Brazilian court prohibits abortion advocacy group calling itself “Catholic”
“Catholics for the Right to Decide” must remove the term “Catholic” from its name, as the organisation’s goals are incompatible with the values of the Catholic Church, according to a legal ruling in Sao Paolo. The organisation is a branch of the U.S. based, Catholics for Choice, which advocates for pro-abortion policies.
“In defence of the right to decide on abortion, which the Church clearly and severely condemns, there is a clear distortion and incompatibility of the name used in relation to the aims and specific actions of the association, which directly attack morality and good customs, in addition to harming the public good and interests,” ruled Judge José Carlos Ferreira, in a Sao Paolo lawsuit.
Ferreira also wrote in his decision that Catholics for the Right to Decide represents a “public, notorious, total and absolute incompatibility with the values of the “Catholic Church in a general and universal way.”
In addition, the judge ruled that “freedom of speech will not be compromised in the least, and the association may defend its values and ideas (including abortion) as it deems appropriate, provided that it uses a consistent name, without presenting itself to society under the name of another institution that publicly and conspicuously adopts opposite values.”
Chris Tonietto, a Brazilian legislator and attorney who worked on the case, said after the ruling that “the name was considered subversive because it perverts the meaning of Catholicism itself, which is why we say that they created confusion.”
“This organisation has always acted to create confusion, so much so that the name ‘Catholics for the Right to Decide’, was certainly used in an abusive and undue way,” he said.