Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITED NOTRE DAME IN MAY, a routine commencement speech became a media circus, thanks in part to a campaign by some marginal ultra-conservative groups that caught the media's attention. When the smoke cleared, we had heard a thoughtful speech that talked the talk about providing women with the resources to reduce the need for abortion. However, those of us who have been around for more than an instant have heard that talk before, so we are eagerly waiting to see if the president's words lead to action. This issue of Conscience provides an outline of the action we would like to see.

In our lead article, CFC president Jon O'Brien examines the administration's strategy, considers whether those in favor of reproductive rights are pursuing policies that will work and asks whether the prochoice movement is big enough to acknowledge that, while the policies we want to see implemented might not have the impact we wish for, it is nevertheless still right to pursue them. Jon also breaks open the myth of common ground, a buzz phrase in Washington that reflects a desire to be popular and have lots of friends, but is in reality an abrogation of leadership and a rejection of political principles. In addition, we show how Catholics for Choice sees people of good faith providing people with real-life solutions to the problems they face around reproductive health issues.

We draw others into the discussion as well. Cecile Richards discusses the work Planned Parenthood does to reduce the need for abortion. In a wide-ranging conversation about sexuality education, experts including Doortje Braeken from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Sarah Brown from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Roger Ingham, the director of the Centre for Sexual Health Research at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and William Smith from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States got together on the phone to discuss what a comprehensive sexuality program might look and sound like. …

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