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Catholic Groups Claim Victory Over Vatican

July 25, 2008

The Catholic groups who today placed an ad in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera calling on the pope to end the Vatican’s ban on contraception claimed their first victory after soliciting a highly unusual response from a top Vatican official. The ad appeared on the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae—the papal encyclical that confirmed the Vatican’s teaching against contraception.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice and organizer of this initiative said, “We are delighted that our strategy worked. Within hours of the ad appearing, we achieved our central objective of letting those who have continued with this fatally flawed policy know that Catholics the world over oppose the ban on contraception.”

“The response from that Vatican demonstrates that the church hierarchy is acutely aware that the ban on contraception has seriously harmed its relationship with Catholics in the pews. The ban delegitimizes the voice of the hierarchy with lawmakers and health professionals who are only too aware that scientific and medical evidence definitively shows that maternal and child mortality as well as HIV/AIDS could be reduced if more people had access to contraceptives. The response we forced from the Vatican today illustrates that the authorities know they are skating on thin ice.”

“We will continue to lift us the voices of Catholics and all people of good will the world over. We represent the true culture of life that respects freedom of conscience and sound health policies. And we are confident that we will triumph over the reckless rhetoric of conservatives at the Vatican who continue with policies that lack compassion and common sense.”

For more information, please contact Jen Heitel Yakush at or +1 (202) 986- 6093.