‘Catholics for Choice’ Draws Clarification From Bishops

Group is not Catholic and pits “needs of pregnant women against those of their unborn children”

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Earlier this week a nationwide ad campaign from a group calling itself “Catholics for Choice” brought a response from various US bishops.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement alerting the public to the deceptive ad campaign, which called for taxpayer funding of abortion in the name of the Catholic faith. His statement was among various statements issued by individual bishops.

Four bishops in Texas, including Bishop Stephen Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, released a joint statement on the ads:

“Despite what is implied by its name, Catholics for Choice is not a member-oriented organization and has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, it is financed by grants from a few secular organizations pushing a pro-abortion agenda. It seldom ventures beyond Washington to Texas, unless it is to buy expensive, full-page ads when it serves their pro-abortion agenda,” the Texas bishops wrote.

Cardinal Dolan’s full statement follows:

A Statement from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities

An abortion advocacy organization called “Catholics for Choice” (CFC) placed deceptive full-page newspaper ads in multiple cities on September 12 calling for taxpayer funding of abortion in the name of the Catholic faith.

As the U.S. Catholic bishops have stated for many years, the use of the name ‘Catholic’ as a platform to promote the taking of innocent human life is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse.

CFC is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. It has no membership, and clearly does not speak for the faithful. It is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control.

The organization rejects and distorts Catholic social teaching — and actually attacks its foundation. As Pope Francis said this summer to leaders in Poland,. . . “Life must always be welcomed and protected…from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it.”

CFC’s extreme ads promote abortion as if it were a social good. But abortion kills the most defenseless among us, harms women, and tears at the heart of families. Pushing for public funding would force all taxpaying Americans to be complicit in the violence of abortion and an industry that puts profit above the well-being of women and children.

According to a July 2016 poll. . . conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 45 percent of those who say they are pro-choice.

Finally, the CFC pits the needs of pregnant women against those of their unborn children. This is a false choice. Catholics and all people of good will are called to love them both. Consider supporting local pregnancy help centers, which do incredible work caring for mothers and children alike in a manner consistent with true social justice and mercy.

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