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Catholics for Choice Denounces U.S. Bishops’ Shameful Disinformation on the Equal Rights Amendment

March 17, 2021

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, denounces the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops today for an outrageous and inflammatory letter they recently sent to Congress opposing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

In the bishops’ letter, they claim that the ERA – which seeks to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex in the U.S. Constitution – could “impact how Americans must treat and speak about gender,” prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and make it more difficult for faith-based organizations that receive government funds to deny medically necessary healthcare procedures like gender confirmation surgery and abortion.

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson said:

“Three-quarters of Americans support ratification of the ERA and even the majority of Catholics agree that healthcare decisions should be made by patients in consultation with their doctors, not by clergy with no connection to their lived realities. We urge Congress to reject the bishops’ divisive fear-mongering and remove the arbitrary time limit on ratification of the long-overdue Equal Rights Amendment. The First Amendment still exists, and religious people have no real reason to fear they will be forced to speak or think about gender in a specific way or lose their rights. What they will lose is the hope of taking away constitutional rights we already have— like the fundamental right to access abortion. Freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion— and they have no right to deny over 50% of the population fundamental rights in the U.S. Constitution order to impose their values on others.”

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.