoamérica, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, destacarán la oposición de los católicos a la prohibición del Vaticano […]

Católicos pedem ao Papa na XVII Conferência Internacional sobre AIDS: Fim da proibição aos preservativos

CIDADE DO MÉXICO—Quando milhares de pessoas se reunirem na Cidade do México para a 17a Conferência Internacional sobre AIDS, de 3 a 8 de agosto, os Catholics for Choice e suas organizações irmãs Latino Americanas, Católicos pelo Direito de Decidir, estarão chamando atenção à oposição Católica à proibição do Vaticano contra os preservativos, usando materiais […]

Los católicos en la XVII Conferencia Internacional sobre SIDA le dicen al Papa: Levante la prohibición a los condones

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO—Mientras miles de personas se reúnen en Ciudad de México para la 17ma. Conferencia Internacional sobre el SIDA los días 3-8 de agosto de 2008, la organización Catholics for Choice y sus organizaciones hermanas en Latinoamérica, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, destacarán la oposición de los católicos a la prohibición del Vaticano […]

Catholics at XVII International AIDS Conference Tell Pope: End Ban on Condoms

Mexico City—As thousands gather in Mexico City for the 17th International AIDS Conference August 3-8, 2008, Catholics for Choice and its Latin American sister organizations, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, will be highlighting Catholic opposition to the Vatican’s ban on condoms using materials developed for the Condoms4Life campaign, www.Condoms4Life.org. From the opening moments of the […]

Catholic Groups Claim Victory Over Vatican

The Catholic groups who today placed an ad in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera calling on the pope to end the Vatican’s ban on contraception claimed their first victory after soliciting a highly unusual response from a top Vatican official. The ad appeared on the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae—the papal encyclical that confirmed the Vatican’s teaching against contraception. Jon O’Brien, president […]

Catholic Organizations to Pope: End Ban on Contraception

Open Letter to Pope Signed by more than 50 Organizations Published in Corriere della Sera Friday Washington, DC-Marking the 40th anniversary of the Catholic hierarchy’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, Catholics for Choice, in partnership with over 50 organizations from across the world, published an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI calling on him to lift the Vatican’s dangerous ban […]

Catholics Asked to Tell Their Bishops to End Ban on Contraception

July 25th Marks 40th Anniversary of Vatican’s Devastating Decision Washington, DC—Forty years ago, a decision was announced that has had a catastrophic impact on the poor and powerless around the world. On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI slammed the door on the hopes of the vast majority of Catholics and confirmed a complete prohibition […]

Catholic MPs May, in Good Conscience, Vote to Retain Current Time Limit on Abortion

In Letter to Parliament, Catholic Group Urges Respect for Women’s Rights and Scientific Data   London—In considering how to vote on abortion, Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien called on Catholic MPs to remember that Catholic teaching about the primacy of conscience holds that the individual must follow his or her conscience—even if it is […]

Federal Law on “Conscience Clauses” Needs to Be Reformed

Washington, DC – “The Bush administration’s statement on so-called conscience clauses reveals that the 2004 federal law on such clauses does not meet the needs of American women and men,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “In their strategy to restrict and deny reproductive healthcare over the last several years, those opposed to […]

Catholics Reject Influence of US Bishops in Congressional HIV/AIDS Funding Battle

Washington, DC – “As people of faith who believe in social justice, Catholics around the United States will be very disappointed with the influence the Catholics bishops invested in gutting practical, life-saving programs during the drafting of the Lantos/Hyde HIV/AIDS Global Leadership Act,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said in a statement today. […]

Catholics for Choice Statement on President’s FY 2009 Budget

Washington, DC – Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about President George W. Bush’s FY 2009 budget: “The cuts proposed for various reproductive health and rights initiatives in President Bush’s FY 2009 budget do not reflect the wishes of mainstream America, and especially not those of American Catholics. In his […]

Catholics Look for New Theme in Papal Christmas Message

New Condoms Poll Shows Catholics Want Pope to Change Teaching Washington, DC—On December 25, Pope Benedict XVI will be giving the annual Christmas message to Catholics around the world.  Past topics have included violence, poverty, hunger and the deterioration of spirituality in the modern world.  This year Catholics for Choice urges the pope to address […]

New Poll Shows Catholics around the World Believe Good Catholics Can Use Condoms

Catholics for Choice Announces the Results of a Four-Continent Poll Gauging Catholic Opinion on the Catholic Hierarchy’s Refusal to End its Ban on Condoms Washington, DC—Even in the face of an AIDS epidemic that costs millions of lives, the Vatican has stubbornly refused to lift its ban on condoms. A new multinational poll, however, shows […]

EU Forum on Religion and Politics in the New Europe Breaks New Ground

BRUSSELS–A forum to be held today, “Religion and Politics in the New Europe” will discuss the relationship between government institutions and religious influences. As tension mounts on many fronts over what is the correct role for religion in politics, MEPs, experts, advocates and public policy professionals come together to debate the issue at a ground-breaking […]

Poll shows a majority of UK Catholics and Protestants support abortion in the case of unwanted pregnancy, and believe Catholic Bishops should stay out of abortion politics

A new weighted, representative poll of UK faith groups including Catholics and Protestants shows definitive support for a woman’s right to have an abortion in cases of unwanted pregnancy, according to a new poll released by Catholics for Choice (CFC) today. The YouGov poll—conducted less than ten days ago—shows a majority of the sample to […]

Statement of Catholics for a Free Choice President Jon O’Brien on the Adoption of “Faithful Citizenship” by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for a Free Choice, issued the following statement about the document that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted today, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”: “This is very much of the same-old, same-old from the bishops. They may think they are being radical in stepping up their antichoice rhetoric, […]

Connecticut Bishops Back Down over Provision of Emergency Contraception

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, issued the following statement: “After a two-year battle with the state’s lawmakers, the Catholic bishops of Connecticut have agreed to provide emergency contraception to women who seek treatment at Catholic hospitals after a sexual assault. It’s a shame that the bishops had to be forced into […]

Catholics Call on Congress to Relax Restrictions on Contraception Provision Overseas

CFFC president Jon O’Brien today urged the House of Representatives to support the targeted exemption for contraceptives from the restrictive Mexico City Policy. “Access to contraception should be something that everybody who has an interest in reducing the need for abortion can agree on. Studies from all over the world show that Catholics use contraceptives at the same rate as […]

Catholics Show Support for Gay Rights at Latvian Conference

Group Urges Public and Policymakers to Stand Strong against Homophobia and for Human Rights RIGA, Latvia—Catholics for a Free Choice European representative Elfriede Harth (Latvian: Elvira Hardt), speaking at the Riga Friendship Days and Pride Celebration, assured the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Latvia and around the world that despite the rhetoric and actions of […]

Catholics for a Free Choice President Jon O’Brien’s Response to Benedict XVI’s Threat of Excommunication to Prochoice Catholic Politicians

Washington, DC – Catholics for a Free Choice President Jon O’Brien issued the following statement in response to reports that Benedict XVI expressed support for the excommunication of prochoice Catholic public figures while traveling from Rome, Italy to Brazil for his first papal visit to Latin America. “Despite Benedict XVI’s promises to become a more […]

Statement of Catholics for a Free Choice President Jon O’Brien on the Irish High Court’s Ruling Allowing Young Woman to Travel Abroad to Obtain an Abortion

Washington, DC — Today, the Irish high court stated that a 17-year-old woman was able to leave the country to terminate her pregnancy. The young woman, known as “Miss D,” is 18 weeks pregnant with a fetus with a severe brain defect. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for a Free Choice , said, “Right-thinking people around […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Applauds Mexico City Vote on Abortion Legislation

Yesterday, in a watershed event for Mexico and nations throughout Latin America, the Mexico City legislature voted to legalize abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. Many feminist groups, women’s rights advocates, and committed politicians fought hard for the passage of the bill, despite threats from Catholic bishops that such actions would result in […]

Members of the European Parliament Ask Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey to Withdraw from Conservative Meeting in Europe

