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Catholics Urge Congress to Oppose the Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

January 28, 2014

For Immediate Release

“Today, the House of Representatives will likely vote on HR 7, a bill designed to prevent women from accessing insurance coverage for abortion in both private and public health insurance plans,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “This act is an unconscionable attack on access to abortion services—especially for poor and marginalized women.

“Catholics for Choice stands with the majority of the more than 70 million Catholics in the United States who support access to reproductive healthcare services for themselves and their neighbors and who oppose this type of harsh and restrictive bill.

“American Catholics, in full accordance with the teachings of our faith, support the right of women and men to follow their own consciences when making critical moral decisions, including decisions about reproductive healthcare. Catholics stand with the majority of Americans, who want healthcare decisions to be made by patients—not restricted by legislators. Catholics expect our elected officials to stand up for the conscience of every individual, including the millions of women who will suffer if this legislation is allowed to pass.

“Catholics support healthcare that is both accessible to those who need it and comprehensive. Our Catholic social justice tradition encourages us to advocate for the poor, and our intellectual tradition requires our respect for the conscience-based decisions people make about their lives, including decisions about reproductive health. Our commitment to religious liberty further requires that we respect the right of individuals to follow their own beliefs and practices without having others’ beliefs forced upon them.

“When Catholic voters nationwide considered healthcare reform in 2009, a majority supported health insurance coverage (either public or private) for abortion in most circumstances: when a pregnancy poses a threat to the life of a woman (84 percent); when a pregnancy is due to rape or incest (76 percent); when a pregnancy poses long-term health risks for a woman (73 percent); when test results show a fetus has a severe abnormal condition (66 percent); and fully half of all Catholics believe abortion care should be covered by insurance whenever a women and her doctor decide it is appropriate. (Belden Russonello & Stewart, ’Catholic Voters’ Views on Health Care Reform and Reproductive Health Care Services: A National Opinion Survey of Catholic Voters,’ September 2009)

“I urge members of Congress to vote against this bill.”