Letters & Op-Eds 2015

Parsing Pope Francis’ Words on Abortion

Jill Filipovic gets my religion wrong when she says Pope Francis’ recent actions are evidence of some underhanded anti-abortion strategy (“The Pope’s Unforgiving Message,” Op-Ed, Sept. 11).

For the majority of Catholic women who choose abortion, there is absolutely no question of sin. Following your conscience, whether it leads you to birth control, in vitro fertilization or abortion, is good decision-making and morally right as a Catholic.

But if a woman examines her conscience and believes that her decision wasn’t moral — or believes that her decision was right yet finds comfort in forgiveness — it’s our obligation to respect her for wanting that forgiveness. The dictates of our conscience should never lead us to judge another’s.

Women’s autonomy is trusting women and respecting their choices. Interesting how the religious right can share the “I know what women should think” views of some feminist commentators. Abortion is a matter of conscience: The majority of Catholics agree.

Jon O’Brien
President, Catholics for Choice

This letter originally appeared in the New York Times.

Catholics for Choice