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Spring 2008: Table of Contents
Volume XXIX— No. 1

 = Article available online


C Abortion: Freedom and Responsibility in the 21st Century

A Roundtable Conversation

Drawing a parallel to John Muir’s environmental writing that purports everything in the universe is related to everything else, moderator Denise Shannon initiated the conversation with the thought that abortion too is related to a multitude of issues. More than the termination of a pregnancy, she said, abortion relates to sex, women’s rights, politics, medicine, health, health care and developing human beings.

Denise Shannon, Donna Crane, Dr. LeRoy H. Carhart, Ann Furedi & William Saletan

Choices: Theological Observations on Visiting an Abortion Clinic

Early in 2008, members of Catholics for Choice’s European Advisory Group visited an abortion clinic. In what follows, Catholic theologian Anthony Padovano provides an overview of the visit and group members share their thoughts about the experience.

Confession: I have been troubled by the abortion question for a long, long time. I seek an answer that is clean, easy, certain, final. But life will not let that happen...

Anthony T. Padovano, Elfriede Harth, Anka Grzywacz, Frans Banake & Henk Baars

Catholics for Choice and Abortion

Prochoice Catholicism 101

We strive to be an expression of Catholicism as it is lived by ordinary people. We are part of the great majority of
the faithful in the Catholic church who disagree with the dictates of the Vatican on matters related to sexuality, contraception and abortion...

Jon O'Brien & Sara Morello

On Solid Ground

Over 35 Years, Abortion Polls Show Remarkable Consistency

Americans have actively debated the abortion issue since the 1973 US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade declared that the right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to decide whether to have an abortion. At every turn, opponents and advocates of abortion rights have fought on the federal and state levels about restrictions to limit access to abortion—from poster-wielding antiabortion activists blocking clinic access to legislators writing laws requiring parental consent for teens seeking an abortion and outlawing certain medical procedures, among many other examples. Defenders of abortion rights have won some and lost some— including important Supreme Court decisions...

Nancy Belden

Responding to a Real Need

Liberalizing Mexico City's Abortion Law

Although in the last decade there has been an international trend toward liberalizing abortion policy, in Latin America complex differences continue to exist between countries in the region. Since 2006, abortion has been permitted in Colombia when a woman’s health is at risk, in the case of rape or incest and severe fetal impairment, whereas previously it had been prohibited without exception. During the same year, the Nicaraguan Congress left women to the “will of God” by banning abortion, even to save a woman’s life. More recently in Mexico, in the midst of the most intense, wide-reaching public debate on abortion in its history, Mexico City’s legislature voted to decriminalize abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

María Consuelo Mejía & María Luisa Sánchez

A Public Misinformation Campaign

The US Bishops Are Unusually Shy about Their Involvement in an Antiabortion Campaign

The antichoice lobby regularly throws long-disproved myths at a wall in the apparent hope that, eventually, something will stick. Perhaps it thinks that if it repeats its distortions often enough, they will eventually ring true. And, sadly, repeating a lie ad nauseam does sometimes result in people accepting it as fact. One antichoice poster campaign making its way around the Washington, DC, public transportation systemis a case in point...

Catholics for Choice

Out of the Shadows and into the Streets

The Connection Between Immigration Rights and Reproductive and Sexual Health

In 2006, latino communities marched and organized to demand a fair chance to achieve their full potential, to contribute to society, and to exercise fundamental human rights. The ability to live life with dignity is far from equal in this country. Barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, income and immigration status play a powerful role in determining who can enjoy a healthy and full life. While the mass mobilization of Latino families and communities
was heartening and empowering, it did lack feminist perspective and national support from feminist and reproductive health organizations...

Silvia Henriquez

Back to the Future? A Review of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

A Review of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Do you use noxious potions? Any instruments? Do you tell them how to induce abortions?” The senior police
officer was urbane and not unsympathetic; handsome in his dark blue uniform. There was maybe a prison
term waiting in the answer...

Ruth Riddick


Editor’s Note


C In Catholic Circles


  • Bill Williams reviews Susan Wicklund and Alan Kesselheim's This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor
  • Paul Zietz reviews Helen Epstein’s The Invisible Cure
  • Mary Hunt reviews Kieran Scott and Harold Daly Horell’s Human Sexuality in the Catholic Tradition
  • William D'Antonio reviews Michele Dillon and Paul Wink’s In the Course of a LIfetime: Tracing Religious Belief, Practice, and Change
  • Ellie Lee reviews Colin Francome and Marcel Vekenam’s Abortion—A Worldwide Perspective

A list of new and noteworthy books

C Postscript
In their own words: supporters and critics of the church speak

Back Cover
Index: Abortion by the Numbers