In the News 2014

Catholics for Choice Supports Real Religious Liberty


We are disheartened by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius cases.

Watch our short movie to see what’s at stake if religious extremists are granted the right to use religion to discriminate.

Read more here:

Catholics Blast Bogus Claims of Religious Liberty in Washington Post Ad and at Faith Rally

Forty-four members of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice, a broad alliance of faith-based, secular and other national organizations, endorsed astatement in support of real religious liberty for all.

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Using Religion to Discriminate
This issue of Conscience takes a long, hard look at what’s at stake in the ongoing debate over real religious freedom.

Whose freedom are the bishops protecting?
The bishops’ motto for this year’s Fortnight for Freedom is “freedom to serve.” Jon O’Brien unpacks how this discriminatory framing of religious liberty impacts workers at Catholic institutions and their ability to serve members of the community.

Hobby Lobby Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg. What Should We Expect?
Members of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice convened a press conference to discuss the forthcoming Supreme Court decision on cases brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties. These cases are not just about the Affordable Care Act or exemptions for birth control coverage—they represent a fundamental, national divide about the true definition of religious liberty. A recording of the press conference, featuring Meghan Smith from Catholics for Choice; Rev. Barry Lynn from Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Stacey Long from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Julianna Gonen from the Center for Reproductive Rights; and Terry O’Neill from the National Organization for Women, is available here.

Perspectives on Religious Liberty
On February 7, 2014, in Washington, DC, the Coalition for Liberty & Justice convened a forum featuring legal and political experts, religious and community leaders, grassroots organizers and advocates for religious freedom and against discrimination.

American Attitudes on Religious Exemptions: In Theory and Practice
Despite vocal activism from a number of religious leaders in favor of exemptions that allow organizations and individuals to refuse reproductive health services on religious grounds, Americans reject the concept of religious exemptions. This attitude crosses religious and party lines.

Catholic Voters’ Views on Health Care Reform and Reproductive Health Care Services
A poll sponsored by Catholics for Choice found that nearly two-thirds of Catholic voters support health insurance covering contraceptives.

The Catholic Case for Contraception Coverage
Individuals have consciences, they have health care needs and they have religious liberty. They deserve to have these rights and needs respected and protected. Institutions, however, do not. The constant bleating about institutions having their conscience violated by the contraceptive mandate is a bogus argument.

Let’s Celebrate Real Religious Freedom
Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien questions the Catholic bishops’ bogus claims of religious persecution and identifies what real religious liberty means to people of all faiths.

A Delicate Balance
Conscience contributor and Americans United for Separation of Church and State communications director Rob Boston outlines the history of religious liberty in the United States.

Towards a Truly “Civil” Society
In their campaign against certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has claimed that its right to religious liberty eclipsed others’ right to contraceptive access. Others have argued that this was not a debate about religious freedom at all—it was simply about reproductive rights. Both sides are wrong.

Fortnight for Freedom: Whose Religious Liberty?
Religion & Politics contributor Jessica Coblentz questions whether the so-called contraception mandate is an infringement of the religious liberty of Catholics.

In Good Conscience: Respecting the Beliefs of Healthcare Providers and the Needs of Patients
This pamphlet has been written to give a brief overview of some of the key themes in the debate on refusal/conscience clauses: how conscience clauses evolved; Catholic teachings on conscience; and how the concept of conscience has been manipulated, especially within the context of reproductive health and rights.

Emergency Contraception: Catholics in Favor, Bishops Opposed
Coverage for emergency contraception is one of the areas under dispute in the cases being argued by the owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities. Although the USCCB is also opposed to EC, a majority of U.S. Catholics support access to it.

Papering over the Differences: The Political Alliance between Evangelicals and the Catholic Right
The Affordable Care Act’s contraception access rule has made for some strange bedfellows.

The Bishops’ Failed Fortnight for Freedom
The USCCB’s second attempt at rallying lay Catholics to support their perculiar understanding of religious liberty was met by a tepid response.

Political Bishops
Caryn D. Riswold encourages Catholics to speak out about issues on which they differ with the hierarchy.

Catholics for Choice