In the News - 2006

Boston Globe Bishops stress sexual issues and warn on Communion

  BALTIMORE — The Catholic bishops of the United States overwhelmingly approved new documents yesterday, exhorting Catholics to refrain from using artificial birth control, describing gay sex as immoral, and saying that anyone who disagrees with key church teachings should not take Communion.The statements mark the first time the bishops have attempted to explain and […]

Michael Paulson

The New York Times U.S. Bishops Adopt Guidelines on Gays

  WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 —The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to support initiatives based on traditional teachings that call for gay and lesbian Catholics to remain celibate and for married Catholics to reject artificial contraception.At a semiannual meeting in Baltimore, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to adopt guidelines intended […]

Neela Banerjee

Religion News Service Catholic Bishops Approve New Guidelines on Ministry to Gays

  DATELINE: BALTIMORE The nation’s Catholic bishops approved new statements Tuesday (Nov. 14) on controversial sexual subjects amid a culture that several bishops noted was not always receptive to traditional church teachings.In taking up homosexuality, contraception and natural family planning at their national conference here this week, the 300 U.S. bishops want to “help people […]

Daniel Burke

WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER Election Ads Reframe Abortion Debate

  On the day before they head to the polls to determine whether to let stand a state law that bans virtually all abortions, South Dakotans, in newspapers throughout the state, are being asked to reconsider the question of abortion from a different perspective. In stark and striking advertisements, devoid of illustration, Catholics For a Free […]

Adele Stan

THE NATIONAL JOURNAL Vying for the ‘Values Vote’

  Since being declared the key to President Bush’s re-election in 2004, conservative Christian groups have enthusiastically embraced — indeed defined — the term “values voters.” In late September, four of the most prominent groups — the Family Research Council’s FRC Action, Focus on the Family Action, American Family Association Action, and Americans United to […]

Lisa Caruso

New York Times Anti-Abortion Group Loses Tax Exemption

  The Internal Revenue Service this week revoked the tax exemption of an anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue West, after receiving a complaint that it had violated prohibitions on electioneering by nonprofits in 2004. The group had promised tax deductions for contributions to help defeat the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry. The organization said the […]

Stephanie Strom

CHRISTIANITY TODAY Pharmacists with No Plan B

  On July 6, 2002, Neil Noesen found himself on the front line of the culture wars. Less than three days after taking a job as a pharmacist at a Kmart in Menomonie, Wisconsin, he received a refill request from University of Wisconsin-Stout student Amanda Renz for the contraceptive Loestrin. Noesen, a devout Catholic, had […]

Nate Anderson

Voice of America “Campaign for Life” Seeks to End the Pope’s Ban on Condoms

  Catholics for Free Choice is an organization that has created a campaign called Condoms for Life. The campaign wants the Vatican to lift its ban on the use of condoms. This week, they are taking part in the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto. The activists say they cannot preach a culture of life […]

Angel Tabe

SUNDAY OBSERVER (TANZANIA) Vatican to Be Asked to Lift Condom Ban

  As tens of thousands of activists, providers and concerned individuals gather for the XVI International AIDS Conference, the Condoms4Life campaign 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 the world. Reports reaching the Sunday Observer […]

Simon Kivamwo

Toronto Sun Safety Issues: Group of Catholics launch Condoms4Life Campaign

  I know I’ll be accused of beating up the Catholic Church with this column (though honestly, I doubt the Pope loses much sleep over me) — but I’ll take my chances. The story at hand is the Condoms4Life Campaign being launched at the International AIDS Conference starting today in Toronto. The people behind Condoms4Life […]

Marianne Meed Ward

OTTAWA SUN Condom Activists Take on Vatican

  Activists from Condoms4Life have a plan to get the Vatican to drop its ban on condoms. About 20,000 scientists, world leaders and activists from around the world gather in Toronto tomorrow for AIDS 2006, the XVI International AIDS Conference. Condoms4Life decided it was the perfect opportunity to take on the Catholic church. Many of […]

Kevin Connor


  Kim Smith, a young mother in her mid-20s, sat fretting in the car with her 5-month-old daughter, Hannah, on a Saturday evening last winter. Her husband of almost two years had run into the Longs Drugs on Folsom Boulevard to pick up a dose of Plan B, better known as the morning-after pill. The […]

Chrisanne Beckner

Boston Globe Pious and Prochoice

  IN 1967, THE REV. HOWARD MOODY, a Baptist minister in New York City, founded what he recently described as a “faith-based organization.” Its purpose, he later wrote, was “to defy an oppressive and unjust law.” Moody believed that “freedom of choice is what makes us human and responsible.” His Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, […]

Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

Alternet Abortion is a Basic Human Right

  Amnesty International is in the midst of considering whether to include access to abortion in the list of rights that it supports. Many other organizations and individuals have long made the case that access to safe abortion services is a basic human right, one that saves thousands of women’s lives and protects the health […]

