New Ads Causing Catholic Controversy

by Lindsay Veremis

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APPLETON (FOX 11)- There are some new ads airing on radio and TV in Northeast Wisconsin that endorse emergency contraception. The problem? They come from a group that claims to be Catholic. It’s members call the ads informative, but other area Catholics say they deliberately mislead.

The spots come from the group Young Catholics for Choice, based in Washington DC. Some local Catholics not only find the ads offensive, they seriously question the name behind them.

“It’s frustrating, it’s sad to see these young girls smiling and doing this commercial saying I’m Catholic and its okay, when it’s not,” Jeanne Griffith of Menasha said.

Griffith is Catholic and says part of being Catholic is following church teaching. The Catholic Church is opposed to all contraceptives, including the so called “Morning After Pill.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqnDAdVJOnA]

In a statement, the Green Bay Diocese says, “Catholics for Choice and Young Catholics for Choice are not associated with the Catholic Church and do not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception is clear: contraception interrupts God’s loving plan to bring life into our world.

The ads say Catholics should be able to use the pill in good standing.

“What we’re really bringing to Wisconsin is a message that’s been resonating throughout the US,” Catholics for Choice President Jon O’Brien said. “It’s a message that it is much better to prevent an unplanned pregnancy than to have an unplanned pregnancy.”

O’Brien says many Catholics use modern contraceptives. Catholics for Choice wants them to know their options.

The group says Wisconsin isn’t the only state targeted. Catholics for Choice has run similar campaigns throughout the country, most recently partnering with Family Planning Health Services of Wausau, a contraceptive care provider, to purchase time on Wisconsin TV and radio.

O’Brien couldn’t put a number on what the campaign has cost, but knows it will be controversial.

“Preventing unplanned pregnancy is important,” he said.

“They’re going to lead astray a lot of Catholics who think its okay to take that pill, when it’s not,” Griffith said.

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