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Catholics for Choice Beats Censorship in Nicaragua

February 12, 2016

La Prensa, a newspaper in Nicaragua, refused to publish an advertisement that had been booked to run during the papal visit to Mexico unless all references to abortion were deleted. The open letter was sponsored by Catholics for Choice and Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Nicaragua as part of a campaign asking Pope Francis to do the right thing for the lives and health of Latin American women who live in the path of the Zika epidemic.

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“This campaign tells the truth about the reality for women in Latin America—that the criminalization of abortion and restrictions on birth control cause suffering,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “It has been welcomed by the International New York Times and El Diario de Hoy in El Salvador.”

He continued, “When the media bows to the censorious whims of whoever is in power, whether the censorship is from the state or church, it is the marginalized who suffer.”

“Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir is disturbed that government-sanctioned media refuses to acknowledge the tragedy that women face when denied access to abortion. We must demand that the media take responsibility to spread the correct information about the Zika virus and ensure that women have the tools and information to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy,” said Lois Edith Gonzáles of Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir Nicaragua.

Beating the censorship, Catholics for Choice found another prominent newspaper in Nicaragua, El Nuevo Diario, willing to print the entire ad asking the pope to respect women’s ability to make conscience-based decisions, including abortion. The ad appears today as Francis travels to his home region of Latin America.

O’Brien concluded, “We were able to beat the heavy censorship of the state and church and tell the truth: in a country with one of the most restrictive abortion laws, women don’t have the ability to protect themselves. Catholics for Choice and our partners will never bend the knee to censorship; the truth needs to be told everywhere.”