The European Parliamentary Working Group on Separation of Religion and Politics has asked Ellen Sauerbrey, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, to withdraw from a forthcoming meeting in Warsaw organized by the World Congress of Families. The letter urges Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey to withdraw from the conference because her participation provides “an official, U.S. […]

Progressive Catholic Group Files IRS Complaint Against Priests for Life

Catholics for a Free Choice shows the antichoice organization is using its tax free status to illegally support the presidential campaign of Kansas senator Sam Brownback Washington, DC—Today, Catholics for a Free Choice filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Priests for Life because of its support for the presidential campaign of Kansas senator Sam Brownback. Such […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Urges Amnesty UK to Listen to World’s Women, Vote to Support the Decriminalisation of Abortion

WASHINGTON, DC—On March 23-25, members of the United Kingdom branch of Amnesty International will vote at their annual conference in Edinburgh on including access to safe, legal abortion in the list of rights that Amnesty supports and advocates for globally. The vote in Edinburgh is the latest in a consultation by Amnesty International to gauge the will […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Statement on Pope Benedict XVI’s Post-Synodal Exhortation on the Eucharist: Sacramentum Caritatis–The Sacrament of Love

Pope Benedict reveals that little has changed in Vatican thought as regards sexuality and human relationships. Washington, DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, issued the following statement: “Sadly, it is clear that the Vatican has chosen not to move with the times, continuing to stigmatize gay couples, the divorced and those who […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Launches Campaign to place Catholic Americans’ Views on Contraception and Abortion Center Stage

WASHINGTON, DC— Prevention Not Prohibition, a provocative campaign launched today in the nation’s capital, highlights the fact that the majority of American Catholics support access to contraception and legal abortion, and support policies that prevent, rather than criminalize, abortion. To kick off the campaign, CFFC advertisements, “How to end the abortion wars” and “Nobody wants to need […]

Secular Values for Europe: The Brussels Declaration on Dignity, Equality and Freedom

Catholics and Secularists Join Together to Argue for the Importance of State Neutrality in Matters of Religion in the Construction of the European Constitution BRUSSELS, BELGIUM—In an unprecedented alliance, Catholics and secularists have launched a joint initiative advocating for the importance of upholding secular values as the European Union re-embarks on the constitution-writing process. The […]

Statement of Frances Kissling, CFFC President, on the Passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (HR 3)

Washington, DC—Frances Kissling issued the following statement this morning: “Catholics for a Free Choice joins with the majority of US Catholics who support embryonic stem cell research in applauding the House of Representatives’ passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (HR 3). We urge the Senate to consider and pass this legislation promptly. “In […]

Catholics around the Globe Urge Pope Benedict XVI to Lift the Ban on Condoms

LETTER TO POPE BENEDICT XVI Asks the Vatican to Change Policy, Help Prevent the Spread of HIV and AIDS Vatican City – In recognition of World AIDS Day, Catholics from around the globe are calling on the pope to lift the ban on condoms in order to help stem the spread of HIV and AIDS. On […]

South Dakotans Speak–“It’s Time to End the Abortion Wars”

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, issued the following statement this morning on the South Dakota abortion referendum. Washington, DC – South Dakotans spoke their mind clearly yesterday and rejected efforts to outlaw all abortions in the state. A narrow provision that would permit abortions only when a pregnant woman’s life was […]

American Life League–Laying Out Specific Criteria for Judging Candidates–Egregiously Violates Federal IRS Regulations

Catholics for a Free Choice Asks that the IRS Holds Group Accountable for Repeatedly Violating the Law Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice today filed a complaint with the IRS following the last minute pre-election publication of the American Life League’s “voter guide,” requesting that the IRS swiftly strip the organization of its tax-exempt status in […]

From Rhetoric to Reason: Ending the Abortion Wars

Catholics for a Free Choice Launches National Campaign Aimed at Preventing, Not Prohibiting, Abortions Washington, DC– While abortion remains a divisive political issue, polls show that most Americans support legal abortion. Many also want to see the abortion rate reduced through preventing the need for abortion, not prohibiting it entirely. Prochoice groups have long led […]

Statement of CFFC President Frances Kissling on New York Court of Appeals Decision to Preserve Contraceptive Equity, Hold Religious Employers Accountable to the Law

Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice welcomes the New York Court of Appeals unanimous decision in Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Gregory V. Serio upholding the Women’s Health and Wellness Act and ensuring contraceptive equity for all New Yorkers. Regardless of their religious affiliation, nonprofit organizations should be held to the same standards as […]

Same Story, Different Name: CFFC Files Complaint with IRS as Catholic Answers Continues to Intervene in Elections and Ignore IRS Regulations

CFFC Files Complaint with IRS as Catholic Answers Continues to Intervene in Elections and Ignore IRS Regulations Washington, DC—In spite of an IRS investigation into its electoral activity, Catholic Answers is continuing to ignore federal rules governing political activity by nonprofits.  Worse, along with its newly minted clone, Catholic Answers Action, the two groups are […]

CFFC President Frances Kissling Issues Statement About the “Reducing Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act”

Washington, DC—“As Catholics committed to ensuring that women have the right to full reproductive choices, which includes access to a full range of family planning options, access to abortion services and access to complete care during pregnancy and childbirth, we welcome the introduction of the “Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act.” “The […]

Operation Rescue West Loses Tax-Exempt Status

IRS acts against egregious violations by antichoice group   WASHINGTON — On September 11, 2006, the IRS announced that it had revoked the nonprofit 501(c)(3) status of Youth Ministries, Inc., which did business as Operation Rescue West (ORW). While the IRS does not provide information on the circumstances that lead to revocations of any group’s tax-exempt […]

China’s President Called on to Release Barefoot Lawyer Who Opposed Coercive Abortions

Advocates around the world criticize treatment of Chen Guangcheng, seek investigation and redress for human rights violations. BEIJING—Today more than 100 leaders in the fields of human rights, bioethics, reproductive health and religion from more than 30 countries and six continents submitted a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao to protest the treatment and trial […]

Participants at International AIDS Conference to Ask Pope Benedict XVI to Lift Ban on Condoms

Condoms4Life Campaign Urges Vatican to Promote Culture of Life TORONTO—As tens of thousands of activists, providers and concerned individuals gather for the XVI International AIDS Conference, the Condoms4Life campaign (www.condoms4life.org) is spearheading an initiative to encourage the Vatican to drop its ban on condoms and join others in the active prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout […]

Antichoice Catholic Group Flouts IRS Regulations: Catholics for a Free Choice Files Complaint against Priests for Life

Catholics for a Free Choice Files Complaint against Priests for Life WASHINGTON, DC—In an early sign that the 2006 election season will parallel 2004 with widespread and flagrantly illegal political activity by tax-exempt antichoice groups, Priests for Life is at it again.  The notorious antichoice organization, composed of only 13 percent of the nation’s 47,200 […]

Condoms4Life Campaign Asks Vatican to Lift the Ban on Condoms as Matter of Justice

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice   WASHINGTON DC—As we mark the one year anniversary of Benedict XVI’s papacy, the Vatican has floated a welcome trial balloon suggesting that it will revisit its ban on condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Last week, the Condoms4Life campaign welcomed the news that another prominent […]

Frances Kissling Named to East Coast Advisory Board of Women’s Bioethics Project

Statement of Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON DC—The Women’s Bioethics Project is an important element in achieving attention for women’s health and well being as the field of biotechnology develops. The early lack of attention to women in health research has been substantially corrected in medical and health sciences.  It is critical […]

Good Catholics Use Condoms: On St. Valentine’s Day, Condoms4Life Says a Culture of Life Means Caring for One Another

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON DC—On St. Valentine’s Day, the Condoms4Life campaign will launch the newest phase of its campaign to encourage responsible sexuality and to raise awareness about the Vatican’s ban on condoms. On 14 February 2006, giant ads and posters proclaiming “We believe in God. We believe sex is sacred.  We believe in protecting each other. We believe […]

