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CFC in the News - 2013

Your News Now

Catholics react to Women's Equality Agenda

Elyse Mickalonis

23 April 2013

While Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda is drawing a lot of negative feedback from the Catholic Church, one Catholic organization fully supports it.

"The catholic hierarchy, which in the priests, bishops, members of the hierarchy of the church, have been paying really close attention to the women’s health options in the Women’s Equality Agenda, but the reality is Catholics in the pews aren’t with them,” said Sara Hutchinson, Catholics for Choice Domestic Program Director.

Catholics for Choice is a group that disagrees with Vatican’s views of sexuality, birth control and abortion. They say they support the governor’s ten point plan. The group recently surveyed people across the country on the issue.

"Eighty-six percent of Catholics across the United States disagree with the Vatican and bishops that abortion should be illegal all the time and six in 10 Catholics believe abortion and contraception should be covered in health care policies and insurance, whether it’s public or private,” said Hutchinson.

The proposed legislation would align New York’s Abortion Law with Federal Protections and current medical practice, moving the regulation of abortion out of the criminal code and into the public health law, as well as allowing abortion when a woman’s health is in danger. But there are plenty of people opposing the legislation.

"They’re supporting abortion and birth control. They claim to speak for all seven million Catholics in New York State, but that’s not accurate. There’s many Catholics that are very supportive of the teachings of the church, who believe in John Paul II’s theology of the body, who practice birth control through natural family planning,” said Father John Donovan, St. James Church Pastor.

Donovan says there’s also a fear that the legislation could have a negative impact on the church’s ability to hire people.

"Groups such as the church say, ‘abortion is immoral,’ isn’t allowed to function as a church in saying that, because it would be required for the church, if it’s going to employ people to support abortion,” said Donovan.

Hutchinson added, “We certainly understand that people choose to work for faith based organizations, but we shouldn’t have to choose between what our bosses think are appropriate measures and the benefits we earn as workers.”

Currently, more than 800 organizations across the state have joined the New York Women's Equality Coalition to support the governor’s agenda.

This piece was originally published by Your News Now.