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Catholics for Choice Condemns Catholic Bishops’ Scandalous Spending in Ohio

October 24, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Contact: John Becker, Press Secretary
Phone: 202-203-0931

Catholics for Choice Condemns Catholic Bishops’ Scandalous Spending in Ohio


WASHINGTON — Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, denounced the Ohio Catholic bishops for spending exorbitant sums of money to defeat Issue 1, a reproductive rights amendment that will be decided by voters two weeks from today. If Issue 1 passes on November 7, it will enshrine the right to access abortion, contraception, miscarriage care, and fertility treatment in the state constitution.

But the three largest Catholic dioceses in the Buckeye State have donated a whopping $1.4 million to the campaign to scuttle Issue 1 — even though 63% of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. According to records from the Ohio Secretary of State of contributions to the misleadingly-named “Protect Women Ohio” campaign, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati made two $500,000 donations (6/14 and 8/12); the Diocese of Cleveland gave $200,000 (6/7); and the Diocese of Columbus donated $200,000 (7/19). And because publicly available records only reflect contributions made through September 8, there could well be additional donations that haven’t yet been disclosed.

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div. said:

“Spending over a million dollars on a crusade to oppose abortion access and obstruct women’s healthcare — rather than following Jesus’ commands to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick — is an abuse of the hard-earned funds that ordinary Catholics donate to their parishes and dioceses. With such a staggering sum, Ohio’s Catholic bishops could have funded scholarships to Catholic schools for underprivileged kids, hired more teachers, or even helped a struggling parish keep its doors open. But instead, the bishops are funding an anti-choice campaign so desperate that it’s been caught repeatedly spreading lies and misinformation, in violation of the Ninth Commandment’s prohibition on bearing false witness. Catholics in Ohio — especially the many who need abortion care — deserve so much better from their church.

Catholics for Choice Ohio Field Organizer Nicole Morino said:

“Catholics for Choice is working here in Ohio to counter the bishops’ radically extreme anti-choice views by uplifting and empowering the pro-choice Catholic majority and organizing a dedicated base of pro-choice Catholic voters to vote ‘yes’ on Issue 1 and place essential reproductive healthcare beyond the reach of partisan politicians, capricious courts, and meddling bishops. In the final stretch of this campaign, we are redoubling our efforts to make sure that pro-choice Catholics are heard loud and clear on November 7, and help carry Issue 1 over the finish line. And we’re not going to stop until everyone has access to safe, quality, and affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion care.”

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.