Catholics Hospitals Skirting the Law on Providing EC to Rape Victims

New study by Catholics for a Free Choice reveals that women’s best options are not Catholic hospitals, even in states with “EC in the ER” legislation WASHINGTON, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) today released a survey raising serious questions about how well Catholic hospitals are complying with the law in states that have “EC […]

PODCAST: Five Catholic Justices—See How They Rule

An original podcast produced by Catholics for a Free Choice, featuring president Frances Kissling WASHINGTON, DC—“Is there anything left unsaid about Roe v. Wade, that landmark Supreme Court decision?” asks Frances Kissling at the beginning of her new—and first—podcast for the anniversary of the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. Always provocative […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Opposes Alito Nomination to Supreme Court

Judge’s claim to “open mindedness” disputed by own words and actions. WASHINGTON DC—Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) today announced its opposition to the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court of the United States. “Serving on the highest court in the land takes a fundamental commitment to the individual rights […]

Another ‘Unqualified Crony’ Appointment Bypasses Congress, Say Groups; International Population and Refugee Programs Jeopardized

NEW YORK — Exercising his prerogative to act without Senate confirmation when Congress is not in session, President Bush has appointed Ellen Sauerbrey to be Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees, Population, and Migration to serve until the end of 2006. Forgoing further efforts to gain Congressional approval for a faltering nomination, the White House […]

Leaders of Religious, Women’s Rights and Human Rights Groups Call on European Parliament to Repudiate Extremist Exhibit Abusing Memory of Shoah Victims

More than 500 groups endorse call for European Parliament to act BRUSSELS—Today, leaders of religious and women’s rights and human rights groups delivered a collective statement to Josep Borrell-Fontelles, President of the European Parliament, to protest an exhibit comparing abortion to the Shoah that appeared with the approval of the relevant authorities at the European […]

New Vatican Document on Gays in Priesthood Another Sad Moment for Church, Human Rights

Statement of Frances Kissling, president, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC—“The informal release today of a long-anticipated document on homosexuality and the priesthood marks a sad moment as church leaders once again contribute to the stigmatization of gay men, misinterpret scientific information regarding homosexuality and act to exclude faithful and good men who are […]

Catholic Health Care Industry Betrays Women, Latinos and Public Trust: National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for a Free Choice Call for Immediate Reforms

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for a Free Choice Call for Immediate Reforms WASHINGTON, DC—Leaders working for the reproductive health and rights of Latinas throughout the United States expressed outrage after reading a new report released yesterday by Consejo de Latinos Unidos and called on the Catholic healthcare industry to immediately change […]

Release of International Religious Leaders’ Statement on MDGs and Reproductive Health Provokes Vatican Attempt to Silence Catholic Signers

WASHINGTON, DC—The planned release of an interfaith religious statement supporting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and calling for the inclusion of reproductive health ran into controversy last week as high ranking Vatican officials instructed Catholic bishops to ensure that “no ‘religious leader’ of the Catholic church and subject to our jurisdiction agree and sign” the […]

Statement of Catholics for a Free Choice Europe Regarding the European Parliament’s September 5 Debate on Dialogue Between the Commission and Churches and Non-Confessional Organizations

Presented by Elfirede Harth, Catholics for a Free Choice, European Representative Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) welcomes the discussion in the European Parliament regarding dialogue between the European Commission and churches and non-confessional organisations. CFFC strongly supports the inclusion of nongovernmental voices in the development of EU policy. This includes the voice of churches […]

Condoms4Life Message an Outstanding Success at Catholic World Youth Day: “Good Catholics Use Condoms” Resonates with Pilgrims, Nuns and Clergy

“Good Catholics Use Condoms” Resonates with Pilgrims, Nuns and Clergy COLOGNE—“If only one thing became more clear this week it is that we know we are pushing at an open door on HIV/AIDS prevention in the Catholic church. The church hierarchy will change its position and lift the ban on condoms—it is inevitable. The urgent […]

International Youth Coalition Calls on Pope to Lift Ban on Condoms

Progressive young people ask Benedict XVI to build culture of life through prevention, education and care for those at risk of HIV/AIDS at 20th Catholic World Youth Day. COLOGNE, GERMANY—On the eve of the 20th Catholic World Youth Day, concerned young people from around the globe gathered in Cologne to address the Vatican’s opposition to […]

Good Catholics Use Condoms

Condoms4Life Public Education Campaign Greets Pilgrims at Catholic World Youth Day COLOGNE—Today the Condoms4Life Campaign unveiled the newest phase of its public education effort to raise public awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms as giant billboards went up in the Dom (Cathedral) metro station in Cologne, […]

Faithful Catholics Hold Diverse Views; Supreme Court Must Protect Right of Individuals to Hold and Practice Differing Beliefs

Statement of Frances Kissling, president, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC— President Bush’s nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court is an important one. Supreme Court justices have a great duty to protect and defend the rights of all people under the constitution. Recent nominations to the federal courts have generated substantial […]

Prochoice Catholic Senators and Supreme Court Vacancies: Problems with the Vatican Working Document on the Eucharist

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC—The 2004 presidential election was marred by fairly vicious attacks on John Kerry and other Catholic candidates who support keeping abortion legal. A small minority of bishops and ultra conservative Republican Catholics sought to deny these candidates, as well as prochoice Catholic elected officials, […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Commends UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for Pursuing Justice for Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims in the Philippines

WASHINGTON, DC—As a special UN committee completes its review of the Philippines’ compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, commends its members for the concern and compassion they demonstrated in their observations of the alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of children […]

The First One Hundred Days: The Future Papacy, the Future Church

Catholics for a Free Choice Lays out a Schedule for the New Pope WASHINGTON, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice is deeply concerned that the election of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as pope is a strong indication of continued dissension within the church. The cardinal’s historic role as a disciplinarian means the tradition of the punitive father […]

Challenge to Colombia’s Restrictive Abortion Laws Promotes Human Rights and Social Justice

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice SANTA FE DE BOGOTÁ—Today a Colombian citizen will challenge the country’s abortion laws, which are among the world’s most restrictive, in the Constitutional Court. Catholics for a Free Choice applauds Colombian attorney Mónica Roa for this courageous act in support of the life, liberty and […]

Too Little, Too Late: “Meet the Press” Continues to Let Women Down

Catholics for a Free Choice demonstration to call attention to the blatant exclusion of women of faith – right and left – on the critical issue of religion and politics from NBC’s flagship news program, “Meet the Press.” Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON DC—It is surprising that the first […]

Catholics for a Free Choice’s Statement on the Death of Pope John Paul II

Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC—Like many Catholics, I have found Pope John Paul II’s last year or so of public suffering more profoundly moving than any other aspect of his papacy. The example of humility in one who is powerful, one whose power has partly been his charisma and communication […]

Vatican Again Assumes Role of State to Escape Culpability in Sex Abuse Lawsuit

Memorandum To: Reporters From: Jon O’Brien Vice President, Catholics for a Free Choice Date: March 4, 2005 Re: Vatican again assumes role of state to escape culpability in sex abuse lawsuit A March 3 report from the National Catholic Reporter’s John L. Allen Jr. disclosed that last month Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano appealed […]

Catholics for a Free Choice’s Statement on Brownback Bill on Fetal Anesthesia

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC — Today Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) announced his intention to file “The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act” (S.51), a bill mandating that doctors who provide abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation inform women of the possibility that fetuses at that gestation may feel pain. […]

Women’s Health and Rights Begin, But Do Not End, With Roe: A New Discourse on Abortion Needed

Statement of CFFC President Frances Kissling on the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade WASHINGTON, DC—For Catholic women, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision has been an especially appreciated acknowledgement of their moral adulthood, an acknowledgement that is consistently withheld by the Vatican and the American bishops. The decision is a unique and valued expression of our […]

Condoms4Life Applauds Spanish Catholic Bishops’ Conference for Statements Supporting Condom Use

