Washington DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today on the US election results and the priorities for the next president.
“Initial results show that 54% of the Catholic vote went to President-elect Barack Obama. This shows that the majority of Catholics voted their conscience when deciding who should be the next president, and ignored the single-issue dictates of a few bishops who declared that it was unacceptable to vote for him because of his prochoice position.
“The next administration will have to work hard to repair the damage done during the last eight years. Undoubtedly, concerns about America’s economic security and military engagements overseas will garner a great deal of attention. However, the next administration and Congress must also work for advances in reproductive health care in the US and abroad. The priorities include:
Providing comprehensive and affordable health care to all Americans. This includes funding for comprehensive sex education and family planning programs that reduce unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion, as well as providing support for women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.
Restoring the United States’ leadership position on women’s rights, international family planning and global development issues. This includes the restoration of the US contribution to UNFPA and the repeal of the Mexico City policy that restricts US funding for foreign NGOs that work on abortion.
Working towards an end to the culture wars over abortion and towards an era that respects the right of women to access legal abortion in a timely manner. To that end, we need to restore scientific integrity to federal agencies by appointing qualified personnel to leadership roles and advisory committees irrespective of their personal beliefs about abortion and contraception and by appointing judges who will uphold the long-standing precedent of Roe v. Wade.
Respecting the conscience of each American. The next president should remove any refusal clauses affecting federal health programs beyond the traditional exemption for the direct provision of abortion and work to make the equitable provision of reproductive-health services a priority at both the state and federal levels.”
Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women’s well being and respect and affirm the moral capacity of women and men to make decisions about their lives.