Jon O’Brien

Catholics for Choice

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice (CFC), heads the leading prochoice organization that addresses sexual and reproductive rights from a standpoint of culture, faith, and morality. Through his leadership, O’Brien is committed to maintaining a visionary approach to reproductive health policy, focused on shaping and advancing the way people, especially opinion leaders and policy makers, think and feel about reproductive rights. With more than twenty years experience in the field, Mr. O’Brien is a leader in developing global strategy surrounding reproductive health and rights
issues. He has worked on five continents with local advocates and activists on policy development, advocacy, and communications. Highly sought after for his expertise, O’Brien has increased communications and advocacy efficacy by working with partners around the world–including family planning associations, medical practitioners, prochoice advocates, nonprofit leaders and policy makers–to develop new ways to approach and discuss the abortion debate.

A life-long Catholic born and raised in the Republic of Ireland, Mr. O’Brien’s initial involvement in reproductive rights was sparked by his reaction to the great injustices that women especially face as a result of the Catholic hierarchy’s influence over public policy in the country. He began his professional career with the Irish Family Planning Association, where he worked on the front lines of reproductive health provision and was instrumental in developing the strategy that successfully engineered the downfall of Ireland’s restrictive contraceptive laws. Before joining CFC over ten years ago, O’Brien also worked as program manager at the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s European Bureau in London, overseeing the federation’s work establishing family planning clinics in Eastern Europe during a time of immense political and social turmoil. O’Brien has been honored by the International Parliamentarians Conference on ICPD, recognized as a “Key to Choice” by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, and received the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Women’s Law Center in 2007.

What Catholics Really Want in Health Care Reform

What some are really doing in the health reform debate is projecting their own vision of what is moral onto those who will be most affected by distorted views and limited coverage: the taxpayers who will fund and use whatever system emerges.

Obama and the Pope: Symbolism, Not Substance

Pope Benedict recently claimed that the church does not "interfere in any way in the politics of States."  However, recent evidence suggests that the pope's claims that church does not " the politics of States" are more than a little disingenuous.