Statement of Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, on the Spanish church’s move toward a responsible and respectful position on condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS. WASHINGTON, DC—The Condoms4Life Campaign wishes to commend the Spanish Catholic bishops’ conference for joining other courageous bishops and making a public acknowledgment in support of condoms in the fight […]

Religious Leaders and International Family Planning Community Address Human Rights Abuse in China’s Family Planning Program

Leaders of religious groups and reproductive rights and advocacy organizations send letter to President Hu Jintao asking for governmental review in case of Mao Hengfeng and to eliminate coercive measures in family planning. WASHINGTON, DC— Today leaders from more than 40 major religious and family planning organizations from around the world submitted a letter to […]

New Federal Refusal Clause Denies Women the Freedom to Exercise Their Conscience

President’s signing of Appropriations Bill measure permits institutions to discriminate and violates the religious freedom of patients WASHINGTON, DC— President Bush’s decision to sign into law a bill that would limit the right of conscience of women seeking safe and legal abortion services is a disturbing breach of religious freedom, not a measure of non-discrimination. […]

European Catholics Urge Dutch Members of Parliament to End Special Privileges for Holy See

Independent Catholic lay groups and leaders endorse motion to treat all religions equally and ask the Holy See to relinquish its special status at the UN. FRANCE—On Monday, 8 November, European Catholics and independent Catholic lay groups will deliver a petition to the presidents of six political groups in the Dutch Parliament to urge them […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint Against Archdiocese of St. Louis

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke violates election law with consistent and rigid instruction to voters. Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice Washington, DC—One week before the United States presidential election, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, […]

MEPs Should Reject Buttiglione

Rocco Buttiglione admits inability to carry out responsibilities of proposed appointment as Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice. FRANCE—Rocco Buttiglione, the controversial Italian nominee for Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice at the European Parliament, issued a public “mea culpa” last week in which he promised “to be exonerated from the execution of a particular […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint Against Denver Archdiocese

Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput violates election law with repeated efforts to direct voters toward Bush vote. Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice Washington, DC—With eight days remaining until Americans will choose their next president, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the […]

European Catholics Oppose Appointment of Rocco Buttiglione

More than 140 prominent Catholics and Catholic organisations speak out against Buttiglione’s proposed appointment as Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice. FRANCE—Today more than 140 prominent Catholic leaders and organisations submitted a letter to European Parliament president Josep Borrell Fontelles in protest against the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione as Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice. […]

Powerful New Film Looks Behind Slogans and Faceless Statistics on Abortion to Illustrate What is Really at Stake

Vera Drake takes a square look at abortion access with urgency and humanity. WASHINGTON DC—On Tuesday, October 19, Catholics for a Free Choice and other organizations that support women’s reproductive health choices sponsored a special advance screening of writer/director Mike Leigh’s award-winning new film about back-alley abortion, Vera Drake. Shown to acclaim at both the Venice […]

Memorandum: US Mission Sponsors Biased Panel on Maternal Mortality

TO: Members of the Press FROM: Frances Kissling, Catholics for a Free Choice DATE: October 18, 2004 RE: US Mission Sponsors Biased Panel on Maternal Mortality On Tuesday, October 19, 2004, the United States’ Permanent Mission to the United Nations will sponsor a panel discussion at UN headquarters in New York: “Maternal Mortality: Effective Strategies for Increasing Maternal and […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint Against Priests for Life

Antichoice organization misleads public with claims of nonpartisan voter education efforts as it attempts to influence election outcome. Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice Washington, DC—As the 2004 election draws near, certain charitable organizations are flouting their tax exempt status in their attempts to influence the outcome.  Groups such as Catholic […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint Against Culture of Life Foundation

Antichoice organization violates election law with blatant attacks on candidate Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice Washington, DC—Can a tax-exempt organization flagrantly disregard the prohibitions on its 501(c)(3) status and publicly target a candidate for higher office for defeat? Today, Catholics for a Free Choice filed a complaint with the Internal […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Files IRS Complaint Against Catholic Answers’ Partisan Voting Guide

Antichoice group violates election law with biased voter guide Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice today filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Catholic Answers, Inc. for blatant violation of its charitable status. CFFC called on the IRS to exercise its “authority to […]

House of Representatives Undermines Women’s Health

Vote to allow health care institutions to refuse to provide reproductive health care violates ethical norms WASHINGTON DC—Women’s rights activists have repeatedly warned that reproductive rights are under attack, and last night the House of Representatives approved a measure that will put women at serious risk. The US House of Representatives voted last night to […]

Vatican Not a Credible Source on Women

As Vatican prepares to release statement on feminism, CFFC questions its exclusion of women from leadership in church WASHINGTON, DC—A new Vatican document on women to be released on Saturday, July 31, is unlikely to position the Vatican as a credible or objective source of information, analysis, or support for women’s rights. “Letter to the Bishops […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Calls on President and Congress to Fund Family Planning

President urged to honor promise to use UNFPA funds for family planning; encouraged to fight sex trafficking with alternate source of funding Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC—We are deeply disappointed that the Bush administration has once again denied family planning funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), […]

People of Faith Join Catholics Worldwide to Thank Cardinal Danneels for Supporting Condoms for HIV/AIDS Prevention

As the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok confronts dangerous strategies to discourage condom use, Catholics send thanks to Cardinal Danneels and ask him to urge other bishops to follow his lead WASHINGTON, DC—Belgium’s Cardinal Godfried Danneels inspired more than 200 Catholics, religious people and organizations to send a letter of thanks today acknowledging his […]

Is There a Catholic Vote? Findings of a New Poll Commissioned by Catholics for a Free Choice

Major new poll demonstrates Catholics most concerned about peace, security and economic stability; show less concern about cultural issues Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice ( CFFC) released a major new poll today indicating that litmus test issues for the US bishops have little influence on the concerns of most Catholics in this political season. […]

Catholic Voters Support Legal Abortion

A new poll from Catholics for a Free Choice reveals majority of Catholics are prochoice; Abortion not expected to have major impact on the election WASHINGTON , DC —Catholic voters are aligned with the rest of the nation on the issue of abortion. The majority of Catholics voters are more likely to call themselves “prochoice” […]

Opposition to Bishops’ Politicking Pervasive Among Catholics

A new poll from Catholics for a Free Choice reveals Catholics are united against the Catholic bishops’ political actions. WASHINGTON , DC —In a year when the bishops have launched an unprecedented foray into the political arena, a new poll demonstrates that the vast majority of Catholics (83%) say they DO NOT believe that politicians […]

Catholics Support Stem Cell Research

New poll from Catholics for a Free Choice demonstrates that Catholic voters overwhelmingly support stem cell research WASHINGTON , DC— With the recent death of former president Ronald Reagan from Alzheimer’s and the upcoming California ballot initiative on stem cell research, it is likely that this controversial subject will continue to be an issue during […]

Bush’s Hispanic Problem

A new poll from Catholics for a Free Choice shows more Hispanic Catholic support for John Kerry WASHINGTON , DC —If one considers how Hispanic Catholics view the war and election issues ranging from taxes to abortion to stem cell research, it is clear that President Bush has a Hispanic problem. Hispanic Catholics are more […]

US Catholics Split on Presidential Race

With 40% for Bush and 40% for Kerry, a new poll from Catholics for a Free Choice shows confidence in the president to resolve war in Iraq drives Catholic vote WASHINGTON , DC—The most important factor in the upcoming election in determining how Catholics will vote is their confidence in President Bush’s ability to resolve […]

Major New Poll Shows US Catholics Overwhelmingly Reject Bishops’ Effort to Control Catholic Voters and Candidates

WASHINGTON, DC—As US Catholic bishops meet in Denver under pressure to craft a definitive policy on communion for prochoice Catholic candidates and parishioners, a major new poll demonstrates that Catholics overwhelmingly reject the high-risk gambit of a handful of bishops to politicize the sacraments. The poll is the largest and most statistically significant poll available […]

Statement of Frances Kissling on the Canonization of Gianna Beretta Molla

WASHINGTON, DC—Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, released the following statement earlier today: In 1962, Italian pediatrician Gianna Beretta Molla died just one week after giving birth to her fourth child. She was 39. Doctors had informed her of the dangers of proceeding with the pregnancy because she had a large uterine […]

