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Contraceptive Bill Embraces the Best Values of Catholic Social Justice

March 2, 1999

says Catholic leader


Washington, DC–Catholics for a Free Choice, (CFFC) today expressed its support for a Bill appealing to Members of Congress about the importance of restoring the United States contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Bill, “The United Nations Population Fund Funding Act 1999,” authorizes the restoration of family planning funding for FY2000 and FY2001 and will be introduced Tuesday, March 2 by lead co-sponsors Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Connie Morella.

Frances Kissling, President of Catholics for a Free Choice said, “This bill, if passed, will reduce unintended pregnancy, improve women’s health and empower the powerless; all outcomes that are in keeping with the best values of the Catholic social justice tradition. Women in developing countries face a number of special health risks and even death associated with sexuality and childbearing. It is incumbent upon us to reach out as a country to those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Kissling pointed out that the vast majority of American Catholics support international family planning funding initiatives regardless of the views of some members of the hierarchy. “The surveys time and time again report that rank and file Catholics are behind efforts to alleviate poverty and establish contraceptive choice in developing countries.* One such study found that nearly six in ten Catholic voters (58 percent) endorse US sponsorship of voluntary family planning programs in developing countries. Surveys of Catholics in developing countries show majority support for, and regular use of, contraceptives when available. It seems that Catholics the world over understand that responsible parenthood requires access to voluntary contraceptive choice. It is high time that our feelings on family planning aid for the developing world were reflected in how our politicians vote on these issues.”

*The Polling Report, “World Population Programs,” June 13, 1994, citing a study by Belden and Russonello, Washington, DC.


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