In the News - 2009

Irish Times Vatican’s Right to Immunity Being Tested

  WHEN US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice visited the Vatican in February 2005, she was caught off guard by Cardinal Angelo Sodano. After discussions on Iraq, the Middle East and religious liberty, Sodano asked her if she could do something about an irksome court case in Kentucky. As reported by John Allen, veteran Vatican […]

Patrick Smyth

Congressional Quarterly Abortion Funding Amendment Headed to Likely Defeat in Senate

  The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a Democratic amendment to the health care overhaul bill aimed at tightening the measure’s restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions. Democratic opponents of the amendment, which was introduced Monday by Ben Nelson of Nebraska, are expected to be able to muster the votes to defeat it. […]

Keith Perine

Wausau Daily Herald Clinics Back ‘Morning-After Pill’

  A Wausau reproductive health care clinic and a pro-contraception Catholic organization have joined to offer an advertising campaign touting the “morning after” pill. Television and radio ads are being aired in the Wausau area for Plan B, a drug taken after intercourse to prevent pregnancy. The ads were purchased by Family Planning Health Services […]

WSAW-TV Two Catholic Women Touring the State In Hopes of Creating Dialogue about Emergency Contraception

  Catholic bishops say emergency contraception should only be provided for sexual assault survivors, but some young Catholics disagree. Two representatives from Catholics For Choice are touring Wisconsin to open a dialogue about emergency contraception. New ads will air on radio and television with the young Catholics’ message. “We’ve been touring yesterday and today throughout […]

Liz Hayes

CQ TODAY Pelosi Learns to Live With Anger on Her Left

  When liberal Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky met last week with about 50 like-minded women in a Chicago home in the posh suburb of Highland Park, she quickly found herself explaining what’s become the most contentious legislative trade-off Nancy Pelosi has made in her three years as Speaker of the House. Like Pelosi, Schakowsky is […]

Edward Epstein

Chicago Sun-Times Obama Can’t Let Bishops Set U.S. Policy

  Barack Obama, the unapologetic pro-choice presidential candidate, needs to find his strong voice again on the issue now that he is president. And he needs to stand up to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a tax-exempt religious organization, declaring that reproductive rights of women will not be sacrificed in the fight over a […]

Carol Marin

BOSTON HERALD Pat Kennedy Flap Puts Church in Health-care Ring

  U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s public feud with Rhode Island’s top bishop over abortion rights comes as the nation’s Catholic parishes have received marching orders to use bulletins and Mass announcements to inform parishioners about church positions on health-care reform. Terrence Donilon, spokesman for Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, said local dioceses have followed the U.S. […]

Jessica Van Sack

National Journal Did Catholic Bishops’ Advocacy Cross the Line?

  The furor over abortion and health care has brought fresh scrutiny to the nation’s Catholic bishops, who’ve emerged as formidable lobbyists but who face virtually none of the lobbying or disclosure rules that apply to the rest of Washington. That’s angered some on Capitol Hill, who argue the Catholic bishops have stepped over the […]

Eliza Newlin Carney

New York Times: The Caucus Grading Obama, Abortion Flares

Maria Newman

Washington Post - Acts of Faith U.S. Bishops Assert Their Authority

  At a time of fractious debate within the Catholic Church in the United States, the head of the national bishops group said this week that Catholic universities, media outlets and other affiliated organizations that insist on independence from the church hierarchy are “less than fully Catholic.” In an address that opened the semiannual meeting […]

Daniel Burke

PBS Health Care Reform: Catholics and Abortion Coverage

Watch here As the US Senate wrestles with health care reform legislation, coverage of abortion services remains a controversial issue. After strong pressure from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and several groups of religious conservatives, the House of Representatives passed the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would bar a new government-run insurance plan from covering abortions. […]

NEWSWEEK Stupak Like a Fox

  National abortion-rights advocacy groups were outraged when the House passed the Stupak amendment to the health-care bill. The amendment—named for its sponsor, Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak—would bar patients who receive government affordability credits from buying health insurance that covers elective abortions, even if they pay for the abortion component with their own money. It […]

Lindsay Beyerstein

The American Prospect Faith and the Stupak Amendment

Sarah Posner

USA TODAY Catholic Bishops Claim Moral Authority Amidst ‘Confusion’

  Responding to scientific advances and widespread “confusion” among their flocks, U.S. Catholic bishops today issued detailed guidelines on marriage, reproductive technologies and health care for severely brain-damaged patients. The bishops gathered here for their semi-annual meeting also heard a preliminary report on the “causes and contexts” of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that resulted […]

