Catholics for Choice, A Prescription for Discrimination: Catholic Healthcare and the Ethical and Religious Directives

Do you want the Catholic bishops controlling what kind of birth control you use or telling you what medical procedures you can have? I daresay no one does, but this is exactly what’s happening at Catholic hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the United States. Catholic health systems are already the nation’s largest group of not-for-profit healthcare providers. One in 6 six patients in the US is cared for in a Catholic hospital and, as a result of mergers, the number and reach of Catholic facilities has increased in the last decade. It is frightening to imagine needing an abortion Read More …

Catholics for Choice Update: Bishops Use Fortnight for Freedom to Lobby for the Right to Discriminate

The so-called Fortnight for Freedom is an annual campaign organized by the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), ostensibly to promote religious liberty. It uses an auspicious feast day to start—on the church’s calendar, June 21 marks when two martyrs who suffered political persecution, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, were killed under Henry VIII—and ends on July 4, the American Independence Day. But the campaign uses freedom and flag to cloak the bishops’ real objective: lobbying for the right to discriminate against anyone who disagrees with them. Their campaign to redefine religious liberty is dangerous. Underneath their rhetoric, the Read More …

A Winding Road Ahead for Abortion Rights, State Obligations, by Lisa Faye Petak

The road out of Amarillo, Texas is long, no matter what direction you take. To get to Dallas, it’s 366 miles. But when the help you seek cannot be found in your home state of Texas, it means 286 miles and a final destination in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or the only slightly less daunting 260 miles to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These are the options for a woman seeking an abortion in North Texas, should a 2012 omnibus bill of abortion restrictions survive. Last week, the Supreme Court stayed enforcement of the law as clinics and state officials prepare their writs Read More …

Why Catholics Supported Legal Contraception in Griswold v. Connecticut and Should Support it Now

This year marks the 50th anniversary of two important events in the history of religious freedom. In June 1965, the United States Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut, which recognized a constitutional right to contraceptive use. In December 1965, the world’s Roman Catholic bishops, who were gathered in Rome at the Second Vatican Council, approved the Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae, DH). In DH, the church for the first time decreed that all individuals—not just Catholics—enjoy the right to religious freedom as a universal human right. The two rights—to reproductive privacy and to religious freedom—belong together, then and now. Read More …