Catholics for Choice Podcast (podcasts)
Provocative thought and new ideas from Catholicism's premier think tank.









October 2020
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Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, explains how right wing religious groups attempt to grant precedence to the interests of institutions over the consciences of individuals, and why this dangerous for everyone.

Direct download: 4_Americans_United.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A Lot Happens, But Not a Lot Changes: What Can We Do To Achieve Real Religious Liberty?

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, director of Concerned Clergy for Choice, shares stories from New York state about the ongoing work by religious and non-religious leaders towards achieving real religious liberty. He believes this means, above all else, that a woman will be protected when making personal decisions about planning a family.

Direct download: 5_Concerned_Clergy_for_Choice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

How do ultraconservative religious groups work to impose their extreme views on everyone? Sara Hutchinson, domestic program director at Catholics for Choice, highlights the recent lawsuits opposing contraception coverage from faith-based universities and for-profit companies to demonstrate how religious extremists, particularly in the Catholic Church, can affect federal law.

Direct download: 3_Catholics_for_Choice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Marieme Helie Lucas, an internationally-based panelist from Women Living under Muslim Laws and Secularism Is a Women’s Issue, discusses the influence of Muslim extremists on laws and policies throughout the world and how discrepancies in definitions of secularism can have real consequences for human rights everywhere—and why people in the United States need only look at international examples to see what happens when religious extremism controls public policy.

Direct download: 2_Women_Living_Under_Muslim_Laws__Secularism_Is_a_Womens_Issue.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

¿Aborto en El Salvador: Homicidio Agravado?

En este podcast, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (CDD) – El Salvador muestra como después de la penalización del aborto en el país en 1998, toda mujer se convierte virtualmente en sospechosa de un crimen que tal vez, ella misma no ha cometido! Los casos de Karina y Marlene nos hacen ver la complejidad de la situación de toda mujer embarazada que puede enfrentarse a un aborto espontáneo y necesariamente involuntario y a condenas entre 8 y 30 años de cárcel!

Abortion in El Salvador = Aggravated Homicide?

In this podcast, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir El Salvador reveals how, after abortion was criminalized in the country in 1998, women who suffer from a miscarriage can be prosecuted on suspicion of having an abortion and be sent to prison.

Direct download: 03.09.10ElSalvador.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

Nicaragua 2010: El Acceso a la salud Reproductiva y la Penalización del Aborto

En este podcast, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (CDD) – Nicaragua comparte con nosotros/nosotras tanto el proceso de penalización del aborto en ese país como la influencia de la jerarquía católica sobre el mismo. Mostrando así que como resultado de tal criminalización, mujeres como Amelia, ven su vida amenazada por falta de un tratamiento de quimioterapia y la imposibilidad de una interrupción voluntaria de su embarazo para sobrevivir al cáncer y hacerse cargo de su niña de 10 años!

Nicaragua 2010: Access to Reproductive Health and the Criminalization of Abortion

In this podcast, we use information from our colleagues in Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Nicaragua to explain how abortion is criminalized in their country, as well as examining the influence of the Catholic hierarchy. As an example of what is happening as a result of the criminalization of abortion, we provide information about the case “Amalia,” whose life is threatened because medical practitioners refuse to administer chemotherapy as she is pregnant.

Direct download: 03.09.10Nicaragua.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

The Ban on Contraception - Podcast #4 with Mary Hunt

This is the fourth and final podcast in a series of four podcasts from a telephone conference call launching a new Catholics for Choice publication.  Truth and Consequence—A Look behind the Vatican's Ban on Contraception reflects on 40 years of Humanae Vitae, the Vatican document that cemented the ban on contraception.

This week's speaker is Mary Hunt, feminist theologian and co-director of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual.

