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Catholics for Choice Counters the “March for Life” with the Message: “Most People of Faith Support Legal Abortion”

January 19, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 19, 2023
Contact: John Becker, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 203-0931

Catholics for Choice Counters the “March for Life” with the Message: “Most People of Faith Support Legal Abortion”
Catholics for Choice drops banners from Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Carol Whitehill Moses Center

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, peacefully disrupted a harassing and intimidating anti-choice protest outside Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., today, unfurling banners from the rooftop of the health center that boldly proclaimed, “Most people of faith support legal abortion” and “Catholics support abortion providers, abortion seekers, abortion access.” PHOTOS. SOCIAL MEDIA.

Catholics for Choice interrupted the event led by disgraced former Catholic priest Mr. Frank Pavone — who was recently defrocked by the Vatican for blasphemy and disobedience. The protest is affiliated with the so-called “March for Life,” an annual event that gathers anti-choice protesters around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

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

“The so-called ‘March for Life’ rolls into D.C. every year praying for the loss of basic civil rights, protesting at the Capitol and Supreme Court, and pretending that their radical, harmful views are shared by the majority. To put it plainly, that is a lie. Most Americans, including people of faith, support access to abortion care — and as pro-choice Catholics, we do so because our social justice values compel us to center the lives and healthcare needs of the poor and marginalized folks who are disproportionately harmed by restricting or banning abortion.

“Giving basic healthcare to those who need it doesn’t violate our Catholic values, but harassing those who provide and receive it sure does — so when the ‘March for Life’ came to D.C.’s Planned Parenthood health center today spreading falsehoods and disinformation in the name of God, we refused to let it go unchallenged. Instead, we countered them with pastoral messages affirming the necessity of abortion care and showing the world that the ‘March for Life’ doesn’t speak for most Catholics.”

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. President and CEO Dr. Laura Meyers said:

“Clergy and people of faith have worked tirelessly in the abortion rights movement, and we are deeply appreciative. Unfortunately, a minority on the ‘religious right’ seek to drown out the overwhelming plurality of Americans who support legal abortion. People of all faiths need to come together in support of those seeking abortion care rather than stigmatizing and dehumanizing them. Abortion is essential health care and should be accessible to all without judgment.”

Catholics for Choice board member and PPMW abortion provider Dr. Jen Villavicencio said:

“As a physician and abortion caregiver, I have seen firsthand how patients can have loving and complex relationships with pregnancies that end in abortion. I’ve seen the judgment they receive from medical professionals, from society, and worst of all, from protesters as they enter a health center. I spend my days utilizing my expertise to provide excellent, high-quality healthcare, including abortions, to people who need it — and I know that receiving my patients with love, compassion, and affirmation is the best way I can live out my Catholic social justice values.”

Today’s action is one of a series taken this week by Catholics for Choice to counterprotest the “March for Life.” Other actions include guerilla street art displays along the entire march route to remind the protesters that 68% of Catholics support Roe v. Wade; gathering signatures from pro-choice Catholics declaring that the “March for Life” doesn’t speak for us; and organizing lobby visits with pro-choice advocates from 24 states (and counting!) to urge members of Congress to support legislative solutions for abortion rights.

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.