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Catholics in Colorado: The Bishops Don’t Speak for Us

October 21, 2014

Colorado Catholics are speaking out against a harsh ballot measure that would ban abortion in all circumstances and limit contraception and other reproductive health services in the state. The truth is, the vast majority of Catholics believe that abortion should be legal and that women must have access to the reproductive healthcare they need without interference from politicians. Nationwide, only 14 percent of Catholic voters agree with the bishops’ hardline stance—and the position promoted by this harmful amendment—that abortion should be banned in all cases. Recent polls show that 99 percent of sexually active Catholic women in the US have used a form of birth control banned by the Vatican.

Colorado Catholics don’t want the bishops to speak for them and are raising their voices in newspapers and radio stations across the state. In the newspaper, Nancy of Thornton, Colorado wrote:

I am a prochoice Catholic. Outlawing legal, safe abortion is absolutely wrong. I will not support Amendment 67. Women have the right to choose what is best for them.

Speaking on the radio, Mary Alice, a wife, mother and Colorado Catholic said:

Amendment 67 would interfere with a woman’s conscience-based decisions and personal beliefs. By banning abortion and contraception, 67 would harm our poorest neighbors, and that’s just not right. As a Catholic, I believe in social justice. I will be marking my ballot NO on 67. 

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, director of the domestic program at Catholics for Choice, said, “In Colorado, there are more than three-quarters of a million Catholics. Only five of them are bishops. Despite what the Catholic hierarchy would have you believe, Catholics are voting NO on this harsh law and telling their neighbors why they are against it. As Catholics who believe in social justice, real religious liberty and the right to follow their own conscience when deciding what is best for themselves and their families, they’re speaking out on the radio, in their local newspapers and on social media against Amendment 67.

“Catholics believe in freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Laws like Amendment 67 are based on one narrow belief about when life begins and impose that belief on everyone. This is anathema to our Catholic traditions of respect for conscience, social justice and religious freedom.”

To arrange an interview with Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe or to learn more about the ballot measure, please contact Claire S. Gould at 202-986-6093 or cgould (at) catholicsforchoice (dot) org.

To listen to the radio ads and view the print ads, please click here.