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Letters & Op-Eds - 2009

The Washington times

LTE: Foreign Aid and Abortion

Jon O'Brien

2 February 2009

In response to "Catholics hit Obama on pro-choice agenda" (Nation, Thursday): The U.S. bishops´ campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that has not yet been introduced into the 111th Congress, is not based on fact or reality. Instead, it seeks to stir up fear among churchgoing Catholics about the intentions of the new Obama administration and thereby restore the bishops' reputation after their advice was roundly rejected by Catholics in the last election.

The bishops may have good reason to resort to fear-mongering to garner support. After all, the majority of Catholics (54 percent) ignored the dictates of a conservative minority of bishops who falsely asserted that a vote for a pro-choice candidate would be anti-Catholic and cast their ballot for the pro-choice candidate in the presidential election.

Almost immediately afterward, the bishops' position was further damaged by the results of a poll they themselves carried out. Released in the media dead zone of Dec. 30, it showed that 9 in 10 of the nation's adults reject the bishops' position on abortion. While many seek to impose conditions on access to abortion care - some reasonable, others not - barely a 10th of the population is opposed to all abortions. This figure is one of the lowest found in a large-scale poll in recent years. That must have led to some sobering conversations around the bishops' dinner tables.

JON O´BRIEN

President

Catholics for Choice

This letter was published in The Washington Times.