Direct download: Mary_Hunt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:46pm EDT

The Ban on Contraception - Podcast #3 with Daniel Maguire

This is the third in a series of four podcasts of a telephone conference call launching a new Catholics for Choice publication.Truth and Consequence—A Look behind the Vatican's Ban on Contraception reflects on 40 years of Humanae Vitae, the Vatican document that cemented the ban on contraception. This week Daniel Maguire, Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University, speaks on the difference between Catholic theology and Vatican theology.

Direct download: Daniel_Maguire.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:07am EDT

The Ban on Contraception - Podcast #2 with Rosemary Radford Ruether This is the second installment of four podcasts from a telephone conference call launching a new Catholics for Choice publication. Truth and Consequence—A Look behind the Vatican's Ban on Contraception reflects on 40 years of Humanae Vitae, the Vatican document that cemented the ban on contraception.

Today, we feature noted feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, a professor at the Graduate Theological Union at the Pacific School of Religion.

Direct download: Rosemary_Radford_Ruether.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

The Ban on Contraception - Podcast #1 with Anthony Padovano

On the eve of the pope's visit to the United States, Catholics for Choice organized a telephone conference call with four noted Catholic theologians to launch a new publication examining the impact of 40 years of Humanae Vitae, the Vatican document that cemented the ban on contraception. Truth and Consequence—A look behind the Vatican's ban on contraception reflects on a defining moment in modern church history.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting podcasts of the four theologians’ contributions. We start with Anthony Padovano, a distinguished professor and author of twenty-eight books.

Direct download: Podcast_1_-_Anthony_Padavano_FINAL.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Multinational Poll Shows Catholics Want Vatican to End the Ban on Condoms

For World AIDS Day 2007, Catholics for Choice commissioned the Washington, DC, polling firm, Belden Russonello & Stewart, to carry out polls in five countries on four continents about Catholic attitudes towards the use of condoms. The polls were done in the United States, Ireland, Ghana, Mexico and the Philippines.

Condoms4Life is an unprecedented worldwide public education effort to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms. The campaign was launched on World AIDS Day 2001 with the display of billboards and ads in subways and newspapers saying, “Banning Condoms Kills.? The campaign is sponsored by Catholics for Choice, our partners in Europe and Latin America and colleagues in Africa and Asia.

Nancy Belden, a pollster from Belden Russonello & Stewart, talks here about the survey results with the Condoms4Life campaign coordinator, Marissa Valeri.

For more information, please visit

Direct download: 2.20.08.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT

Stem Cell Research and the Affirmation of Life: An Interview with Dr. Rosemarie Tong "Whether or not they are fully informed about its intricacies, almost everyone in the United States seems to have an opinion about stem-cell research...Opponents claim that to destroy an embryo, even for a good purpose such as curing Alzheimer's disease, is as wrong as killing an adult so that his or her organs can be distributed to six or seven other adults who might otherwise die. But is the wrong done in each of these cases really of the same magnitude?"

Dr. Rosemarie Tong, a distinguished professor of health care ethics and director of the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, tackles the moral questions surrounding stem cell research and puts forth an approach that asserts the positive potential--and moral correctness--of such research. 

For more information, or to read Dr. Tong's original article, please visit
Direct download: Rosemarie_Tong_Podcast_Final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02am EDT

Teen Pregnancy Among Latinas

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy estimates that 51 percent of Latina teens get pregnant at least once before age 20—nearly twice the national average.  Moreover, the Latina teen pregnancy rate is declining at half the pace of the overall national rate, and some states are reporting rising rates of Latina teen pregnancy and childbearing.

Listen as Bill Albert, the deputy director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the author of “51%: Latinas and Teen Pregnancy? in the latest issue of Conscience, describes recent trends in the Latina teen pregnancy rate and the barriers to reducing that rate in the future.

To read the article available online, please visit the Conscience homepage.
To subscribe to the magazine, click here.


