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Republicans’ Obsession with Abortion Shows How Out of Touch They Are with the Needs of Voters

May 4, 2011

Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the House vote on HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”:

“With its vote to pass HR 3, the Republican leadership has shown how out of touch it is with the needs of voters. While a vocal minority may hail the vote, the vast majority will simply shrug and ask what it does for them and the needs of their family. We are in tough economic times, and making it harder for women to access reproductive healthcare services is not going to improve anybody’s life.

“The vote is a rejection of the values that the Republican Party claims to represent. What is Republican about its leadership’s obsession with the private healthcare decisions that women make? The Republican Party’s platform calls for ‘improving public health through flexibility and innovation’ and ‘giving patients and providers control over treatment options.’ How does this move improve public health? How does it give women more control over their treatment options? Where does the platform state that we must destroy the social supports on which the less well-off rely? Finally, I must ask why the Republican elite is obsessed with the decisions that women and their partners make about whether to start or continue a pregnancy.

“The majority of the 68 million American Catholics—in fact, the majority of Americans—do not believe that government should be a party to the private deliberations women and their families make about healthcare. The vote that we witnessed today, led by those who oppose abortion in every instance—even in cases of rape, incest or when it is necessary to preserve a woman’s health or life—is shared by fewer than 15 percent of American Catholics and only 11 percent of the American populace at large.

“I trust that cooler heads will prevail in the Senate and in the White House if we get to that stage. I urge all those involved in negotiations over this bill, and future ones like it, to consider the rights of women and men to make important reproductive healthcare decisions for themselves, depending on their own consciences and the counsel of any other people they choose to involve. Catholics for Choice rejects utterly a process that seeks to impose penalties on those who can least afford them.”