Friday, May 06, 2005

Planned Parenthood Launches Campaign Against Pope Benedict XVI

Here is the full text (cap tip: Patrick Madrid):

With the recent death of deeply conservative Pope John Paul II, many Catholics hoped the Church would choose a new leader with more progressive views on sexual and reproductive health issues.

Unfortunately, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, is even more conservative about sexuality and reproductive freedom than his predecessor!

Despite his poor track record on these issues as a Cardinal, we are hopeful that the Pope will realize that his new responsibilities require him to take a more worldly view in order to bring about positive change in the modern world. We are encouraged by the fact that the new Pope recently talked about both modernizing the Church and beginning a better dialogue with Islam.

Please write a letter to the editor encouraging Pope Benedict XVI to reconsider his dangerously outdated stances on birth control, abortion and sexuality in order to help move the Catholic Church into the 21st century.

Click here to read our tips on writing an effective LTE before you get started.

Once you've read the tips, click here to visit our Letter to the Editor page to write and submit your letter.

To give you a bit more background, Pope Benedict XVI (a German Cardinal formerly known as Josef Ratzinger) is against all forms of contraception and opposes the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS. During the 2004 Presidential election, he told Catholics in the U.S. it would be a sin to vote for pro-choice candidates like John Kerry, and urged bishops to deny Kerry Communion. He has also led the Catholic Church's campaign against same-sex marriage and other rights for same-sex couples, including the right to adopt children.

Whether or not you're a Catholic, the Church has tremendous influence over many governments, especially in Latin America, and plays a powerful role in shaping social and political norms around the world.

The new Pope's positions on these crucial issues pose a terrible danger to the health of millions of women and girls around the world and undermines efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Please join us in encouraging him to reconsider these backward views with a well-written, timely letter to the editor of your paper.

Our Letter to the Editor tool makes it easy to choose the paper of your choice, and to write and submit your letter - all online. We've provided some talking points you can work from but we urge you to use your own words as they will be much more effective than our talking points.

Click here to write and submit your LTE now.

Please let us know if your letter of advice and encouragement to the new Pope gets published. Send us an email at to let us know if youu make it into print. We'd love to feature your letter in our next enewsletter.

Thank you again for speaking out on behalf of women and girls everywhere,

Eve Fox
Campaign Manager
FreeChoiceSavesLives.orgInternational Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region
Here are the talking points from the LTE generator, so you can recognize them:

Pope Benedict XVI opposes the use of condoms to combat HIV/AIDS which threatens 38 million people worldwide.

Pope Benedict XVI opposes family planning promoting abstinence and marital fidelity as the only options.

Every minute a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth. Family planning could prevent at least 25% of these deaths.

Pope Benedict XVI told Catholics it was a sin to vote for pro-choice candidates like John Kerry leading up to election day 2004.

The Pope must reconsider his views for the sake of the millions of women and men who will suffer and may die as a result of his opposition to birth control and condom use, in particular.

So far no auto-letters on either the print, or the net, versions of the Strib. Here's the amazing statistic of the week. The percentatge of letters to the editor in print, or on the web, with respect to Pope Benedict XVI: 57% favorable, 43% unfavorable. Note: This does not apply to editorials, or op-eds.

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