Direct download: Bill_Albert__Teen_Pregnancy_and_Latinas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

Unpacking the World Congress of Families, Poland, May 2007

"As the World Congress of Families packs up its tents and leaves its fantasy world in Warsaw, participants will now have to face the harsh reality of the real world in which we all live. There will be far fewer subservient women, there will be gays living on the same block, and there will be people having premarital sex and using contraception to boot..."

Listen as Catholics for a Free Choice analyzes the World Congress of Families (May 11-13, 2007), an international gathering of extreme--and extremely out-of-touch--anti-choice groups in Warsaw, Poland.  A Catholics for a Free Choice associate attended the conference and provided first hand reports and analysis of what turned out to be an underwhelming event. 

For full coverage of the event and to read daily reports, visit Catholics for a Free Choice Opposition Watch: World Congress on Families.

Direct download: World_Congress_on_Families_Summary.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

How to Move Forward on the Abortion Debate: Prevention, Not Prohibition

Abortion has been at the eye of a terrible storm in recent years. Clinic bombings, Supreme Court decisions, shootings, violent protests and venomous rhetoric have not brought the country any closer to a resolution. Both sides in the debate have generated more heat than light...

Listen as Jon O'Brien, President of Catholics for a Free Choice, discusses the importance of preventing unwanted pregnancies as the best means of reducing the need for abortion--something that the majority of Americans and American Catholics, regardless of where they identify themselves on the issue of abortion, support. 

His remarks are from an OpEd published in the May 4, 2007 issue of the National Catholic Reporter.   

Direct download: Prevention_Not_Prohibition_Podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50am EDT

In the next hour, 468 men, women and children will be infected with HIV. In the same timeframe, 320 will die from AIDS-related causes, the majority of these in the world's poorest countries. While everybody agrees that we should do something to stop this pandemic, there are substantial disagreements about what that should be.

Listen to Jon O'Brien, executive vice president of Catholics for a Free Choice, discuss rumors of possible changes to the Vatican's policy on condoms and call for Catholics to hope, pray and, most importantly, speak out against the Vatican's arcane and callous policy against condoms.  

Direct download: world_aids_day_2006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

With more than 40 million people now infected with HIV and AIDS it has been hard to understand and accept Vatican intransigence in insisting that condoms cannot be used as part of comprehensive program of prevention diagnosis and treatment.

Many people have applauded recent pronouncements that signal a possible modest change in the Vatican’s policy. Some officials have said the Vatican is considering the possibility of allowing married heterosexual couples where partners are at risk of using condoms. Other equal powerful Vatican officials have said this change is not possible. Ultimately it will be up to the Pope – and if history is any predictor, he will veto change.

Listen to CFFC president Frances Kissling make the case for changing the Vatican’s opposition to the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, even for married couples when one partner is infected. (This podcast was originally released on

Direct download: Condoms_Catholics_and_AIDS.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm EDT

Emergency contraception has the potential to prevent pregnancy before it happens.  Listen to Frances Kissling's challenge to the Catholic health care industry to help women, especially survivors of sexual assault, prevent unintended pregnancy.

Direct download: EC.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

A Conversation Between Frances Kissling & Kavita Ramdas.

Internationally recognized feminists Catholics for a Free Choice president Frances Kissling and Global Fund for Women president Kavita Ramdas mark International Women's Day with an incisive conversation about the most pressing issues women face today.

Thoughtful, honest and at times provocative, Frances and Kavita explore issues ranging from peace to economic security to the challenges of fundamentalism.  Questioning the role and relevance of the women's movement today, they discuss what it means to be a feminist today, some of the differences (and similarities) for women in the Global North and South and even the role for men.

Direct download: intlwomensday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Good Catholics Use Condoms The Condoms4Life campaign has launched a major ad and grassroots campaign in New York, San Francisco and Washington DC to encourage responsible sexuality and to raise awareness about the Vatican's ban on condoms. Catholics For a Free Choice
Direct download: condoms4life.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

Direct download: fivecatholicjustices.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:13pm EDT