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Extremism Defeats HR 36 on Eve of Antichoice Roe v. Wade March

January 22, 2015

Last night, the women of the Republican Party told the leadership of the US House of Representatives that a 20-week ban on abortion was too extreme. HR 36 was based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science that would impose a dangerous limitation on abortion, putting women’s health and rights at risk. It was too dangerous, too extreme even for conservatives.

As Catholics, we have been standing up to this kind of extremism around the world. In a full-page advertisement in Politico, we lifted up one woman’s story to illustrate the harm of such restrictive legislation. At 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Alicia chose an abortion as the right course of action for her situation. Alicia is just one of the majority of Catholics who believe that all women should have the right to follow their conscience when it comes to personal, private decisions.

The Catholic hierarchy and antichoice activists will put on a show today by busing in people to march on the Mall this Roe v. Wade day, but the people participating in the so-called ‘March for Life’ do not represent the majority of Catholics. The bishops’ position—opposing all abortion without exception—is rejected by 84 percent of US Catholic voters.

Today’s victory against these extremists, however, is not the last battle in the fight. Instead of the 20-week ban bill, the US House of Representatives has scheduled an 11th hour vote on HR7, a bill that would permanently ban women from accessing insurance coverage for abortion in both private and public health insurance plans.

“This act is another unconscionable attack on access to abortion services—especially for poor and marginalized women,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice.

“Catholics support healthcare that is both comprehensive and accessible to those who need it. 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—no matter where they work, how they receive their healthcare or how much money have in their pockets.

“I urge members of Congress to vote against HR 7.”

To arrange an interview with Jon O’Brien, please contact Claire S. Gould at 202-986-6093 or cgould[at]catholicsforchoice[dot]org.