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Catholics for Choice ads riddled with inaccuracies, bishops say

Colorado’s Catholic bishops responded to a statewide media campaign launched by Catholics for Choice against a personhood initiative, Amendment 67, saying it is “riddled with inaccurate facts and statistics.”

“This group does not speak for the Catholic Church,” according to Oct. 23 statement released by the Colorado Catholic Conference, the public policy arm representing the state’s bishops. “This is quickly revealed by the group’s assumption that the Church in Colorado supports Amendment 67, when in fact it has maintained a neutral stance.”

The distance was further demonstrated, the statement continued, by the claim there are five bishops in Colorado, when there are three: Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, and Bishop Stephen Berg of Pueblo.

Catholics for Choice attempted to use only findings that agreed with their dissent from Church teaching, according to the statement, including that 14 percent of Catholics believe abortion is morally wrong.

“Well-established research consistently shows that over half of all American Catholics believe that abortion is morally wrong,” the statement read, attributing the Pew Research Center.

The group also claimed the Colorado bishops’ stance against abortion “is anathema to our Catholic traditions,” the statement said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the conference responded. “Colorado’s bishops, like all Catholic bishops for 2,000 years, have steadfastly proclaimed that respect for all human life at every stage is foundational to the Catholic faith. Abortion from the earliest tradition of the Church has been considered immoral.”

A claim by Catholics for Choice that 99 percent of Catholic women use birth control has routinely been proven to be false, according to the conference.

“‘The journalistic shorthand has been that 98 percent of American Catholic women have used contraception in their lifetimes.’ But that is incorrect, according to the research,” the statement read, attributing Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler.

The conference encouraged members of Catholic for Choices to become familiar with Church teaching and her priority of respect for all human life.

“It is our hope that one day Catholics for Choice will take the time to acquaint themselves with basic Catholic teachings, and acknowledge the truth of the Catholic faith, and not choose to undermine her teachings with false and inaccurate information and ads that only work to mislead the public,” the statement concluded. “Upholding the sacred dignity of all human life is the duty of every member of society and this duty must be taken seriously in order to ensure that we are a part of a culture that affirms the right to life, especially for the most vulnerable among us.”

For more information, contact Jenny Kraska at the Colorado Catholic Conference at 303-894-8808 or jkraska@cocatholicconference.org.

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