Reproductive Rights, Choice and Catholics

“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics” is a serious documentary with a funny name. It consists of a conversation among Catholic theologians on the church’s various positions on issues related to women’s reproductive rights.

The documentary was produced by Catholics for Choice, a not-for-profit organization based on Washington, D.C., to advocate for the rights of women on reproductive matters inside the church. Polling shows that large majorities of Catholics believe that women should be able to make their own choices about contraception and abortion.

The church hierarchy is, of course, opposed to these ideas, but as the theologians in the film point out, Church teaching is a three-legged stool comprised of the hierarchy, theologians and the faithful. Any deep and long divide between the hierarchy and the faithful ultimately diminishes the Church and its influence.

Sonja Spoo is a national outreach associate with Catholics for Choice. She brought the documentary to Louisiana in late February for screenings in New Orleans and Lafayette.

In conversation after the Lafayette screening, Spoo admitted that she considered herself anti-choice until a few years ago when she saw the weight of decisions on her friends. Catholics for Choice argues that the church hierarchy is out of touch with Catholics here and around the globe, and that it is hurting women as well as the church.

She also addresses the role that class has always played in determining who can or can’t access an abortion provider.