Daniel Burke

Los Angeles Times Catholic Bishops’ Influence on Healthcare Bill

  For weeks, the Catholic Church has asked its U.S. parishioners to work toward ensuring that tough language restricting federal funding of abortion is included in healthcare overhaul legislation. It has gone so far as to insert a prayer into the weekly bulletins of dioceses across the country, imploring Congress to “act to ensure that […]

James Oliphant

National Public Radio Catholic Bishops’ Lobby a Force on the Hill

  Democrats last week came to terms with a lobbying force of unexpected influence in the health care debate: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a central element of the Roman Catholic Church in America. But the group has nary a lobbyist on the payroll. So how exactly did the conference successfully push for an […]

Peter Overby

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES The Congress of Catholic Bishops

  Consider this scenario. After months of debate, the national legislature is set to cast a historic vote. But, before legislators can vote yea or nay, the bill must first be sent to the country’s Supreme Religious Council for its approval. Only after unelected clerics give their blessing are elected politicians permitted to vote. Did […]

Bill Press

Philippine Daily Inquirer Do We Know What Catholics Want?

  One of the pending pieces of legislation in the House and the Senate is the Reproductive Health bill, now subject to the politics of brinkmanship as this Congress enters its dying days. The bill hasn’t yet been passed by either chamber, but if circumstances had been different (as in having a different president), it […]

Rina Jimenez-David

Mother Jones Catholic Bishops Call the Shots on Health Care Reform

  We now know that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which in the end run reports to Rome, was involved in the crafting and promotion of the Stupak Amendment, the provision that transformed a tepid health care victory for the Democrats into a serious loss for women’s reproductive rights. Hard as it is […]

James Ridgeway

National Public Radio Abortion Language Creates Snag for Health Bill

  As health overhaul bills head toward the House and Senate floors this month, the divisive issue of abortion is threatening to derail them. Already in the House, one anti-abortion lawmaker, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), says he has enough votes to block the bill’s consideration unless he is allowed to offer an amendment to strengthen […]

Julie Rovner

CNN Religious Abortion Rights Backers Push to Change Health Care Bill

  The problematic intersection of health care and abortion politics was highlighted again Monday as religious abortion rights supporters demanded changes to reform legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives. Members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice held a news conference calling on the Senate to alter language in the House bill that […]

RADIO NETHERLANDS WORLDWIDE Catholics Divided Over Decision to Admit Anglicans

  Catholics have reacted with mixed feelings to the Pope’s decision to invite thousands of disgruntled Anglicans to join their church, admitting it will have serious repercussions for the future of the faith. But a top Catholic priest told Radio Netherlands the move is necessary because many Anglicans feel they’re not being listened to. Father […]

Marijke Peters

Reuters Pope Opening to Anglicans May Help Married Priesthood

  Pope Benedict’s decision to fling open Catholicism’s doors to disaffected Anglicans could challenge centuries of Catholic opposition to married priests and may bring the Church closer to married priesthood. The opening announced last week could lead to as many as half a million Anglican faithful, some 50 of their bishops and thousands of married […]

Philip Pullella

THE COLORADO INDEPENDENT U.S. Catholics Support Health Reform; Reject Position Advanced by Bishops

  According to a poll conducted this month by Belden Russonello and Stewart for the group Catholics for Choice, churchgoing Catholics support both a public option in health reform and a national plan that would include funding for abortion. Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien said the poll results suggest the views of Catholics on […]

John Tomasic

SDP NOTICIAS Revela Sondeo Mayor Liberalidad de Latinos Católicos sobre Aborto

  Los latinos que profesan la fe católica son más “progresistas” que los estadunidenses del mismo credo en lo que toca al aborto, reveló una encuesta divulgada hoy por la organización Catholics for Choice (CFC). El 52 por ciento de los latinos católicos considera que el aborto debe ser legal en todos o la mayoría […]

Rep. Rosa DeLauro: Obama Can Find Common Ground on Abortion

  Democratic Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro represents Connecticut’s Third Congressional District. She and Rep. Tim Ryan recently reintroduced the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act. While Dan’s away, we’ve asked a selection of prominent guest bloggers from a variety of perspectives to give their thoughts on religion and public […]

Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

TROUW Nog Eenmaal de rk vernieuwers bijeen

  In het rumoer rond het conservatieve gezinscongres, dat deze week in de Amsterdamse Rai is gehouden, dook plots een vertrouwde naam op. Henk Baars (1952), oud-voorzitter van ’Acht Mei’, de grote vernieuwingsbeweging binnen de rk kerk uit de jaren tachtig en negentig, liep er rond namens de Amerikaanse groepering Catholics for Choice. Baars pleit […]

