Jul 24

TCA Media Monitoring July 23, 2024

1. Harris reinvigorates effort to frame election around abortion rights, Democrats view Vice President Harris as a more effective messenger on abortion than President Biden., By Rachel Roubein and Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Washington Post, July 23, 2024, 5:00 AM
The increasing likelihood that Vice President Harris, the White House’s chief defender of abortion rights, will emerge at the top of the Democratic ticket has buoyed party leaders counting on abortion to invigorate voters in November.

Harris, a former district attorney who once specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases, has a long history of standing up for abortion rights. As California’s attorney general, her department fought antiabortion advocates who recorded undercover videos of Planned Parenthood. As a U.S. senator, she grilled then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on abortion, asking whether he could “think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body.”

After some back-and-forth, Kavanaugh responded: “I’m not thinking of any right now, senator.”
Antiabortion groups have rushed to issue statements painting Harris as an extremist.

“Harris is so committed to abortion that she can’t see anything else — including the developmental stages of children before birth or the real needs of women,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, a leading antiabortion group that is planning to spend $92 million this election cycle.

2. Where the candidates on Harris’s VP short list stand on abortion, By
Gabrielle M. Etzel, The Washington Examiner, July 23, 2024, 5:00 AM
The politicians thought to be top candidates to be Vice President Kamala Harris‘s running mate are all strong supporters of legal abortion and would help Harris to make abortion one of the most prominent campaign topics in the 2024 elections.
Harris had been the spokesperson for abortion rights for the Biden campaign since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, conducting multiple visits to key swing states to tout the Democratic ticket’s support for legal abortion.
The three governors among the top contenders — Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro, Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, and North Carolina’s Roy Cooper — have each struggled with Republican majorities in their state legislatures over post-Roe abortion restrictions.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), the only senator among the most common names discussed for Harris’s VP, has a 100% rating on Planned Parenthood’s Congressional Scorecard as of 2021.

3. Pompeo, Lai press the need for new focus on religious freedom in Asia, Ex-secretary of state, Taiwanese leader issue rallying cry at Tokyo summit, By Andrew Salmon, The Washington Times, July 23, 2024
Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lamented fraying religious freedoms in Asia, saying the issue required renewed international focus and that communist China was a primary obstacle to progress.
The two men, speaking separately, touched on many of the same themes Monday at the International Religious Freedom Summit Asia in Japan’s capital city. It was sponsored by organizations including Freedom House, the Family Research Council and The Washington Times Foundation.
Risks are rising in an era of “democratic backsliding” and “widespread aggression,” Mr. Lai told the conference in a video message. “We must reaffirm our commitment to freedom and dignity.”

Mr. Pompeo, who was director of the CIA before moving to the State Department, noted bipartisan support for religious freedom abroad during the Trump administration. With faith deeply embedded in the human condition, he said, it is “indecent” of any government to try to suppress it.
“You have two different political parties and thought processes, but each believes deeply in the criticality of international religious freedoms,” he said. “It is not partisan in the U.S. It is something that is intrinsic to human dignity.”
Mr. Lai, who took office in May, said the bonds forged by 19th-century Christian pioneers who came to Taiwan on medical and evangelical missions remain strong. Religious institutions linked to their work conduct medical charity work and disaster relief locally and internationally.

4. Day 65 — It is finished! But the Revival enthusiastically continues, By Seton Pilgrimage Blog, July 22, 2024, Opinion
On Sunday, the tenth National Eucharistic Congress concluded with a beautiful Mass celebrated and preached by the papal legate, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, joined by hundreds of bishops, more than two thousand priests and deacons, and 50,000 faithful.
The conclusion of the Congress was also the conclusion of the 65-day journey of the Seton Pilgrims on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, who got together for breakfast before setting out for the Mass and then, after Mass, heading to the airport to return to their respective homes for the first time in more than two months.
The procession to begin the concluding Mass took about a half hour due to the number of seminarians and clergy in the procession. Lucas Oil Stadium, for a short time, became by far the largest Church in the world, with the help of digital screens featuring sacred church-like architecture and extraordinary music, assisted by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle focused on “Eucharistic conversion” and “missionary conversion.” Eucharistic conversion was the message, he said, Pope Francis asked him to share with everyone. The focus of the last day of the Congress, he said, was on preparing everyone to become Eucharistic missionaries, and so the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery of Evangelization sought to show how the two themes go together.
The theme of the National Eucharistic Congress, he said, is “my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51). Jesus was sent by God the Father in order to give us the Eucharist. In him, mission and gift are united.

