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Response by Frances Kissling, President of CFFC, to Pope John Paul II’s Remarks on the Dred Scott decision

January 26, 1999

Washington, DC — “I was saddened by the Holy Father’s comparison of our country’s discrimination and marginalization of the African American history of slavery to women’s exercise of their moral right to choose abortion. While I am sure he intended no harm, the Holy Father was ill advised in using this analogy. African Americans themselves have rejected this comparison as denigrating to their experience. Women, too, are degraded by this comparison in which women are compared to slave holders. We cannot help but remind the Holy Father that the situation of women who choose abortion cannot be compared to that of slaveholders, nor can it be ignored. 75,000 women die each year in botched illegal abortions. Thank God that the American constitution has ensured that that is not the American experience.”

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