IPS NEWS AGENCY POPULATION: UNFPA Partners with Faith-based Groups

  The United Nations has realised that if it wants to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, it will have to partner with like-minded faith-based organisations (FBOs). “It is important to invite religious leaders and faith-based organisations and other secular organisations and work together. It’s the only way,” Gladys Melo-Pinzon of the FBO Catholics for Choice […]

Sonali Salgado

Dutch MP Distances Himself from Anti-gay Remarks Dutch MP Distances Himself from Anti-gay Remarks

  Dutch Youth and Family Minister André Rouvoet has distanced himself from anti-gay remarks made by the Slovakian Member of the European Parliament Anna Zaborska. Some years ago, she argued that AIDS was God’s judgment on homosexuals. The politician’s remarks have resurfaced because she is one of the speakers at the right-wing World Congress of […]

Sonali Salgado

National Catholic Reporter Faith Groups Converge on Abortion Reduction Bill

  The bill, crafted by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, an abortion-rights supporter from Connecticut and abortion opponent Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, includes methods — namely, contraception — that some anti-abortion groups traditionally have rallied against. Conservative evangelical and Catholic groups joined abortion-rights organizations to support the bill, after it was expanded to include health care […]

Lindsay Perna

USA TODAY Pope, Obama May Find Common Ground in “Charity in Truth”

  Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming meeting with President Obama may be focused squarely on the worldwide financial crisis and on the pope’s vision for a “true world political authority” to manage the global economy with God-centered ethics. Benedict’s new social encyclical, a major teaching titled Caritas in Veritate(Charity in Truth), released Tuesday in Rome, calls for […]

Cathy Lynn Grossman

CQ WEEKLY Catholics’ Rights Rift

  It might have seemed like a big victory for left-leaning Roman Catholics this month when President Obama named Alexia Kelley to a post overseeing faith-based initiatives at the Health and Human Services Department. She is well-known as a crusader on Catholic anti-poverty initiatives — first while on the staff of the U.S. Conference of […]

Shawn Zeller

The Nation Dr. George Tiller, 1941-2009

  Trust women. That was the motto of Dr. George Tiller, abortion provider and hero. Dr. Tiller trusted women: to know their own life circumstances, to know themselves. Trusting women has an old-fashioned ring to it, doesn’t it, like “sisterhood.” How quaint, the notion that a woman, faced with a crisis pregnancy, can reach into […]

Katha Pollitt

PEOPLE'S WEEKLY WORLD Catholics Greet Obama Speech at Notre Dame

  Catholics warmly applauded President Barack Obama’s speech at Notre Dame University May 17th upholding women’s right to choose an abortion while also providing healthcare and childcare for women who choose to deliver their babies full term. Obama told the crowd that “no matter how much we want to fudge it … the fact is […]

Tim Wheeler

San Francisco Chronicle ‘Conscience’ Shield Vital, Many Caregivers Say

  Kim McAllister, a Bay Area nurse for 31 years, knows she can recuse herself from a medical procedure with which she has a moral conflict. If a patient wants an abortion or if McAllister sees an end-of-life decision she might question, she can discreetly find another nurse who would help the patient in the […]

Matthai Kuruvila

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Pell Rides Papal Bandwagon of Death

  That’s one hell of an Easter message. In a contest between showing slavish support for the Pope and putting people in the way of disease and death, Cardinal George Pell chose loyalty. From the far distance of the Vatican comes the sound of a few hands clapping. “They encourage promiscuity,” the cardinal told Sky […]

David Marr

Dick Polman The American Debate: Catholic Hierarchy Finds the Flock Isn’t So Easily Led

  Catholic church leaders had a very bad election in 2008. They assailed Barack Obama as “anti-life” and hence unacceptable. But the flock didn’t listen. Fifty-four percent of Catholic voters cast ballots for Obama, the most decisive Catholic endorsement for a presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan drew the same share in 1984. A similar disconnect […]

Dick Polman

RH Reality Check How Catholics View Sebelius

Lisa Cox

American Prospect Tapped: The Catholic Non-Controversies

Sarah Posner

IPS Pope on Condoms — Out in the Cold

  AIDS “is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems,” the Pope said on a flight to Cameroon at the start of his first visit to Africa – home to 70 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS – […]

Mario de Queiroz


  Timing is everything, even for popes. Choosing his first visit to Africa wearing his pontifical hat as the occasion to denounce condoms as part of Aids prevention was less than inspired choreography for Pope Benedict XVI. He touched down in Cameroon to find himself in the eye of yet another international storm. Back in […]

Justine McCarthy

AFRIK NEWS What Has Africa Done to Organised Religion to Deserve This?

