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Letters and Op-Eds 2009

The Economist

The Challenge of AIDS

Jon O'Brien

8 April 2009

A crucial addition to your evaluation of the pope’s comments is that Catholics the world over ignore the church and use condoms. However, it is tragic that while Catholics choose to ignore the Vatican, the Catholic hierarchy in the United States seeks to deny others that choice. Last year, the bishops lobbied successfully to take family-planning measures, including condoms, out of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, measures that would help to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Their actions gutted a truly pro-life aspect of this vital programme.

It took the Vatican 359 years to forgive Galileo for claiming that the Earth moved around the sun. Let us hope and pray that it does not take that long for the Catholic hierarchy to admit that condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV.

Jon O’Brien
President
Catholics for Choice
Washington, DC

This letter was published in The Economist.