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Catholics for a Free Choice Welcomes UN Agency’s Focus on Women’s Health and Equality

September 20, 2000

Washington, DC–On the launch of the United Nations Population Fund’s The State of World Population 2000, Catholics for a Free Choice welcomes UNFPA and the UN Foundation for their focus and dedication to expanding women’s rights and illustrating the role sex discrimination plays in women’s poverty and oppression around the world.  By bringing this disparity to the attention of American citizens and policy makers, the necessity of providing valuable family planning services to developing countries becomes all too clear.

CFFC notes the support of Catholics worldwide for reproductive health programs and international family planning services, which enable men and women to make responsible decisions about parenting and that aid in reducing the millions of unwanted pregnancies and hundreds of thousands of pregnancy-related deaths.  U.S. Catholics have rejected the repressive stance adopted by Catholic church hierarchy against contraceptive use in favor of more reliable, modern methods of contraception.  In addition, U.S. Catholics also support making modern contraception available to countries in the developing world:

  • 96% of all Catholic women in the U.S. who have ever had sex have used modern contraceptive methods at some point in their lives.
  • Less than 3% of sexually active Catholic women use church-approved family planning methods.
  • Even among married Catholic women who attend church every week, less than 4% use church-approved family planning methods—about the same as the total population.
  • Catholics are about as likely as the total population to support U.S aid programs for international family planning—79% vs. 80%.
  • Nearly half of all Catholics—47%—disapprove of laws that prevent the U.S. from funding international family planning organizations that perform abortions.