  The recent declaration made by the Roman Catholic Pope on the use of condoms while on his way to Africa has caused widespread hue and cry against a church that faithfully supports outmoded principles, no matter how harsh the consequences may be. But the Catholic Church is not the only culprit. At a time […]

Patrick K. Johnsson

EXCÉLSIOR Reportan Apoyo de Católicos al Condón

  Una encuesta de opinión realizada por Catholics for Choice en 2007, revela que 90% de los católicos en México consideran que usar el condón es estar a favor de la vida, ya que ayuda prevenir enfermedades de transmisión sexual y a salvar vidas, contrario a lo que declaró el Papa Benedicto XVI en su […]

Laura Toribio

FOX 5 News Some Catholics Disappointed in Obama

  He garnered the majority of Catholic votes in the 2008 election, but a number of Catholic groups now say President Obama is showing a complete lack of regard for their beliefs. They count his decisions to lift restrictions on abortion and stem cell research among the most offensive. “As far as the Catholic church […]

Shannon Bream

RK NIEUWS “Catholics for Choice”: Paus ook Onzeker over Effect Condoms

   “De paus geeft toe dat ook hij niet zeker weet of condooms wel of niet kunnen helpen bij de verspreiding van het HIV- virus. Waar twijfel is, is vrijheid en katholieken kunnen zelf kiezen of zij al dan niet condooms gebruiken. De overgrote meerderheid van de katholieken heeft die keuze al lang gemaakt en […]

Joost Middelhoff

THE TIMES (LONDON) Vatican Backtracks over Pope’s Condom Stance

  The Vatican backtracked yesterday on the Pope’s rejection of condoms as a means of preventing Aids — a decision interpreted by some as a rare admission of papal fallibility. On Tuesday he told reporters accompanying him on his trip to Africa that Aids was a “tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, and […]

Richard Owen and Ruth Gledhill

Agence France Presse Pope Wrong on Condoms, US Rights, Catholic Groups Say

  US rights advocates and a Roman Catholic group on Wednesday condemned Pope Benedict XVI for saying condom use does little to help fight AIDS as he began a trip to Africa, the continent hardest hit by the deadly viral illness. The pope’s comment was “irresponsible and dangerous”, said Jon O’Brien, head of Catholics for […]

VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS Pope Stirs AIDS Controversy with Opposition to Condoms

  As he began a visit to Africa, Pope Benedict reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of condoms to fight AIDS. His comments have drawn criticism from many health organizations, AIDS activists and even some Catholics. Embarking on a trip to Africa, where 22 million people are suffering from HIV, the infection […]

Brian Padden

THE TORONTO STAR Pope’s Condom Remarks ‘Real Tragedy’

  Pope Benedict XVI attacked the use of condoms, sparking new controversy after a recent furor over a Holocaust-denying bishop. Aboard an aircraft headed to Cameroon for his first papal visit to AIDS-devastated Africa, Benedict said the virus was a tragedy “that cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase […]

Olivia Ward

LA JORNADA Condena Mundial a Dicho del Papa de que el Uso de Condón sólo Agrava el SIDA

  Reacciones de inquietud, estupor e indignación causaron las declaraciones de Benedicto XVI en rechazo al uso de preservativos para prevenir el síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida (sida), tanto entre gobiernos, como los de Francia, Bélgica y Alemania, como en diversos sectores políticos y sociales del mundo, de organismos internacionales y de la propia comunidad católica. […]

Carolina Gómez and Gabriel León

LE FIGARO E-U: Des Catholiques Critiquent le Pape

  Un groupe catholique américain a condamné mercredi les déclarations du pape Benoît XVI sur l’utilisation du préservatif qui aggraverait selon lui le problème du sida, lors d’un déplacement en Afrique, un continent ravagé par cette pandémie. Les déclarations du pape sont “irresponsables et dangereuses”, a affirmé Jon O’Brien, président du groupe Catholics for Choice, […]

THE IRISH INDEPENDENT Condoms Part of African AIDS Problem, Says Pope

  The Pope walked into a new storm of controversy on his first trip to Africa yesterday by declaring that condoms were not a solution to the Aids epidemic — but were instead part of the problem. In his first public comments on condom use, the Pontiff told reporters en route to Cameroon that Aids […]

Richard Owen

USA TODAY Could Choosing Condoms Mean Choosing Life?

  Not every Catholic leader in Africa– or elsewhere — agrees with Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on condoms on Tuesday. Benedict, on his flight to Cameroon, told media on the papal plane the long-standing official Vatican view on the HIV/AIDS epidemic ravaging many parts of Africa: You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. […]

Agence France Presse Obama Backs ‘Right to Choose’ on Abortion Anniversary

  US President Barack Obama on Thursday backed a woman’s “right to choose” on the 36th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision that gave women a constitutional right to abortion. “On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands […]

Karin Zeitfogel
Catholics for Choice