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Catholics at International AIDS Conference XVII Tell Pope: End Ban on Condoms
Date:7/31/2008

MEXICO CITY, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As thousands gather in Mexico City for the 17th International AIDS Conference August 3-8, 2008, Catholics for Choice and its Latin American sister organizations, Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir, will be highlighting Catholic opposition to the Vatican's ban on condoms using materials developed for the Condoms4Life campaign, http://www.Condoms4Life.org.

From the opening moments of the conference, attendees will have a chance to ask Pope Benedict to lift the ban on condoms and join in efforts to promote ethical, comprehensive and balanced approaches to HIV prevention. As South African Bishop Kevin Dowling noted, condoms are vital "to stop transmission of a death-dealing virus." The campaign supports Catholics in using these life-saving and life-affirming devices and calls on the hierarchy to join others in the active prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the world.

According to a recent poll commissioned by Catholics for Choice, which interviewed Catholics in Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States, support for condom use among Catholics is overwhelming. When asked if "using condoms is prolife because it helps save lives by preventing the spread of AIDS," 90% of Catholics in Mexico, 86% in Ireland, 79% in the US, 77% in the Philippines and 59% in Ghana agreed. Unfortunately, the Catholic hierarchy's position holds the most sway in the countries least able to deal economically and medically with the disease.

"Catholics the world over unequivocally state that using condoms is prolife and disagree with the Vatican's ban on contraception, including condoms," said Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. "They know, as do the many bishops and priests who have been speaking out in recent years, that the stakes are too high. Every day, more people are infected or are dying from HIV and AIDS."

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SOURCE Catholics for Choice
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