Carmen Angélina Valenzuela

Church & State Breaking the Opus Dei Code

  The Secretive Catholic Group’s Name Means ‘Work Of God,’ But In Washington, D.C., That Divine Task Has A Decidedly Political Bent From the outside, the non-descript bookstore at 15th and K Streets in the heart of Washington, D.C., looks like any other shop selling religious literature and goods. A small sign in the window […]

Rob Boston

Associated Press Quotes on Benedict XVI’s First Year

  Quotes on Pope Benedict XVI ‘s first year as pontiff: “There is no reason and no indication that Benedict will not as vehemently punish, silence and make difficulties for any theologian, politician or other person within the church that doesn’t tow the line in orthodox ways.” Catholics for a Free Choice, U.S.-based church reform group. […]

Nicole Winfield

PLANET OUT/ GAY.COM Catholics and Condoms

  At first glance, they look like many of the safe-sex ads that appear on bus shelters and billboards around San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood — two men, bare-chested, pose intimately with each other. But read the message under the image and you might be surprised: “We believe in God. We believe that sex is sacred. […]

Robert Ordona

BBC RADIO 4: RELIGION AND ETHICS Under the Rule of Benedict

  To listen to this program via Real Player, please click here. Please note: This script cannot exactly reflect the transmission, as it was prepared before the service was broadcast and may include editorial notes prepared by the producer. FX cheering crowds Link PTC It’s Ash Wednesday and thousands of people are standing on their seats […]

WOMEN'S HEALTH LAW WEEKLY Women’s Bioethics Project

  Women’s group forms advisory board of leaders in medicine, reproductive rights, bioethics The Women’s Bioethics Project (WBP) announced that it has established an East Coast Advisory Board, which has attracted respected leaders in the fields of bioethics, medicine and reproductive rights. The advisory board will provide guidance and strategic direction to the WBP as […]

BÖLL.THEMA — MAGAZINE OF THE HEINRICH BÖLL FOUNDATION Kämpfen gegen Religiösem Fundamentalismus in den USA: Ein Interview mit Frances Kissling

  Als Vorsitzende der US-amerikanischen Frauen-rechtsorganisation Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) sind Sie international eine der Wortführerinnen im Kampf gegen religiösen Fundamentalismus. Wie sind Sie zu diesem Thema gekommen? Am Anfang stand eigentlich meine Tätigkeit als Leiterin einer Abtreibungsklinik. Ende der Siebzigerjahre hat Catholics for a Free Choice mich dann gefragt, ob ich Interesse hätte, im […]

Liane Schalatek

BÖLL.THEMA — MAGAZINE OF THE HEINRICH BÖLL FOUNDATION Fighting Religious Fundamentalism in the US: an Interview with Frances Kissling

  Frances, as President of the US-based Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) you have been a leading voice internationally in the fight against religious fundamentalism. How did you get involved in this line of work? In 1970, when the law on abortion changed in the state of New York, I was an activist. I […]

Liane Schalatek

THE NEW STANDARD ‘Conscience Clauses’ Could Usher Healthcare Crisis

  As legal loopholes that allow healthcare providers to refuse to offer services they deem “morally objectionable” crop up around the nation, their breadth and severity grow, raising concerns of broadening impact. Amid a nationwide debate over giving medical professionals the “right” to refuse to provide care on moral grounds, Michigan lawmakers are considering a […]

Catherine Komp

Associated Press Morning-After Pill Draws Catholic Concerns

  Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice in Washington, D.C., said the idea of testing a rape victim to determine if she is ovulating before deciding whether to prescribe Plan B is “to the far right of any theological or medical arguments related to emergency contraception.” “A woman who has been raped […]

Susan Haigh

Austin American-Statesman Birth Control, Naturally

  Forget the rhythm method. Some Catholics – and non-Catholics – are turning to the specific methods of natural family planning to learn when pregnancy is likely Every morning when the alarm goes off, before getting out of bed, Andy Hebda hands a digital thermometer to his wife, Jill. Emerging from the fog of sleep, […]

Robin Ross The Battle to Ban Birth Control

  Using bogus health facts to scare women about the “dangers” of contraception, a fledgling movement fights for a culture in which sex = procreation. Ever since she was in her early teens, Mary Worthington has been vehemently opposed to contraception, which she regards as immoral and dangerous. To spread her anti-birth-control gospel, this month […]

Priya Jain

American Prospect Man Alive

  A liberal, poet Robert Frost once quipped, is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. Nowhere is this truer than at The New York Times today on the subject of abortion. The past two years have seen one of the most contentious and closely watched presidential contests in 40 years, the […]

Garance Franke-Ruta Connecticut Contraceptive Clash

  A big fight’s brewing over Plan B in the state’s Roman Catholic hospitals. So here’s the latest round of troubling news in the battle to make the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B available for women who need it. (Broadsheet recently reported on the political debate surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s review of […]

Sarah Elizabeth Richards

Associated Press Connecticut Bishops Pursuing Stricter Interpretation of Abortion

  “This is an extreme Catholic position that is not justifiable in the context of even the Catholic health ethical guidelines on the treatment of women who’ve been raped,” said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. This article courtesy of the Associated Press.

