August 28, 2002

Email Received
The following email represents millions of Catholics. What can one say? I have a very close relative with similar views, as I suppose many of you do. How can we reach out to our disaffected Catholic brothers and sisters?

[I'm upset at]..the rejoicing going on on Amy's page over the priest who refused to marry the Planned Parenthood worker. Michael, Amy's husband, has suggested that pro-choice Catholics be excommunicated. As someone who is pro-choice, this tells me I'm not welcome in the church. At all. And as someone who once wrote a check to Planned Parenthood, I guess I'm going straight to hell
.
I understand that Catholic hierarchy has decided a human soul is born at conception, but I'm not so sure. At any rate, I see it as a matter of faith, not fact (my Jewish friends are firmly in the choice camp, and their rabbis back them), and I really don't see what's wrong with a person making a distinction in their private lives between their own faith and that of others. I certainly don't buy every one of the church's teachings, and I'd bet most Catholics don't, either. Antonin Scalia doesn't; I wonder if his priest is leaning on him to get with the program. Bet he isn't.

Besides, Planned Parenthood helped me get birth control when I was a 17-year-old moving toward sex with my boyfriend. They sat me down and talked to me about what I wanted and how to make the best decision, then gave me a medical exam, blood tests and a prescription for birth-control pills. It's hard for me to see this as anything other than an act of kindness.

P.S. Partly because of what I learned at Planned Parenthood (and in my public school, which also taught birth control), I've never been pregnant accidentally and have never had an abortion. Amazing how that works.

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