FDA Decision Increases Catholic Women’s Risk of Unintended Pregnancy

WASHINGTON, DC—“We are alarmed by the FDA’s willingness to put women, especially Catholic women, at increased risk of unintended pregnancy,” said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), at a joint press conference today. CFFC joined prochoice members of Congress and other organizations concerned about women’s health to decry the FDA’s refusal […]

Women Have the Moral Capacity to Make Their Own Choices

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice WASHINGTON, DC—We stand here hundreds of thousands strong, and we know that for each of us, there are countless people around the world who join us in spirit. We stand here and demonstrate to the Bush administration, the US Congress, and the world that millions […]

Protest at Vatican Embassy Calls Attention to Catholic Hierarchy’s Anti-Women Policies

Catholics for a Free Choice leads chorus of worldwide voices in suport of abortion rights, family planning and condom use to prevent HIV WASHINGTON, DC—Hundreds of protesters from countries around the world, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and the US, gathered outside the Vatican Embassy in Washington, DC today wearing T-shirts and […]

Catholic Hierarchy and Political Fundamentalism Harm Women, Families Worldwide

Statement of Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice, Global Abortion Politics Press Conference of International Nongovernmental Organizations, National Press Club, April 23, 9:30 am WASHINGTON, DC—Much has changed since the 1992 March for Women’s Lives. This past decade, we have seen a steep increase in the threat to women’s reproductive health in the […]

Catholic Voters Resist Bishops’ Direction: Poll Challenges Conventional Wisdom that Church Teachings Determine Catholic Vote

WASHINGTON, DC—As Election 2004 heat up, increasing attention has been paid to Senator John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and his practice of Catholicism. Catholics for a Free Choice is reissuing the 2000 poll: Winning the Catholic Vote: Attitudes of Catholic Voters on Politics and the Church. This poll refutes a general misconception about […]

Catholics in Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico Respect Church but Reject Its Positions on Many Critical Issues, New Survey Reveals

First comprehensive three-country polling exposes “a silent revolution” among Catholics who want the church to help the poor but reject its intrusions into politics and bans on contraception and condoms. SANTIAGO, CHILE—results of the first comprehensive polling of Catholics in Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico were released today showing that Catholics in these countries see a […]

Debating Sexual Health and Rights in Latin America

New Billboard in Santiago Promotes Use of Condoms to Prevent Spread of HIV/AIDS SANTIAGO, CHILE—A startling message will greet government delegates from Latin America and the Caribbean gathering in Santiago this week. As they drive from the airport, a massive billboard promoting the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS will fill the […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Applauds the California Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold Women’s Access to Contraceptive Services

WASHIONGTON, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) welcomes today’s ruling in the California case Catholic Charities v. Superior Court as an important step in acknowledging women’s right to equal access to the healthcare services they need. The California Supreme Court today issued a 6 to 1 decision in support of the constitutionality of the California Contraceptive Equity […]

Kate Michelman, Albert Thomas and Cheryl Francisconi Join Board of Catholics for a Free Choice

New members bring political savvy, scientific integrity, and passion for helping women to leading group of Catholics dedicated to women’s reproductive health and rights. Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) announced today that it has added three new members to its board of directors who bring a wealth of experience, passion and commitment to […]

Good Catholics Use Condoms

New Phase of Condoms4Life Campaign Reaches Out to Gay Catholics WASHINGTON, DC—A new global public education effort that is countering Vatican misinformation on condoms and seeking to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms is now reaching out to gay Catholics. Using the message, “Good Catholics Use Condoms,” the latest phase of the Condoms4Life campaign features provocative […]

President Bush Must Face the Facts and Approve Congressional Allocation of $34 million for United Nations Population Fund

The following statement by Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, is on yesterday’s Congressional approval of the Foreign Operations Bill for 2004. WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush has the fate of thousands of women in Asia, Africa and Latin America in his hands. Last night, Congress approved funds for the United Nations Population Fund […]

Good Catholics Use Condoms: New Challenge to Vatican’s Misinformation on Condom Effectiveness Starts World AIDS Day 2003 with Condoms4Life International Media Campaign

New Challenge to Vatican’s Misinformation on Condom Effectiveness Starts World AIDS Day 2003 with Condoms4Life International Media Campaign Washington, DC—“Good Catholics Use Condoms” is the message of a new global public education effort to counter Vatican misinformation on condoms, beginning December 1, 2003, World AIDS Day. The campaign, a new phase in the Condoms4Life campaign, […]

US Policy on Family Planning in China is Misguided

Interfaith Delegation Finds UNFPA a Positive Force in China; Delegation Calls on President Bush to Support Funding of UN Agency New evidence based on first-hand observations in China prove UN agency plays critical role in promoting voluntary, high quality reproductive health care for Chinese   New York — Nine religious and faith-based organization leaders and […]

Campaign to End Catholic Bishops’ Ban on Condoms Targets US Bishops Meeting in Washington, DC

Congress, AIDS advocates, and public urged to protest Catholic cardinals’ and bishops’ lying about condoms’ effectiveness to fight AIDS.   Washington, DC—A campaign to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms is targeting the US bishops’ meeting this week in Washington, DC, and today is running a Washington Post federal page ad with the tagline […]

Catholics Join Broad Coalition of Civil Society in Protest Against Special Status of Vatican Granted Through Article 51 in European Draft Constitution

“If the Vatican succeeds in its goal to gain special consultative status within the EU a great number of people could face discrimination and be denied their human rights,” declared Elfriede Harth, on behalf of Catholics for a Free Choice-Europe. The Vatican wants a special exemption from EU policy so that the Catholic church can […]

Report Reveals Vatican Efforts to Expand Power in European Union

EU constitution, health policies and funding are all targets for Vatican lobby opposing sexual and reproductive health and rights Washington, DC–A report released today by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) reveals the goals and methods of a well funded and orchestrated campaign by the V atican and conservative Catholic allies to undermine the European […]

“Stop the Climate of Polarization,” Says Catholic Leader

Washington, DC—The following statement by Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, is on the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the Eleventh US Circuit Court of Appeals. “Today we conveyed our concern to those members of the Judiciary Committee who have claimed that opposition to Mr. Pryor’s nomination constitutes de […]

“There’s More to Fighting AIDS than ABC,” says Catholic Magazine

Exporting Bush’s Puritanism to Africa May Scare Away Those Who Need Help the Most. Washington, DC–The latest issue of Conscience magazine highlights how America is exporting its own version of the ABC campaign (Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms) to fight AIDS in Africa but could end up hurting those it’s designed to help, especially as […]

Bush’s War on Women Joined by a Congressional Coalition of the Cruel

The following statement by Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, is in response to the 216-211 vote today in the U.S. Congress denying funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Is there anyone remaining in America—other than the ultra conservative right wing and the nation’s 300 Roman Catholic bishops and George […]

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS FOR VOLUNTARY FAMILY PLANNING : An ad hoc coalition of religious leaders in support of the UNFPA

People of faith join forces to protect UNFPA funding; Diverse faiths say commitment to international family planning must remain strong Washington, DC–A group of more than 171 religious leaders and lay people who are Christians, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists and Hindus today urged members of the US House of Representatives to oppose any attempts to […]

Michigan Rape Survivors Denied Emergency Contraception at Catholic Hospitals

CFFC study finds other reproductive services restricted A comprehensive study of reproductive health care in Catholic institutions in Michigan by Catholics for a Free Choice released today shows that more than half of Catholic hospital emergency rooms do not provide emergency contraception (EC) to rape survivors. Other reproductive health services are also limited at health […]

Illinois Rape Survivors Denied Emergency Contraception at Catholic Hospitals

CFFC study finds other reproductive services restricted A comprehensive study of reproductive healthcare in Catholic institutions in Illinois by Catholics for a Free Choice released today shows that nearly half of Catholic hospital emergency rooms — 44 percent — do not provide emergency contraception (EC) to rape survivors. Other reproductive health services are also limited […]

