"Priests for Life" Supports Anti-Abortion Extremists
Fr. Frank Pavone and his anti-abortion group Priests for Life held a press conference yesterday to launch their new ad campaign directed at the upcoming presidential election. At the same time, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Institute for Democracy Studies jointly called attention to Fr. Pavone's endorsement of anti-abortion extremists and militant tactics. The FMF/IDS press release, issued the day of Pavone's news conference, illustrates that Fr. Pavone justifies extremist tactics like criminal trespass, and highlights the relationship between Pavone and prominent anti-abortion extremists, many of whom have been jailed for their anti-abortion activities. Notably, the Priests for Life Web site includes links to dozens of anti-choice organizations, including notorious, violent groups like Lambs of Christ, Operation Rescue, and Joseph Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League.
President Eleanor Smeal said, "We hope that Priests For Life's announcement making choice a priority in voting is a turn of strategy from harassment at clinics. We welcome voters making abortion a top priority in the upcoming presidential election."
Pavone said Catholics (including politicians) have a "responsibility to protect life," and made statements revealing his disregard for the separation of church and state, according to representatives of the Feminist Majority Foundation who were present at the press conference. Pavone further made an analogy to stealing, saying that the American judicial system punishes thieves, who are condemned by the church; why, he extrapolated, does the judicial system refuse to punish "murderers" who violate the Catholic church's teachings on abortion? In a related press release, Rev. Barry Lynne of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reacted: "When churches try to force dogma on all Americans through the political process, it seriously undermines the separation of church and state."
According to the Associate Press, the Priests for Life ads are scheduled to run in the New York Times this week, with television spots to follow in mid-August, and will plead with pro-choice Christian politicians to "stop being a scandal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Pavone admitted that not all Catholics agree with his anti-choice stance. In fact, Catholics for A Free Choice notes that 59% of all Catholic women of childbearing age practice contraception, similar to the rate of 60% among the general population of American women.
Media Resources: Nando Times - 18 July, 2000 and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State - 18 July, 2000 and NARAL, "Mark Crutcher and Life Dynamics, Inc." and Catholics for a Free Choice, "Catholics and Reproduction - A World View"
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .