Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Group Names New Board Members

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Group Names New Board Members

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 2, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Catholics for a Free Choice, a so-called "Catholic" organization that backs abortion, has named three people to its board of directors, including outgoing NARAL president Kate Michelman.

The three new board members include Michelman; Dr. Albert Thomas, director of obstetrical services at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City; and Cheryl Francisconi, a Packard Foundation consultant.

"The challenges that face Catholics who are pro-choice are enormous. Meeting those challenges requires political savvy, a commitment to scientific integrity and a passion for helping women," Frances Kissling, president of CFFC said.

Responding to the announcement, Father Frank Pavone tells that Kissling is correct about one thing: pro-abortion "Catholics" do face big challenges.

"That is true, starting with John Kerry, who is going to have a very hard eight months," Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, said. "The challenge consists precisely in explaining how one can claim to be a Catholic while denying what the Catholic Church has
identified as a central, unchangeable teaching."

"When a candidate is so ignorant or so dishonest about something as sacred as his own faith, he or she is hardly worthy of trust to govern the greatest nation on earth," Father Pavone explained, referring to Kerry’s declaration that his Catholic religious beliefs don’t compel him to legislate the church’s pro-life view.

Pavone said the timing of the announcement and the attention given to Kerry as the likely Democratic presidential nominee "can hardly be accidental."

In fact, Michelman announced her impending resignation from NARAL so she could spend time working to defeat President George W. Bush, who enjoys the support of pro-life groups in his bid for re-election.

"Given the vicious attacks on the good faith of pro-choice Catholic legislators and candidates, CFFC is more important than ever," Michelman said in accepting the board position.

"I welcome the opportunity to help CFFC in its groundbreaking work on articulating the moral and ethical values that underlie the political commitment to Roe vs. Wade in America," Michelman added.

That Francisconi, of the Packard Foundation, would be selected for the CFFC board comes as no surprise to pro-life groups.

The foundation has long supported abortion advocates and, in 2001, it directed $7.5 million to NARAL. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood that often publishes misleading information on abortion’s risks and dangers, received a grant of $1 million. The Packard Foundation also sent a grant of $750,000 to Population Action International, which lobbies to overturn the pro-life laws of other countries.

In 2000, the foundation gave CFFC $1 million, and it provided $16 million to NARAL for election-year television commercials.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 by David Packard, co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company. Hewlett Packard is a leading computer manufacturing firm.

Despite the board additions, Pavone tells that his group will "continue to educate Catholics — particularly voters — that to be ‘pro-choice’ on abortion is a denial of the faith."

Other members of the CFFC board of directors include: Rosemary Radford Ruether, a professor of the Graduate Theological Union at the Pacific School of Religion; Sheila Briggs, a theologian and professor at the University of Southern California; and, Chair of the board Marysa Navarro-Aranguren, a professor of Latin American history at Dartmouth College.

Related web sites:
Priests for Life –