Letters & Op-Eds 2008
Washington Post

What Influences Catholic Voters

The headline “Among Catholics, Political Rifts Over Abortion Have Grown” bore little relationship to the story, which concentrated mostly on how unimportant abortion was to the vast majority of Catholics deciding how to vote.

The reality is that church teachings on moral decision-making and abortion are far more complex than is acknowledged. In Catholic theology there is room for the acceptance of policies that favor access to the full range of reproductive health options, including contraception and abortion. Catholics in the pews seem to have grasped this far better than their bishops have.

The next president must end the “abortion wars.” He needs to turn away from using reproductive health services as a political tool and push for measures that will reduce unintended pregnancy, respect a woman’s right to a legal abortion and support women who choose to continue their pregnancies to term. He will find that the majority of Catholics support him in doing so.

— Jon O’Brien


The writer is president of Catholics for Choice.

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the 25 October 2008 edition of the Washington Post.

Catholics for Choice