Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, sent an urgent message this week to the group's base asking for pro-abortion Catholics to defy the U.S. bishops, who are campaigning against the current versions of health care legislation on Capitol Hill because they fund abortion.
In the email, Richards says that “as I write this, the bishops have asked all the Catholics in the country to contact their legislators, asking them to alter current health care legislation to include anti-choice amendments.”
“The bishops have inserted letters into church bulletins and asked priests to include their call to action in their sermons - and even in their prayers - during Sunday services,” she says.
“One thing I know for sure,” the Planned Parenthood president states, “the bishops don't speak for all Catholics. If you're Catholic and you disagree with the bishops, please let your legislators know when you send your message. Your voice as a pro-choice Catholic needs to be heard NOW.”
Richards claims in her email that “a few days ago, it felt as if we were holding strong in achieving health care reform that would finally ensure comprehensive coverage for everyone,”... “And then I received a copy of a memo that the Catholic bishops sent to their congregations.”
Richards asks Planned Parenthood sympathizers to “contact your senators and representative right now, asking them to protect women, to protect our health care, to protect our rights and not cave to the vocal minority.”
“Second, spread the word. I truly believe that if people know what the bishops and other groups are doing, they will be outraged, and they will speak up. Drowning them out won't be easy, but your action today will help,” she writes.
According to Richards, “we are so close” to passing the current legislation. “In my lifetime, we've never been closer to expanding access to affordable health care for everyone. I don't think we'll get another chance, and we've got to do everything we can not to let it slip away.”
“Rest assured, Planned Parenthood is doing all we can. Every time a group tries to limit the care and rights of women and their families, we will be here for them,” Richards writes.