Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church

Good Catholics tells the story of the remarkable individuals who have engaged in a fifty-year struggle to assert the legitimacy of a pro-choice, pro-contraception position in the Catholic Church, as well as the concurrent efforts of the Catholic hierarchy to suppress dissent and translate Catholic doctrine on sexuality into law. Patricia Miller recounts a dramatic but largely untold history of protest and persecution, which demonstrates the profound influence the conflict over reproductive rights in the Catholic Church has had not only on the church but also on the very fabric of U.S. politics.

Good Catholics addresses many of today’s hot-button questions about the separation of church and state, including what concessions society should make in public policy to matters of religious doctrine, such as the Catholic ban on contraception.

Gold Medalist 2015 IPPY Awards

What People Are Saying…


“For anyone looking around in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision and asking, ‘How did we get here?’ Patricia Miller’s Good Catholics provides your answer—and then some. … Good Catholics is an excellent primer on the dynamic issue of religion in reproductive health issues in the US.”
Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood

A “Must-Read Feminist Book of 2014.”
Ms. Magazine

“Anyone interested in discovering how and why the abortion issue is so inextricably tied up with Catholicism will be fascinated by this important work.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wonderful, original, and provocative. . . . Destined to be a critical and popular success.”
Kristin Luker, author of Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood

“While evangelical Christians ultimately brought down the contraception mandate, [Miller shows] they had big help from Catholics.” 

“A page-turning thriller filled with courageous individuals.”
Lousewies van der Laan, Conscience magazine

“Miller documents in thoroughly researched detail the steps by which Catholic authorities created advocacy organizations, herded priests into line, and ratcheted up pressure on Catholic politicians. 
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Patricia Miller, with a journalist’s eye and a historian’s training, chronicles movements of “good Catholics” to counter the institutional church’s power, both political and theological. … Miller’s detail-dense prose makes her book a serious study instead of what could have been a partisan puff piece.”
Women’s Review of Books

“An ethical-theological-historical page-turner if there ever was one!”
Rev. Welton Gaddy, “State of Belief”

“Miller’s excellent new book deals primarily with the top-down leadership of the Vatican and the bishops, who, it should be very clear, do not represent the views of most Catholics but are able to spook many politicians into thinking otherwise. . . . Five stars.”  
Free Inquiry

“…the book will likely give off sparks. But if these sparks inspire people to study this potent moral question in an informed manner, it will have done a service to those on both sides of the divide — and Miller’s book is a good place to begin that study.”
National Catholic Reporter

“Good Catholics traces the emergence of a strong pro-choice movement in American Catholicism and the aggressive politicization of the Catholic hierarchy in combating dissent on abortion and birth control. … Miller concludes that the underlying issue is not just abortion, but the deep hostility of traditional Christianity to women’s sexuality.”
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont School of Theology 

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