Catholic Leader to Obama: We Still Hope for Change

Nov 07, 2012, 13:53 ET from Catholics for Choice

Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, made the following statement today:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Catholics for Choice congratulates Barack Obama on winning a second term as president of the United States. We look forward to working with his administration for another four years. During the campaign we heard the president reassert his commitment to women's reproductive health. Catholics across the country share this commitment, and reject the interference of the US Catholic bishops in politics and in women's healthcare decisions and access.

"Initial results show that American Catholics rejected the bishops' politicking and 50% put their support behind Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, reflecting polling that showed the majority of Catholic voters saw no obligation to vote as the bishops demanded. With the mandate of the American people behind him, we are anxious for the president to finish the work he began with his promise of change four years ago. While there have been significant and important advances since Mr. Obama took office, there is much work yet to be done, and millions of women in America will be watching to make sure their voices are heard after the election is over.

"We also hope Mr. Obama will stand firm in his promises to respect the religious liberty of all Americans. The administration should stop the preferential treatment that the US bishops have received in recent years. America's 60 million Catholics are an important constituency, but policymakers should know that the US bishops do not speak for all Catholics in matters of public policy. In a poll released last month, Catholic voters overwhelmingly rejected the interference of the US Catholic bishops in politics and in women's healthcare decisions and access. Catholics firmly believe that access to comprehensive healthcare is a matter of social justice, and no healthcare can be called comprehensive without reproductive healthcare including access to contraception and abortion. Catholics also believe that decisions about healthcare should be made by an individual and her doctor, not by her boss or her bishop.

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