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Catholic Ad Campaign Places Presidential Candidates on Notice to Support Policies that Reduce the Need for Abortion

January 3, 2008

Washington, DC – Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien issued the following statement on the eve of the Iowa caucus:

“If there is one issue that resonates across all sections of society, it is that Americans want to reduce the need for abortion. Over the coming weeks, and continuing throughout the year, Catholics for Choice will be promoting our Prevention Not Prohibition campaign. The first series of ads will be in newspapers in states where early caucuses and primaries take place: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Colorado.

“The Prevention Not Prohibition campaign speaks for Catholics throughout the country. Despite the loud voices and best efforts of a few conservative bishops, Catholics are firmly in the mainstream when it comes to reproductive rights: 97 percent of Catholic women have used an artificial method of contraception and Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as non-Catholics. The Prevention Not Prohibition campaign identifies a number of areas where policy makers can improve public services. These include:

  • Ensuring the availability and promoting the use of safe, reliable and affordable contraception;
  • Securing health care for all, whether they are employed or not;
  • Promoting responsible sexuality education that provides accurate facts; and
  • Guaranteeing that parents have access to child care.

“In 2007, prolife and prochoice members of Congress came together on policies that would increase funding for family planning for low-income women to help them avoid unintended pregnancies. It would also provide funds for women who wish to continue their pregnancies.  It was a significant step to see those opposed to abortion rights support access to contraception as a vital tool in reducing the need for abortion. It was also significant to see members who support the right to abortion to campaign to help women continue pregnancies without sinking deeper into poverty—a core value of the prochoice community. This move was but a small part of what is needed, but it was a start. To see members of Congress come together on this issue was also important for those in the prochoice community who have been working on reducing the need for abortion for many years.

“All candidates for public office in the United States should be on notice that their constituents want them to support policies and funding for programs that make real choices available to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Too often we hear that women are coerced into choices they would not normally make. This is unacceptable. Despite the protestations of a few conservative bishops, there is strong support among Catholics for policies that would reduce the need for abortion.  The presidential election is a perfect place for serious candidates to take a stand and state that they too support providing women with real choices when it comes to dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Supporting the aims of the Prevention Not Prohibition campaign is an ideal place to start.”

Visit to see images of the advertisements: Nobody Wants to Need an Abortion and How to End the Abortion Wars.


The Prevention Not Prohibition Ads will run in the following papers:
January 3, 2008 – Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Gazette, Quad City Times; January 8, 2008 – New Hampshire Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Concord Monitor; January 19, 2008 – Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reno Gazette-Journal; January 26, 2008 – The Columbia State, Charleston Post & Courier, Greenville News; February 5, 2008 – Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Colorado Springs Gazette, Fort Collins Coloradoan