Press Releases 2015

Catholics to Pope Francis: We’re Not Rabbits

Media Contact:
Carolyn Browender
202 986 6093

“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 Catholic hierarchy—that of being a gatekeeper who stops people from making responsible decisions about sex. Catholics in the pews are often subjected to the ultraconservative dictates of his brother bishops, who use political lobbies all over the world to deny access to contraception and safe abortion. It is ironic that Pope Francis made his comments leaving the Philippines, where the bishops fought against a reproductive health law for fifteen years.

“Using the stereotype of Catholic rabbit breeding is also an insult to those who choose to ignore some other person’s judgment on the right number of children to have. As Catholics, we know conscience is the final arbiter in moral decision making. Pope Francis should respect and defend our conscience rights, not deny them.”

For more on the church and contraception, read Truth and Consequence: A Look Behind the Vatican’s Ban on Contraception.

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Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.