Susan Haigh

The Independent South Dakota Ban Opens Nationwide Fight over Abortion

  Campaigners are preparing to challenge a landmark decision in South Dakota to ban abortions in almost all circumstances – a move that will force the Supreme Court again to address one of the most divisive issues in the US. New legislation signed earlier this week by the state’s Governor, Mike Rounds, makes abortion illegal […]

Andrew Buncombe

Toronto Star On a Mission from God

  Hail Mary, full of grace … Pizza billionaire Tom Monaghan believes the Lord is with him as he lays the foundations for the town he calls Ave Maria – Hail Mary – on 2,000 hectares of land, 145 kilometres north of Miami. Built around the United States’ first new Catholic university in four decades and […]

Bill Taylor

Associated Press New Florida Town Looks to Ban Abortion, Porn and Contraceptives

  “This is country club Christianity,” said Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington, D.C.-based Catholics for a Free Choice, which opposes the church’s bans on abortion and birth control. She likened the town’s concept to Islamic fundamentalism and teaching intolerance. “This is un-American,” Kissling said. “I don’t think in a democratic society you can […]

Brian Skoloff

Hartford Courant Access to Contraceptive Urged

  The culture war over emergency contraceptives has heated up on several fronts in recent weeks, with battles fought in pharmacies, state legislatures, political campaigns and Congress. On Tuesday, advocates for sexual assault victims called on Connecticut lawmakers to require that all Connecticut hospitals – including the state’s four Roman Catholic hospitals – provide emergency contraception […]

William Hathaway

BAY AREA REPORTER Condom Ads Target Catholics

  While some people of faith debate theology or try to reconcile religion with sexuality, others have taken the initiative in a different direction altogether, insisting upon the idea that sex for pleasure is compatible with devout practice. The Washington D.C.-based Catholics for a Free Choice recently launched a series of giant ads and posters […]

Zak Szymanski

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Lobbying Storm in Abortion Pill Debate

  POLITICIANS are being inundated with emails, letters and phone calls warning them of a voter backlash if they agree to an amendment that would end the effective ban on the so-called abortion pill, RU486. The Senate may begin debating as soon as tomorrow an amendment which seeks to overturn the Minister for Health’s approval […]

Stephanie Peatling

Albany Times Union Study: Hospital Care Fails Women

  Catholic facilities deny access to emergency contraception, health group’s survey finds Results of a national survey released Thursday say Catholic hospitals in New York routinely deny mandated access to emergency contraception to women, including victims of sexual assault. The concentrated dose of oral contraceptives or “morning after” pills protect against pregnancy up to 120 […]

Michelle Morgan Bolton Is Abortion Bad?: Selling Contraception to a Polling Demographic

  From: William Saletan To: Katha Pollitt Subject: Selling Contraception to a Polling Demographic Friday, Feb. 3, 2006, at 12:00 PM ET Dear Katha, My goodness! I’m a Puritan and a pollster. And what an ad campaign you’ve cooked up for me: “Go on, hate me, I deserve it!” says the young woman in your ad. Do […]

William Saletan

United Press International Catholic ERs Deny Emergency Contraception

  In states where hospitals must dispense emergency contraception, 35 percent of Catholic sites still do not, says a study. In the survey, conducted for Catholics for a Free Choice, female mystery callers contacted hospitals in California, New Mexico, New York, Washington and South Carolina and told them they had been victims of a sexual […] The Abortion Morality Questions

  On Jan. 22, Slate correspondent William Saletan wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times urging the pro-choice movement to “declare war on abortion” and acknowledge what he as a pro-choicer feels to be true: that “it is bad to kill a fetus.” Saletan wrote that he has known many women who decided that it was […] What the Hell Happened

  In 2004, a massive pro-choice rally shook Washington. Just two years later, feminists are reflecting on the failure to stop Alito and what a conservative Supreme Court will mean for women. On Jan. 9, Feminist Majority leader Eleanor Smeal sat in on the first day of testimony in the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings and […]

Rebecca Traister

AXCESS NEWS Abortion Rights at the Forefront on 33rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

  On the 33rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs Wade decision, women’s abortion rights are once again at the forefront of public awareness activities across the nation. Dr. Lise Van Susteren, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Maryland said in statement released this weekend, “that our Constitution protects our privacy as individuals […]

Freddie Mooch

SEATLLE POST-INTELLIGENCER Planned Parenthood Enlists Help of Clergy

  Unlikely as it sounds, not everyone working at Planned Parenthood’s clinics is a diehard supporter of abortion rights. Or more precisely, while they agree that women should be allowed to terminate pregnancies, they’d rather not be in the room — or even the building — while it is happening. Some staffers struggle to reconcile […]

Claudia Rowe

Associated Press Conservatives Step Up Activities Overseas

  “The collaboration of right-wing NGOs and the Bush administration far exceeds any collaboration between pro-choice family groups and the Clinton administration,” said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “We never had that kind of hand-in-glove relationship.” She said the Bush administration, with limited power to impose conservative social policies at home, […]

David Crary
Catholics for Choice