WASHINGTON, D.C. — Catholics for Choice, which lifts up the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, has announced that Jamie Manson, a longtime Catholic journalist and thought leader, will take over as president of the organization starting Oct. 19.
“As we set out on our search for a new president for Catholics for Choice, we knew we would need someone who has dedicated their life to boldly living Catholic values of social justice, formation and consultation of conscience, and profound respect for the moral agency of other people,” Catholics for Choice Board of Directors Chair Victor Reyes said in a prepared statement.
“We are proud to announce that our search has led us to Jamie Manson, a singular thought leader who is unafraid to forge a path that is deeply Catholic in its uplifting of the primacy of conscience in reproductive decisions. We are invigorated and inspired for the future under Jamie’s leadership.
“Through her life’s work, Jaime has demonstrated a deep devotion to the mission and values that our organization represents, and we have faith in her ability to head the organization in this moment and beyond.
“In a unique and powerful way, she has been a recognized voice pushing back against a church hierarchy which does not reflect the beliefs of the majority of Catholics across the world.
“Through her writing as a columnist with the National Catholic Reporter, she has invited audiences to reflect on the role of conscience in moral decision making and on how Catholic tradition leads us to advocate for reproductive rights and justice.
“In her work, Jamie has exemplified the majority of Catholics, who we know support reproductive health access and who consult their conscience, not the hierarchy, on moral decisions.
“We welcome her leadership in our mission to shape and advance sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women’s well-being, and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.
“These are challenging times for people of faith. Not only does the global Catholic community continue to experience isolation from each other and the sacraments during the pandemic, but the assault on people’s abilities to make decisions about reproductive health in accordance with their conscience has grown even more serious.”
Manson graduated magna cum laude from Yale Divinity School, where she focused on Catholic theology, sexual ethics and spirituality.
She is an internationally known columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, where she is an often-solitary voice for reproductive freedom and justice and was one of the first to sound the alarm about the right-wing push for “religious liberty.”
She has won more than a dozen awards for her writing, and her advocacy on behalf of women in the church earned her the Theresa Kane Award for Women of Vision and Courage.
Manson has taken deep risks in her work. She came out as a lesbian in her first NCR column in 2008 and is still one of the few openly LGBTQ persons in the Catholic media in the world.
She is a recognized, authoritative voice who has spent more than a decade challenging the Church hierarchy on issues of gender equality, sexuality and reproductive health.