Former Head of "Catholic" Pro-Abortion Group Challenges Excommunication

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Former Head of "Catholic" Pro-Abortion Group Challenges Excommunication Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 23
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Frances Kissling stepped down earlier this year as the head of what most Catholics consider a heretical organization. She resigned her position as the president of Catholics for a Free Choice, a leading abortion advocacy group, and now she’s challenging the Catholic Church on excommunication.

The topic became the subject of international debate in recent weeks when Pope Benedict XVI spoke on it.

He told reporters on the way to rallies in Brazil that pro-abortion Catholics in Mexico City who had voted to legalize abortion there had excommunicated themselves by their actions.

Taking the pontiff head on, Kissling has written an article on the web site Salon challenging that notion and claiming that no one from the Catholic leadership has excommunicated her despite decades of promoting abortion worldwide.

"Catholic officials keep threatening to excommunicate pro-choice politicians and activists like me. I think they’re bluffing, and canon law is on my side," Kissing says in the lead-in to the article.

"Right-wing Catholics have been pleading with the Vatican to excommunicate me along with Mario Cuomo, Patrick Leahy, Ted Kennedy and Ellie Smeal for about 20 years," Kissling explains.

"They frequently announce that I have excommunicated myself because of my pro-choice views, but as is true for 99.9 percent of pro-choice Catholics, no one who could actually excommunicate me has ever done so," she added.

Kissing writes that she hopes to be excommunicated so she can get a book contract and go on a speaking tour and make money from it.

Kissling started her abortion advocacy before the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and she directed one of the nation’s first abortion businesses in New York City in 1970. She later went on to found and head the National Abortion Federation, a trade group for abortion centers.

But Kissling became the most well known for her time as the director of the "anti-Catholic" Catholic group and spearheaded a fight to get the Vatican kicked out of the United Nations.