The article “Bishop sees shift in youths,” Jan. 18, provides an important opportunity to remind readers that the bishops of New York do not speak for all the more than 7 million Catholics across the Empire State. Like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, those faithful, everyday Catholics understand the sacred duty of each individual to listen to their conscience and our duty to protect others’ right to do the same. The governor’s support of the Reproductive Health Act is an act for the common good, and he does so in good conscience.
Catholics for Choice lifts up the voices of the millions of faithful Catholics around the globe. We know Catholics do not want their representatives blindly following the church hierarchy’s opinion on public policy in place of their own. As a statesman who is also Catholic, Cuomo faithfully follows his conscience in upholding the rights of New York’s women to follow their consciences regarding pregnancy and abortion. He is, after all, the governor of all of New York, not a marionette of the bishops.
I am a parent. I am Catholic. I grew up in New York. Parenting is a sacred calling, equally rewarding and challenging — one that should never be forced upon the unwilling or unready. As Catholics, we are called to live compassionately using God’s gift of free will to make the best choices for ourselves. The RHA upholds women’s moral agency, centers conscience, protects religious liberty and continues New York’s leadership on a critical issue.
Catholics across the state of New York stand with their neighbors and with Cuomo in support of this important legislation.
Domestic Program Director, Catholics for Choice
This article was originally published at the Albany Times-Union.