Letters & Op-Eds 2011
New York Times

Abortion and the Bishops


To the Editor:

Re “Clergy Urge Efforts to Lower the City’s Abortion Rate” (news article, Jan. 7):

If Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan is “embarrassed” about the abortion rate in New York City, perhaps he should do more than pontificate on the matter with vague offers of help to pregnant women.

What about those who want to avoid unplanned pregnancies in the first place? The Catholic hierarchy’s complete opposition to family planning does little to help these women. Most Catholics use modern contraception despite the bishops’ protestations, but would certainly welcome the archbishop’s help in making it available and accessible for everyone.

New Yorkers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, recognize that abortion is a necessary part of any comprehensive reproductive health program. Nationwide, only 14 percent of Catholics believe that abortion should be illegal, and Catholic women, who make up a quarter of the United States population, represent a quarter of United States abortion patients.

The bishops’ opposition to family planning and abortion does a disservice to women, and shows how out of touch they are with the needs and desires of the people they claim to represent.

Jon O’Brien
President, Catholics for Choice
Washington, Jan. 7, 2011

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

Catholics for Choice