Catholic Perspectives

Catholic teachings on issues related to reproductive health and rights are far more nuanced than the hierarchy acknowledges. This page provides links to a variety of resources that reveal what Catholic teachings are, what Catholics believe and how Catholics behave.

Overview of Catholicism and Reproductive Health

  • Video: “The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics”  – Experts in the fields of theology, philosophy and ethics explain Catholic teachings about issues such as abortion, contraception and sexuality.
  • Prochoice Catholicism 101 – Catholic teachings on reproductive health topics are both more complex and simpler than the ones commonly thought of as the singular Catholic worldview.
  • Polling: Catholics and Choice – This compilation of Catholic opinion polls covers topics such as abortion, emergency contraception, religion in public life and Catholic voters’ priorities.




  • Conscience magazine: The Bishops’ Sexual Problems (pdf) – “The bishops’ preoccupation with sex isn’t new,” states this 2010 Conscience article, but an increasingly political Catholic hierarchy is doing significant damage to reproductive rights all over the world, especially for poor people.
  • Conscience magazine: Hierarchy, Sex and Power: (pdf) – Catholic theologian Dan Maguire explains the hierarchy’s obsession with sex and suggests a solution for it.


  • Development Aid: What You Need to Know – This short film shows how faith-based providers play by their own rules when it comes to providing care for people living with HIV & AIDS, picking and choosing who to help and which services to offer.
  • The Bishops’ Directives for Catholic Healthcare (pdf) – Women’s reproductive healthcare options are limited at Catholic hospitals, no matter what their religion, because of these directives enforced by the bishops.
  • In Good Conscience (pdf) – Refusal clauses are often invoked by providers who wish not to perform a procedure, but a balanced conscience clause would protect the right of patients to access a treatment and the rights of healthcare professionals who wish to provide it.


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