Why do so many people in the USA have misunderstandings about the Catholic Church? Well, there are several reasons:
1 - The Catholic Church itself - we haven't been known for our great formation over the last 50 years.
2 - Mis-representations of the Church.
Exhibit A. While not about Catholics, it is a misrepresentation of the pro-life argument. Of course, straw men arguments are much easier to knock down.
Exhibit B. More straw men. The Catholic Church isn't suppressing women in any way, shape or form. But, you wouldn't know it by this article.
3 - Name your own reasons...