“Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive healthcare services to women across the country,” Trumka stated.” We support its core mission of offering safe healthcare services to women in need.”
The federation has also made past statements in favor of access to contraception, including passing a resolution in support of "reproductive rights" in 2012 while the USCCB and other religious groups were fighting the HHS contraceptive mandate.
“Women have fought hard for the right to safe, legal reproductive health services and the freedom to exercise that right,” the federation's executive council stated in support of the mandate in March 2012.
Trumka made public statements in support of Catholic social teaching on solidarity. He introduced Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga at a June 2014 event hosted by the Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.” Then-Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane also spoke at the event, shortly before his elevation to Archbishop of Chicago.
In his 2014 address, Trumka spoke on solidarity and his Catholic faith as a child of coal miners. “I grew up in a community where the church was alive with working people. It was a refuge against injustice, a place of compassion, a flesh-and-blood sanctuary,” he said.
The event was criticized by some as featuring fallacious depictions of libertarians, failing to distinguish between philosophical foundations of libertarianism at odds with Church teaching, and policies supported by some libertarians which do not contradict Church teaching.
In a 2016 speech at Seton Hall University on the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy, Trumka called the pope’s message on solidarity “revolutionary, even destabilizing.”
“The core of Pope Francis’ ministry for working people is love. He tells us we matter. Our work and our lives count,” he said, noting that the pope’s “love for work and workers is the heart of his challenge to neoliberalism, to the false and destructive idea that we should allow unregulated markets and greed to dictate what happens in our global society.”
On multiple occasions, Trumka shared a Catholic story of his childhood as part of a family of coal miners in western Pennsylvania. The police force of the local coal mine allegedly attacked his father and grandfather for trying to form a union of coal workers. His father and grandfather sought refuge at the local Catholic parish, and the pastor confronted the police outside with a crucifix, saying that the church was a “sanctuary,” he said.
“This Catholicism was our shield as poor immigrant coal miners,” he said at Seton Hall.
This article was updated on August 6.
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