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Letters & Op-eds - 2012

New York Times

Catholics and the Birth Control Mandate

Jon O'Brien

1 June 2012

To the Editor:

You highlighted a misconception about religious freedom that the American bishops are trying to manipulate into reality.

The bishops have the freedom to preach, but not the freedom to steamroll policy over the existing, thoughtfully crafted protections for religious freedom. They seek to restrict others’ conscience rights to protect a fictional monolithic “Catholic conscience.” They should know better: they have tried to impose a minority view over the unwilling many for years, and have failed.

Within the Catholic Church, made up of many millions of Catholic faithful and a few hundred bishops, the hierarchy is already accustomed to behaving as “a law unto itself” with no care for the majority of Catholics, who feel that using contraception is a valid, conscience-based decision.

The bishops’ war on contraception has divided the church; there is no reason to let them repeat the experiment on the whole country.

Jon O’Brien
President, Catholics for Choice
Washington, May 30, 2012

This letter was originally published online in the New York Times.