/PRNewswire / -- Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement today about the appointment of Alexia Kelley to be Director of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services:
Alexia Kelley, co-founder and former executive director of the antichoice organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), was today appointed to be Director of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Kelley's appointment is a defeat for reason and logic and calls into question whether President Obama's administration is serious about reducing the need for abortion. And, while it may not gain many headlines, the impact and significance of this appointment should not go unnoticed.
If Ms. Kelley had been appointed to another position in the administration, there might be less reason for concern. However, the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for providing and expanding access to key sexual and reproductive health services. As such, we need those working in HHS to rely on evidence-based methods to reduce the need for abortion. We need them to believe in men's and women's capacity to make moral decisions about their own lives. Unfortunately, as seen from her work at CACG, Ms. Kelley does not fit the bill.
A look into Alexia Kelley's leadership of CACG reveals a vehement antichoice stance that is focused on reducing the number of, not the need for, abortions. In voter's guides the organization Kelley led characterized abortion as akin to war or torture. You can learn more about Catholics in Alliance here.
Alexia Kelley is on record with her support for restrictions on access to abortion, despite her organization's efforts to avoid the question of legalization at every turn. In an audio press conference prior to the 2008 election, Ms. Kelley agreed with other speakers who spoke out in favor of restrictions on abortion, saying, "Catholics in Alliance supports these restrictions as well."
In appointing an antichoice advocate to a key position in HHS we are seeing crucial principles abandoned -- principles upon which so many men and women rely to lead healthy lives.
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