.- Dianne Luby, the head of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts has responded to comments by Cardinal Sean OâMalley after the prelate criticized President-elect Obama and Planned Parenthood. Charging that his comments diminish his credibility, she argued that Catholics âoverwhelmingly supportâ the âviews and servicesâ offered by Planned Parenthood and advocated by Obama.
She also claimed Planned Parenthood shares common ground with the Catholic Church on working to reduce ârisky behavior among young peopleâ and the need for abortions.
Lubyâs reply was directed to the Boston Globeâs Michael Paulson, who had interviewed the cardinal.
In his interview with Paulson after Election Day, the cardinal had remarked that Obama âis possibly in the pocket of Planned Parenthood, which in its origins was a very racist organization to eliminate the blacks, and itâs sort of ironic that heâs been co-opted by them.â He also said Obama had a âdeplorableâ record on pro-life issues and argued that church-going Catholics reflect the Churchâs teaching, though ânot as much as weâd like them to.â
Luby, the President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, responded to Cardinal OâMalley in a message to Paulson.
"It diminishes Cardinal Sean P. OâMalleyâs credibility when he attacks President-elect Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood for views and services his own members overwhelmingly support,â Luby claimed, saying the cardinal and several other âparticipants at the US Conference of Catholic Bishopsâ are âeager to jump into politics.â
She said it would be good for the bishops âto understand why their messages didnât stick with their primary audience,â claiming that Obama succeeded because of his ability to âpropose solutions that reflect the reality of issues faced by the American people.â
Luby then cited statistics claiming 92 percent of married Catholics use some form of birth control, while 72 percent of Massachusetts Catholic voters support âcomprehensive sex education.â
âThese are issues that the Catholic Church and Cardinal OâMalley have repeatedly refused to acknowledge as a mainstream part of health and education in our society,â she argued, saying âPerhaps Cardinal OâMalley should spend less time sharing political opinions and more time listening to the reality of life for his own constituency.â
Luby claimed the Catholic Church has âan opportunity to reconnect with their members around these issues,â arguing that Obama had succeeded with voters by âhighlighting messages about preventing unintended pregnancy and reducing the need for abortion.â Luby professed that Planned Parenthood shares that belief and said the group would work with Cardinal OâMalley to reach that goal.
Additionally, she claimed 70 percent of Planned Parenthood services âare related to preventative care, not abortion.â
She also argued Cardinal OâMalley and other bishops âhave a lot of work to do in order to reconnect with their members,â citing failed pro-life initiatives in California, Colorado, and South Dakota.
CNA spoke with the Archdiocese of Boston to obtain a reaction to Lubyâs letter, but a response was unavailable by press time.