Statement by CFFC President Frances Kissling on Pastoral Letter on HIV/AIDS by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington

“I read with real anticipation the pastoral letter of the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, “The Fullness of Life.” The need for church leaders of the cardinal’s stature, compassion and intelligence to speak out on this problem is critical. There is much that is positive in his pastoral letter. The cardinal’s call for us […]

Catholics Join Coalition of 35 European NGOs in Appeal to Convention Not to Give Religion Unfair Influence in Constitutional Treaty

(Versailles, France)–Today, representatives of religious, environmentalist, humanist, and reproductive rights groups, together with professional non-governmental organizations from throughout Europe announced a joint effort to make sure religion is not granted privileged status in the European Union by calling on members of the European Convention to reject Article 37 from the pending draft of the European […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Kicks Off See Change Campaign in France

Catholics for a Free Choice Wednesday kicked off its “See Change” Campaign in France to initiate a review of the Holy See’s special “state” status at the United Nations. Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling was joined by a number of French colleagues, including Françoise Laurant, president of Movement Français de Planification Familiale. […]

Women in New York don’t always get healthcare options they deserve, Catholics for a Free Choice study concludes

A comprehensive study of reproductive healthcare in Catholic health agencies in New York by Catholics for a Free Choice released today shows many Catholic hospital emergency rooms out of compliance with state health department protocols in the provision of emergency contraception. Today’s study highlighted information from a study by Ibis Reproductive Health that surveyed 597 […]

Catholics for a Free Choice says Vatican Document Defies History and Science

Catholics for a Free Choice today said a new Vatican lexicon is reminiscent of an era in which the Catholic church fought against advances in science. The lexicon, prepared by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, covers topics such as sexuality, condoms, abortion, birth control and genetic manipulation. “Early reports regarding the contents of […]

World Community Speaks out against the Global Gag Rule

More than 275 public health advocates from throughout the world oppose Bush administration plan to deny family planning organizations global HIV/AIDS assistance Today, more than 275 leading parliamentarians, public health practitioners, and religious leaders from every region of the world sent a letter to President George W. Bush opposing the expansion of the global gag […]

Women’s Rights and Religious Leaders Urge President of Poland to Reform Abortion Laws

International coalition letter supporting Polish women is unprecedented More than 150 leaders from 46 countries from every region of the world today expressed their concerns in a letter to the president of Poland over his recent statements that indicate he is unlikely to consider reform of the country’s current ban on most legal abortions. The […]

Catholic Voices Join African Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights Conference

Panel of women Catholic leaders to address African women’s reproductive health issues A delegation of Catholic women from Africa, Latin America and the United States will lead a ground-breaking discussion on “Christianity and Women’s Rights.” The panel will explore the way the Catholic church obstructs women’s reproductive rights in the Global South. The panel is part […]

World Meeting of Families Doesn’t Address Real Family Needs

Church positions on health and reproductive issues undermine family, reform Catholics say Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) has joined efforts with women and health advocacy groups in the Philippines during the Fourth World Meeting of Families, being held in Manila today through Sunday, to denounce the meeting for not adequately addressing the needs of poor […]

Vatican Guidelines for Catholic Politicians Likely to Fall on Deaf Ears

Doctrinal Note lacks sufficient respect for diversity of views on key moral questions The Vatican attempt to force Catholic lawmakers to set public policy according to its guidelines is unlikely to be successful, said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “While the insights of official leaders of the Roman Catholic church on […]

Reform Catholics Praise Bishop on World AIDS Day, December 1st

Continued Vatican Ban on condoms is, however, antithesis of theme for World AIDS Day Washington, D.C.– Catholics for a Free Choice today singled out Bishop Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, for praise this World AIDS Day for continuing to speak out in favor of an end to the Catholic hierarchy’s ban on the use […]

New Web Resource Debunks Catholic Vote Myth in Election 2002

Washington, DC– In the crucial closing stages of election 2002, a new education and information website, Catholicvote.net, debunks the myths concerning the so-called Catholic vote in American politics. This web site offers factual information and analysis to help candidates, policymakers and journalists better understand the place of Catholics- laypeople and hierarchy- in the 2002 elections. The […]

Catholics React to Vatican’s Refusal to Approve US Bishops’ Plan on Sex Abuse

Statement of Frances Kissling, President of Catholics for a Free Choice  The Vatican yesterday refused to approve the US bishops’ “Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Accusations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests, Deacons, or other Church Personnel.”  They did not offer any immediate relief for the victims, nor any interim plan for […]

New Report Reveals Catholics Defy Stereotype of Monolithic Voting Bloc

Voting behavior of group most sought by politicians shows independence and volatility; disagreeing with bishops on key issues, refusing to be tied to either major party. Washington, DC–  A new report released today by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) analyzes the voting patterns of Catholics in America and reveals that they defy the stereotype of […]

Statement by Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice, on the “Excommunication” of Women Ordained in June

Washington, DC—“Seven women called to the priesthood by their conscience were ordained in a ritual not recognized by the institutional church as valid or legal. They have now been excommunicated. Hundreds of priests have been credibly proven to have sexually abused thousands of children— acts condemned by the Code of Canon Law; none has been excommunicated. […]

Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice, Statement on President Bush’s Decision to Deny UN Family Planning Funds

Washington, D.C.–“President Bush’s decision to permanently deny US funds for the UNFPA is a tragic denial of life-saving family planning services for the world’s poor. In pandering to the religious right and the Vatican, the president has ignored well-known facts about UNFPA and its work in preventing abortions and ensuring that poor families are better […]

Prochoice Catholic Magazine Conscience Spotlights World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada

Prominent Catholic women address young people attending Catholic gathering with advice, encouragement and insights into the contemporary church Washington, D.C. — As hundreds of thousands of young Catholic women and men flock to Toronto to participate in World Youth Day 2002, Conscience, the prochoice magazine of Catholics for a Free Choice, features prominent Catholic women from around the […]

Every Woman Knows the Story: the Dallas Bishops’ Meeting

The following statement by Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, was issued as the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Dallas drew to a close. Dallas, Texas– “Every abused woman knows the story: first they beat you up, then they shower you with love and apologies and promise […]

At End of Bishops’ Meeting, Catholic Reform Groups Support Survivor Network Call for Dismissal of All Priests, Bishops and Cardinals Who Ever Abused

Call for resignation of every bishop who facilitated that abuse in any way. Dallas, Texas—  Moved by the clarity and determination of the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and outraged by the lack of commitment shown by the bishops, thirteen Catholic reform groups are supporting the survivors’ network’s call for the dismissal […]

United Nations Asked to Intervene in Sexual Abuse of Children by Catholic Clergy, to Hold Vatican Accountable for Violating Convention on the Rights of the Child

Campaign launched by abuse survivors, legal experts and Catholic groups lobbying UN to demand plan from Vatican to end future abuse and ensure due process for victims. New York, NY–The first campaign calling for the United Nations to intervene and help end the systemic sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy was launched today in New […]

Members of the European Parliament Back Catholic Condom Campaign

Advertisement in the European Voice newspaper decries Vatican’s ban on condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS Political leaders from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and the United Kingdom gave their support today to the first global campaign to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms. In an advertisement […]

Catholic Leader Decries CHA Statement

Says Catholic Hospitals Need to Provide Information About Emergency Contraception Washington, DC—“The Catholic Health Association’s statement that it supports ‘medically appropriate, morally acceptable’ care for victims of sexual assault is a cynical statement that reflects the problem of religious control of hospitals,” said Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling.  “While the Ethical and […]

Irish Voters Reject Abortion Referendum

Defeat for Catholic Bishops Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling issued the following statement today: We are gratified that the Catholic people of Ireland—in spite of the heavy lobbying by Irish bishops—defeated the Government’s referendum on abortion. At the same time, we remain concerned that Irish women’s access to legal abortion is […]

