Skip to main content
Toggle Banner
You can make an impact in the fight for reproductive freedom.

Catholics for Choice Brings Abortion Stories to the Vatican

October 5, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 5, 2023
Contact: John Becker, Press Secretary
Phone: 202-203-0931

Catholics for Choice Brings Abortion Stories to the Vatican

Today Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, brought the topic of abortion — and the stories of faithful Catholics who’ve had abortions — to the doorstep of Pope Francis’s Synod on Synodality.

In a powerful and dramatic pair of actions, Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div., unfurled a massive banner off the Ponte Sant’Angelo — with St. Peter’s Basilica in the background — boldly proclaiming that “Faithful Catholics have abortions.” Immediately after the banner drop, Manson ceremonially processed to the synod office with a booklet of stories collected from faithful Catholics who’ve had abortions.

More photos available online here.

Below is a statement from Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div.:

“The Synod on Synodality promises to open up conversations about LGBTQIA+ inclusion, women’s ordination, church power structures, and more. But one important topic is conspicuously missing from the synod agenda — abortion — and it’s time the church reckons with the way we treat people who’ve had them. That’s why I brought this message to the Vatican by displaying a banner over the Tiber River and delivering a booklet of Catholic abortion stories to the synod office.

“This was not an act of protest, but rather, an act of what Pope Francis calls ‘encounter.’ He calls on us to lovingly engage with, listen to, and walk with each other across lines of difference — yet even in this historic synod gathering, where many ‘controversial’ issues are being discussed, the church is stifling conversations about abortion and refusing to listen to the stories of the faithful Catholics who have them.

“I unfurled the banner to remind church leaders that many faithful Catholics have had abortions — and will continue to do so. I wanted these Catholics to know that they have not been forgotten and that they too deserve to be heard and invited into conversation with church leaders.

“I processed to the synod office with Catholic abortion stories as an invitation to dialogue so that participants in the synod will understand these women are among us in the pews at Mass, volunteering in our parishes, and teaching in our Catholic classrooms. In fact, given statistics about how common abortion and birth control are, it’s very likely that that women participating in the synod themselves have used contraception, or perhaps even had an abortion.

“The abortion stories I delivered today are courageous, heartbreaking, empowering, and faithful — and they represent the stories of millions of faithful Catholics all around the world who receive abortion care. In the spirit of encounter, Pope Francis, the Vatican, and synod participants would do well to listen to them.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.