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Jon O'Brien
Jon O’Brien is the president of Catholics for Choice.

Entries by Jon O'Brien

Religious Liberty and the Big Business of Catholic Nonprofits

(67) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 7:31 PM

Imagine if your boss rifled through your purse to see if you were taking the pill. Or, in your annual review, your supervisor mentioned that he was disappointed that you used IVF to get pregnant. What if you had to sign a pledge to only use natural family planning in...

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Pope and Patriarch: An Unholy Alliance Against Women

(18) Comments | Posted March 3, 2016 | 10:47 AM

On his recent trip to Latin America, Pope Francis met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill for the first time since the schism between their two religions in the 11th century. Onlookers saw the meeting as a sign that two major faith groups had put aside differences that were out of...

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Planned Parenthood Attack Campaign: Not Letting the Facts Get in the Way of Your Story

(36) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 11:03 AM

The trick of a carnival huckster is to distract you with the right hand so you don't see what the left hand is doing. The firestorm over the latest attack on healthcare provider Planned Parenthood is a classic example of how you can manufacture outlandish claims hidden by a mirage...

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How Hobby Lobby Killed Religious Liberty

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 4:16 PM

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision is a disaster for women, and we can lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Obama administration. In a futile attempt to keep religious extremists onside, the administration threw some women's rights under the bus. In doing so, the president's team failed...

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Lessons From the Fight Over Later Abortion in Albuquerque

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 10:39 AM

There are some important lessons to learn from the outcome in Albuquerque, where voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that would have banned later abortion in the city. This defeat protected services that women from all over the country come to New Mexico to use.


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Exit Stage Left: Cardinal O'Malley's Fit of Pique

(22) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 12:12 PM

Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley has withdrawn from the Boston College graduation rather than share the stage with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. He follows the lead of a few of his brother bishops like John D'Arcy, who did the same when President Obama was invited to...

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Nobody Gets to Say Who Is and Who Is Not Catholic

(236) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 11:16 AM

My organization, Catholics for Choice was the subject of a bizarre attack from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this week.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the director of media relations for the USCCB, took to her blog in a pathetic attempt to discredit CFC as...

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Polling Shows That Bishops' Campaign Failed

(77) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 9:12 AM

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that Catholics are strongly supporting President Barack Obama in the coming election. Obama leads his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, by a significant margin, 54-39 percent -- a 15 percent lead for the president. This is up from a slim...

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Let's Celebrate Real Religious Freedom

(45) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 3:46 PM

This summer, Americans of every faith and of none have been subjected to the propaganda machine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and their "Fortnight for Freedom" campaign. By all measures, the fortnight fell flat. There was no religious persecution to decry; Catholics were too busy living their lives...

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The Truth About Religious Freedom

(63) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 7:00 PM

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) rarely lets the facts get in the way of their story.

In press releases during the past months, in alerts by state Catholic Conferences, in statements that they have made in various media outlets and in their official comments to the Department...

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Mr. President: Catholic Women Use Birth Control, Too

(83) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 12:00 PM

The following is a joint message from Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, and Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The overwhelming majority, 98 percent, of sexually active Catholic women use a form of modern contraception.

Two-thirds of Catholics, 65 percent, believe that clinics and hospitals that...

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From Russia Without Love

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2011 | 10:52 AM

Recent legislation chipping away at reproductive options in Russia has uncomfortable similarities to struggles in legislatures around the United States. Russian women have been able to rely on legal abortion for decades. But in July, President Dmitri Medvedev signed into law measures that require advertisements for...

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Catholic Women And Contraception: It's Beyond Don't Ask, Don't Tell

(123) Comments | Posted July 30, 2011 | 11:02 PM

Last week the Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced its recommendation that comprehensive contraceptive methods be included as a preventive benefit. This means that, if the federal government agrees with the proposal, these services will be provided at no extra cost to women. It was a victory for all women, but...

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Still Looking for a Champion: Reproductive Health Under the Obama Administration

(34) Comments | Posted May 11, 2011 | 10:35 AM

When Barack Obama was elected president, reproductive rights advocates hoped that we had found a champion. We looked forward to working with an administration that had promised a solid commitment to women's rights, including a dedication to improved access to contraception and abortion services. This promise helped get Obama elected...

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The Church and Contraception

(16) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 2:23 PM

Recent research, released in February by Catholics for Choice and in April by the Guttmacher Institute, shows what everybody already knows to be true: Catholics use methods of contraception that are banned by the church hierarchy.

The findings, from the latest figures released by the...

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My Catholic Conscience: Doing the Right Thing for Women

(433) Comments | Posted April 8, 2011 | 11:56 AM

Like others, I am deeply concerned about recent moves in Congress that would restrict access to reproductive healthcare services, especially for poor women. The situation reminds me of other experiments where a few people with extreme views sought to pass policy that impacted a significantly wider group of people --...

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An Open Letter to Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough

(9) Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 9:30 AM

Dear Secretary Clough,

We at Catholics for Choice are very disappointed in your decision to remove David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire in My Belly" from the "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" exhibition. Your decision amounted to censorship, plain and simple.

The National Portrait Gallery plays...

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Five Myths About the Catholic Vote in Election 2010

(21) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 12:34 PM

As the election nears, many news outlets are repeating misinformation about what Catholics believe and what they can and should do when it comes to voting.

Conservative groups have targeted a largely Catholic group of antichoice Democrats who voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, falsely...

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The Empire (State Building) Strikes Back: Cutting Bill Donohue's King-Kong-Sized Ego Down to Size

(6) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 3:03 PM

The somewhat inexplicable furor over whether to light the Empire State Building up in blue and white lights on August 26 has rumbled on for months. It started when the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, submitted an application to have the Empire State Building lit up in blue...

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The Bishops' Fig Leaf

(9) Comments | Posted June 25, 2010 | 3:01 PM

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops was severely embarrassed at the end of the recent debate over health care reform. After seeming to be front and center as the negotiations closed, the bishops were outmaneuvered by a coalition of religious sisters who had the temerity to decide that flawed health...

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