Catholic Coalition Challenges Bishops’ Statement on Abortion

Newspaper Ad Urges a “No” Vote on Abortion Referendum An international coalition of prochoice Catholics have joined to counter Irish bishops’ lobbying in support of the Abortion Referendum on Wednesday, 6 March 2002. “There is much room in Catholic theology for the acceptance of policies that favor access to reproductive health options such as contraception […]

Global Campaign to End Catholic Bishops’ Ban on Condoms Launched in Africa

Billboard and Newspaper ads in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya stating “Banning Condoms Kills” are part of global mobilizing effort to change Vatican’s condom policy. The first global campaign to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms was launched in Africa today with billboards in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare and Nairobi and major newspaper ads carrying […]

Global Campaign to End Catholic Bishops’ Ban on Condoms Comes to Canada

Toronto billboards stating “Banning Condoms Kills” are part of massive mobilizing effort in U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America to change Vatican’s condom policy. The first global campaign to end the Catholic bishops’ ban on condoms arrived in Canada today with Toronto billboards carrying the message “Banning Condoms Kills.”  Placed at two prominent spots […]

Anti-Contraception Group Tries to Place Irresponsible Anti-Condom Ads in District of Columbia Metro System

Washington, DC—“It is shocking in its sheer irresponsibility that the American Life League—an organization claiming to defend life—should try to place advertising on the DC Metro that uses misleading and inaccurate statistics to discourage condom use as a way to prevent HIV transmission,” said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “Bad advice […]

Catholic Group Refutes Bishops’ Claim that Catholic Hierarchy Cannot Ban Condoms

New global AIDS campaign irks bishops, who respond with misinformation effort in failed attempt to ban Condoms4Life ads. Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling today refuted claims by the US bishops that the Catholic church does not take an active role in prohibiting the use of condoms.  “The bishops have disingenuously claimed […]

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADDRESSES GROWING ROLE OF RELIGION IN EUROPEAN POLICY; EXPERTS CITE RISE OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE

First seminar of its kind brings Members of Parliament together with international experts to explore impact of religious diversity on policy making in an enlarged EU. BRUSSELS—At the first seminar of its kind held at the European Parliament, Members of Parliament met today with international experts to explore the role of religion in international policy […]

Women’s Health Advocates Call on U.S. Bishops to End Sterilization Ban at Catholic-Controlled Hospitals

Bishops’ health care directives depriving poor women of most commonly used form of contraception, especially at non-Catholic hospitals merged with Catholic hospitals.  Washington, DC—A coalition of leading women’s health care advocates called today for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to revise their Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (Directives) and end […]

New Religious Power in Washington—The Catholic Right

From Stem Cell Research to the President’s Faith-Based Initiative, A New Report Examines the Influence of Conservative Catholics and Catholic Bishops on White House Policy WASHINGTON, DC—Catholics are in fashion in Washington, according to a special report released today by Catholics for a Free Choice. The report sheds light on the high-powered presence of conservative […]

Pope Lobbies Bush Not to Fund Stem Cell Research

New Report Examines Influence of Conservative Catholics and Catholic Bishops on White House Policy  The pope’s appeal to President Bush that the United States not provide federal funding for stem cell research was the latest evidence of the high-profile presence of conservative Catholics within Bush’s inner circle and the Republican Party’s eager courting of the […]

Prochoice Catholics Applaud Court Victory on Access to Contraception

 Call decision an answer to women’s prayers Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling issued the following statement today: In an opinion published today, the California Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Catholic Charities of Sacramento’s constitutional challenge to the Women’s Contraceptive Equity Act. This decision is an answer to our prayers. Had Catholic […]

Joint Statement by Frances Kissling, President of Catholics for Free Choice, USA and María Mejía, Director of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Mexico

Dublin, Ireland—The plight of Irish women seeking safe and legal abortions is deplorable. To be required to leave one’s country, to be unable to seek medical care from one’s own physician, to be denied the advice and companionship of one’s loved ones and even spiritual advisors at the time one makes one of the most […]

U.S. BISHOPS BAN STERILIZATION AT ALL CATHOLIC-CONTROLLED HOSPITALS

Vote on new healthcare directives to reduce reproductive health services for women in half of the largest healthcare systems in the U.S Atlanta, GA–The following statement by Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, is in response to the vote taken today by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) to revise their Ethical […]

Prochoice Catholics Repudiate Conservative Catholic Attack on Dolores Cross

Call on Ray Flynn, former US Ambassador to the UN, to Apologize Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling issued the following statement today:  As prochoice Catholics, we are shocked at the intolerance and insensitivity shown by former UN Ambassador and current President of the Catholic Alliance Ray Flynn in his attack on Seton […]

Catholic Groups Urge Congress to Overturn Global Gag Rule

Say Policy “Lacking in Compassion” WASHINGTON, DC—Messages from several progressive Catholic leaders are being sent to Members of Congress, stressing that Catholics support international family planning initiatives and oppose the “global gag rule,” which would weaken U.S. commitment to family planning options.  Five of the organizations—Catholics Speak Out, Dignity/USA, National Coalition of American Nuns, Women-Church […]

Catholic Leader says Bush’s Overtures to US Bishops Increase Threat to Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom Key in Support for Legal Abortion Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling, speaking this Sunday at the Emergency Action for Women’s Lives protest march in the nation’s capital, will say that the most serious threat to legal abortion and to all reproductive choice is the continuing political opposition from the […]

Catholic Leader says Bush’s Overtures to US Bishops Increase Threat to Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom Key in Support for Legal Abortion Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling, speaking this Sunday at the Emergency Action for Women’s Lives protest march in the nation’s capital, will say that the most serious threat to legal abortion and to all reproductive choice is the continuing political opposition from the […]

Catholic Leader Calls For Evaluation of Cardinal Egan’s Position

Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling yesterday welcomed the participation of Cardinal Egan in the political process surrounding pending legislation in New York state that would require health plans to provide contraceptive coverage in prescription benefit plans.  At the same time, she called for state legislators to evaluate the cardinal’s policy positions […]

New Report Documents Conservative Catholic Mayhem at UN

Cites claim by Catholic lobbyist that Holy See delegate made offensive remark about Hillary Clinton. Washington, DC–A new report from Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) released today uncovers shocking remarks made by Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, regarding then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.  The report, “Bad Faith at the […]

Catholic Lay Groups Support Contraception Equity Act in Court

Amici brief refutes claims made by Catholic Charities of Sacramento Sacramento, CA—A coalition of progressive Catholic groups has filed an amici curiae brief in Sacramento County challenging a lawsuit by Catholic Charities of Sacramento, Inc. filed against The California Women’s Contraception Equity Act.  The brief maintains that Catholic Charities does not qualify for exemption as a religious […]

US NGO Leaders Praise EU Action on Bush “Global Gag Rule”

Decry ethical and constitutional lapses in US policy Washington, DC—Leading nongovernmental organizations in the United States today sent a letter to European Union Development Commissioner Poul Nielson, praising his suggestion that the European Union would make up the shortfall in international family planning funding caused by President George Bush’s implementation of the “global gag rule.”  […]

Statement of Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling in Response to President Bush’s Reinstatement of the “Global Gag Rule”

Recent executive memorandum endangers women’s health Washington, DC—It is sad that the first major policy action of President Bush, who calls himself a “compassionate conservative,” is restricting family planning funds that are much needed to save women’s lives.  Known as the “Global Gag Rule,” this restriction cuts off funding for groups that provide comprehensive reproductive […]

Catholics Challenge Church Hierarchy’s Position on Use of Condoms

Campaign Urges World Leaders to Support Full HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs  Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice has called on progressive Catholics around the globe to make their voices heard on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2000.  According to the latest estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization […]

CFFC Challenges Bishops’ Closed-Door Policy on Healthcare; Criticizes Decision not to Discuss Vatican Call for New Policy on Sterilization Openly at NCCB Meeting

Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling today criticized the decision by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) to remove a discussion about proposed changes to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services from the agenda of its annual meeting. Under pressure from the Vatican, the NCCB had proposed a series […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Supports Demands of Gay and Lesbian Catholics

Washington, DC—Catholics for a Free Choice today expressed its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Catholics protesting against discrimination in the Catholic church.  CFFC joins Dignity—a group of gay and lesbian Catholics—and the interfaith movement Soulforce at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where they will protest during the National Conference of Catholic […]

Archbishop Mounts Bully Pulpit, But Who’s Listening?

Survey shows most Catholics oppose politicking by church leaders New York—Archbishop Edward Egan, in a letter read to parishioners before masses last weekend, made sweeping statements that failed to take into account the unique diversity of Catholic voters.  By calling on parishioners to vote in favor of candidates who “share our commitment to fundamental rights […]

If You Want to Win Catholic Voters, Don’t Rely on the Bishops

New Poll Challenges Conventional Wisdom that Social Messages Determine the Catholic Vote Washington, DC—A new poll refutes a general misconception about what some have called the biggest swing vote in American politics—Catholic voters. There is a prevailing myth that Catholics vote primarily on social issues such as abortion and that they are influenced by the […]

Catholics Call for Equality Among Religions at the UN

“There is a need to change the status of the Vatican at the UN,” says Catholic leader. Washington, DC—“The Catholic church is complicit in interfering with women’s reproductive rights around the world,” is the central tenet of the address by a representative of The “See Change” Campaign to the World March for Women. Bishops in […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Welcomes UN Agency’s Focus on Women’s Health and Equality

Washington, DC–On the launch of the United Nations Population Fund’s The State of World Population 2000, Catholics for a Free Choice welcomes UNFPA and the UN Foundation for their focus and dedication to expanding women’s rights and illustrating the role sex discrimination plays in women’s poverty and oppression around the world.  By bringing this disparity to the […]

Catholic HMOs Provide Contraception, Tubal Ligations, But Fall Short on Reproductive Healthcare

Washington, DC–The first ever survey of the nation’s Catholic HMOs, conducted by Catholics for a Free Choice, has found that despite protestations by many Catholic hospitals and employers that it would violate church teaching to provide coverage for contraceptive services, many Catholic managed care plans cover contraception and other reproductive health services.  A total of 25 […]

Statement of Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice on the Health Insurance Coverage for Contraceptives Act of 2000

Washington, DC– Catholics for a Free Choice welcomes the decision of the House Appropriations Committee to leave the task of crafting an exemption to providing insurance coverage for contraceptives to the D.C. City Council. In order to protect the consciences of the vast majority of the District’s women and men who value responsible parenthood, we call […]

Catholics for a Free Choice Meets with Abortion Reform Committee

Supports abortion laws that respect women as moral decision-makers Dublin, Ireland—Following the submission of a written report to the committee, a delegation of the leadership of the international organization Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) had the opportunity to meet with the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution. The committee is hearing testimony as it […]

Statement of Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for A Free Choice, on the introduction of congressional resolutions regarding the “See Change” Campaign

Several Republican members of Congress (Sens. Rick Santorum and Bob Smith and Rep. Chris Smith) have introduced a resolution condemning The “See Change” Campaign and objecting to any effort to expel the Holy See from the UN.  It should come as no surprise that Republican members of Congress should attempt to assuage the current charges […]

Statement of Support by Catholics for a Free Choice For Resolution 218 “Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare”

Catholics for a Free Choice supports Resolution 218, “Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare,” currently being considered by a committee of the American Medical Association. Catholic hospitals are major providers of healthcare services and as such should not be allowed to deny legal reproductive health services when in a doctor’s judgement they are appropriate.  According to […]

The “See Change” Campaign Makes Waves at Beijing +5

Dialogue Opened About Status of Holy See at UN, Says Catholic Leader United Nations, New York–The “See Change” Campaign to initiate a review of the Holy See’s special “state” status at the United Nations has already achieved one of its main objectives, according to Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, which initiated […]

Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo endorses The “See Change” Campaign

Washington, DC—The internationally renowned Argentinean human rights group Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of the Disappeared) has endorsed The “See Change” Campaign. Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo was established in the late 1970s by a group of mothers whose daughters and sons were kidnapped by military death squads and who literally “disappeared” […]

National Survey Finds Women Oppose Religious Control of Reproductive Health Services

American women expect hospitals, pharmacies and health plans to put women’s rights to reproductive healthcare above the religious tenets of providers.  Washington, DC— A new study finds that American women want and expect a wide range of health services to be available to them, regardless of the religious affiliation of the hospitals, pharmacies or insurance […]

Catholic Bishops Called on to Repudiate Republican Claim that GOP Positions are “Closest” to Catholic Church’s

CFFC Says Claim is Inappropriate and Inaccurate Washington, DC—Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), today called upon Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference, to repudiate a claim made by the Republican National Committee’s Catholic Task Force that the Republican Party’s positions are […]

Statement of Frances Kissling on the Catholic Bishops’ Abortion Reconciliation Campaign

Washington, DC–In response to a new, nationwide ad campaign designed by the nation’s Catholic bishops to reconcile women who have had abortions with the church, Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) offers the bishops advice in the form of the following statement by CFFC President Frances Kissling: Whenever the Catholic bishops choose a pastoral approach […]

Vatican Claims to Support Women’s Rights Overstated, New Report Charges Shadow Report Documents that the Church Acts to Limit Women’s Human Rights

(New York) A new shadow report details actions by the Holy See that limit women’s human rights in the Catholic church and in society.  Shadow reports are compiled by non-governmental organizations on the progress of various nations in implementing the Platform for Action developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women, which outlined specific goals for […]

Women in Distress Not an Appropriate Target for Cardinal’s Protest

Says Catholic Leader  Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, responded today to the news that Cardinal Francis George, leader of the archdiocese of Chicago, will lead 900 anti-abortion demonstrators in a protest Saturday, June 26, outside a Humbolt Park abortion clinic. Washington, DC – Kissling said, “We are saddened by the news that […]

Majority of Young American Catholics Challenge Pope’s Teachings

reveals new research in Catholic newsjournal Conscience  Washington, DC—Groundbreaking new research in Conscience, the newsjournal of Catholics for a Free Choice, reveals that as many as 76 percent of Catholics between the ages of 18-29 think “an individual should follow his/her conscience, even if it disagrees with papal teaching.” The research reveals a significant increase in support […]

CFFC Decries Contraception Exemption for Employers

California Catholic Groups Lobby for Religious Privilege SACRAMENTO – Catholic leaders are attempting to limit public access to contraceptives in the state of California. State legislation to be voted on tomorrow on the floor of the California state legislature, would require prescription benefits plans to cover contraceptives, but the California Association of Catholic Hospitals and the […]

Catholic Healthcare Expansion Denies Emergency Services to Women Who have been Raped

Catholic group releases new report detailing the impact of Catholic mergers and affiliations with non-Catholic hospitals on reproductive healthcare Washington, DC – Medically accepted standards of care for women who have been raped is being denied to many women by Catholic hospitals. This is one finding from a new report by Catholics for a Free Choice […]

International Campaign Calls Into Question Vatican’s Seat at UN

Religious, Women’s, and Health Groups Urge Secretary-General to Open Review New York—An international campaign to challenge the Vatican’s status at the United Nations was launched today by a coalition of women’s, religious, and reproductive rights non-governmental organizations.  In the space of three days, more than 70 international NGOs from every region of the world endorsed […]

New Survey Shows Most Catholic Hospitals Refuse Emergency Contraception to Women Who Have Been Raped

Report also details the escalation of Catholic mergers and affiliations with non-Catholic hospitals and the impact on reproductive health services Washington, DC—Catholic hospitals are refusing the medically accepted standard of care to women who have been raped. This is one finding from a new report by Catholics for a Free Choice issued today. Caution: Catholic Health Restrictions […]

Contraceptive Bill Embraces the Best Values of Catholic Social Justice

says Catholic leader   Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice, (CFFC) today expressed its support for a Bill appealing to Members of Congress about the importance of restoring the United States contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Bill, “The United Nations Population Fund Funding Act 1999,” authorizes the restoration of family planning […]

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