Mar 17

TCA Media Monitoring March 8, 2017

1. ‘Day Without a Woman’ sponsors fail miserably at protecting women’s human rights. 

By Ashley McGuire, The Hill, March 8, 2017, 6:40 AM

If you want to understand why just than one-in-five Americans self-identify as a feminist, look no further than today’s “Day Without A Woman” event.

The organizers already told about half of America’s women to get lost when they explicitly stated the preceding January’s Women’s March’s “platform is pro-choice” and “has been since day one” and participants will be “marching on behalf of individuals who share th(at) view.” Today is supposed to be the “part two,” if you will, to that event.

The Day Without A Woman website claims to stand for “the human rights of women,” and yet they side-step the reality that tens of millions of American women consider abortion to be an egregious human rights violation against hundreds of thousands of females annually and millions more globally.

So you’ll forgive those of us women who opt out of an event that purports to be pro-woman, but feels instead quite out of step with the attitudes of plenty of women who don’t care to see our country legalize the sexual exploitation of women, kill our preborn daughters, or get us fired from our jobs and call it progress for women.


2. Major Christian Charity Forced to Halt Work in India. 

By Ellen Barry and Suhasini Raj, The New York Times, March 8, 2017, Pg. A4

India’s crackdown on foreign aid will claim its most prominent casualty this month, as a Colorado-based Christian charity that is one of India’s biggest donors closes its operations here after 48 years, informing tens of thousands of children that they will no longer receive meals, medical care or tuition payments.

The shutdown of the charity, Compassion International, on suspicion of engaging in religious conversion, comes as India, a rising economic power with a swelling spirit of nationalism, curtails the flow of foreign money to activities it deems “detrimental to the national interest.”

More than 11,000 nongovernmental organizations have lost their licenses to accept foreign funds since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014.

But few have been as vocal about their struggle as Compassion International, which solicits donations through its $38-a-month “sponsor a child” program and distributes them through church-affiliated service centers. It has repeatedly ranked as India’s largest single foreign donor, transferring around $45 million a year.

Its executives vehemently deny the government’s allegation that it is funding religious conversions, and say India has given them no opportunity to rebut the accusation.


3. Let’s not make a deal: Planned Parenthood is right to reject Republicans’ unrealistic offer. 

By Editorial Board, The Washington Post, March 8, 2017, Pg. A16

IT’S PRETTY clear that a proposal floated by the White House to safeguard federal funding to Planned Parenthood if the group stopped providing abortions never stood a chance of even being considered by the group. “Non-negotiable,” said one Planned Parenthood official. But the fact that the idea was broached at all is significant as the latest sign that Republicans recognize the problems — and likely political repercussions — of cutting off funds to an organization that is held in high regard by the American public for providing critical health-care services.

It’s time for the White House to go back to the drawing board to figure a way out of its dilemma. Here’s an idea: Study what President Trump said as a candidate about Planned Parenthood. “Millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood,” he saidin a February 2016 debate. In other words: Stop the grandstanding and allow this respected health organization to continue its work unimpeded.


4. Trump Admin Should Relieve Doctors, Hospitals of Obama-Era Trans Initiative. 

By Grazie Christie, CNS News, March 7, 2017, 11:43 AM

The Trump Administration issued a new guidance that reverses the Obama-era directive requiring schools to allow children suffering from gender dysphoria to use the restroom of their choice, regardless of their sex. The Trump Administration should likewise relieve doctors and hospitals from a similar transgender initiative: Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

The education directive, which caused consternation across the nation, was made through a “Dear Colleague” letter using Title IX (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex) as its legal basis.  As Obama’s Department of Justice clarified in May: “Schools receiving federal money … must treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for the purposes of enforcing Title IX.” Section 1557 also re-interprets Title IX, this time in regards to healthcare. Effectively that means that denying surgery or hormonal therapy designed to change a person’s secondary sexual characteristics is discriminatory. Section 1557 went even further in re-imagining Title IX, calling a refusal to perform abortions discrimination against women.

The intimate relationship between doctor and patient, the primacy of specific medical judgment over fads and ideology, and the religious freedom of providers and employers are all in danger in the wake of Section 1557.

If demanding that society conform itself to an individual’s biologically-defying sense of self makes for chaos in schools, the potential for harm in medicine is even greater.  Just for starters, transgender designations may conceal biologic sex differences that are of great importance when assessing medical risk factors and effective treatments.  Even more serious, Section 1557 specifically states that doctors must perform amputating surgeries even if not “strictly identified as medically necessary or appropriate.”  

Discrimination is a terrible thing, and the laws of our country, such as Title IX, have worked to curtail it.  But it is also terrible to twist the notion of discrimination in order to promote gender ideology. It is not discriminatory to give schoolgirls bathroom privacy, and it is not discriminatory when a surgeon acting in accord with her best medical judgment refuses to amputate a perfectly healthy organ.  Let’s hope the Trump Administration, while untangling the gender-ideology knots left behind by Mr. Obama at the Department of Education, addresses the even more damaging section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.


5. Trump to Nominate Francisco as U.S. Solicitor General. 

By Reuters, March 7, 2017, 5:57 PM

President Donald Trump will nominate Washington lawyer Noel Francisco to be solicitor general, the government’s top advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House said on Tuesday.

Francisco, who has been serving in an acting capacity in the job, is a lawyer with strong conservative credentials who previously worked at the Jones Day law firm.

In another case decided last year, he represented religious nonprofits that sought an exemption from a provision of the Obamacare healthcare law that requires employers to provide female workers with health insurance that includes contraception coverage. The high court in May sidestepped a major ruling in that case by sending it back to a lower court.


6. The death penalty doesn’t solve problems, archbishop tells UN. 

By Catholic News Agency, March 7, 2017, 4:17 PM

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations reiterated the Vatican’s defense of all human life in a meeting with UN Human Rights Council on the death penalty.

“My Delegation reaffirms that life is sacred ‘from conception to natural death,’ and recalls          the words Pope Francis, that ‘even a criminal has the inviolable right to life,’” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic last Wednesday.

He cited the words of Pope Francis: “For a constitutional state the death penalty represents a failure, because it obliges a State to kill in the name of justice. But justice is never reached by killing a human being.”

Archbishop Jurkovic addressed the need for different avenues aimed at rehabilitation and society’s safety while also respecting life.

“My Delegation believes that more humane measures are available to address crime, ensuring the victim the right to justice and giving the criminal the chance to reform,” he said.

The archbishop reemphasized the goal of ending capital punishment and said that the Vatican supports “as an interim measure, the moratoria established by the 2014 General Assembly resolution.” He ended with an encouragement for better prison conditions and fair trials, regardless of criminal status.


7. In the Vatican’s department for culture, women get their say. 

By Inés San Martín, Crux, March 7, 2017

In an attempt to include the voices of women in the Vatican’s formerly all-male Pontifical Council for Culture, Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi has created a “Women’s Consultation Group,” which includes 37 women who work in areas ranging from Iranian theology to medicine, diplomacy and acting.

The scope of the group is not to gather and talk about women’s issues, but rather to bring the voices of women to a male-dominated environment to “stimulate the reflection” of the council’s members on universal issues.

According to the presentation made in Rome on Tuesday, the plan is for the consultation group to meet three times a year and to present proposals over the many activities of the council: artificial intelligence, neuroscience, sports and human anthropology.

According to Ravasi, Pope Francis’s strong push for the inclusion of women in different Vatican offices was key in the creation of the consultation.


The media monitoring clips provide a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged - such as religious liberty and other fundamental Church concerns. The clips are not intended to be an exhausted source of in-depth coverage on any particular issue. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.