At the end of the two and a half hour Mass, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress and the chief animator of the National Eucharistic Revival, thanked Cardinal Tagle and many others who have made the Congress possible. He announced that the 11th National Eucharistic Congress is scheduled for 2033, marking the 2000th anniversary of redemption, but said that he and others are discerning whether to wait nine years for the next. When he asked those in attendance whether they thought the eleventh should be sooner, he received a boisterously favorable response.
He also noted that next year they are hoping to continue the experience of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage with a journey from Indianapolis to Los Angeles for the celebration of Corpus Christi.

The Seton Route Pilgrims after the Mass — Natalie Garza, Marina Frattaroli, Zoe Dongas, Amayrani Higueldo, Dominic Carstens, Christoph Bernas and chaplain Father Roger Landry — got ready to return to their respective homes. They are planning to reconvene in New York City August 3-4 for the final profession of Brother Lazarus Vina, CFR, who was with them for two of the nine weeks of their journey.
They have all committed to continuing to accompany each other on the pilgrimage of Christian life, to deepening their friendship with the Lord and in him with each other.
They are also working on various projects to share the fruits of the extraordinary gift of their pilgrimage with others, seeking, as Cardinal Tagle urged everyone present, to make the gift they have received a true gift for others.
5. No, Pro-Life Laws Have Not Worsened Public-Health Outcomes for Women, By Michael J. New, National Review, July 22, 2024, 6:11 PM, Opinion
Last week the Commonwealth Fund released a state scorecard on women’s health and reproductive care. It provided state-level data on a range of public-health outcomes, including maternal-mortality rates, breast- and cervical-cancer deaths, and rates of postpartum depression. Some Northeastern states received high rankings while many Southern states fared poorly. This study has been covered by mainstream media outlets including ABC News, NBC News, CNN, the Dallas Morning News, and Bloomberg.com.
In the accompanying news release, the Commonwealth Fund states that the findings raise concerns about the ripple effects of the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.  Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media’s coverage of the study was all too quick to include that spin. Bloomberg in its headline claimed that maternal deaths were highest in states that restrict abortion.
Unsurprisingly, there is much less here than meets the eye. The spin that recently enacted state-level pro-life laws have hurt public-health outcomes for women is flawed for two important reasons. First, nearly all of the public-health data that was presented in the Commonwealth Fund scorecard comes from 2022. Dobbs was decided in June 2022, and many states did not start enforcing protections of preborn children until later that year.  Overall, it is pretty ridiculous to blame high maternal-mortality rates and other poor public-health outcomes on pro-life policies that in many cases were in effect for less than half the year.
Second, the study does not provide any evidence that recent pro-life laws worsened public-health outcomes. The scorecard does not compare pre-Dobbs data to post-Dobbs data. All it shows is that some states with strong pro-life laws fare poorly on some public-health metrics. The problem is that many states with strong protections for the preborn are also states with above-average poverty rates. In general, states with high poverty rates also tend to have below-average public-health outcomes. Overall, poverty is a cause of poor public health, not pro-life laws.
Overall, CDC data show that maternal deaths in the United States decreased by over 16 percent between 2022 and 2023. Furthermore, there is a body of data showing that pro-life laws are consistent with positive public-health outcomes. Maternal-mortality rates in Chile continued to fall after protections for preborn children were put in place in 1989. Poland has among the strongest pro-life laws in Europe and one of the lowest maternal-mortality rates. Unfortunately, positive health outcomes in countries with strong pro-life policies usually receive scant attention from the mainstream media.
6. 18 states back Indiana teacher’s religious liberty lawsuit in transgender pronoun dispute, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, July 22, 2024, 3:15 PM
A coalition of 18 state attorneys general is throwing its support behind a lawsuit from a former Indiana high school teacher who lost his job because he would not use pronouns for students that were inconsistent with their sex. 
The Republican coalition, co-led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on Wednesday that asks the judges to rule that the teacher’s religious liberty was violated. 

Former music teacher John Kluge, who taught orchestra at the Brownsburg Community School Corporation just northwest of Indianapolis, was given the option of resigning or being fired from his job over the pronoun dispute, according to his lawsuit.
In 2017, the school district adopted a policy that forces teachers to use pronouns and names that reflect a student’s self-asserted gender identity, even if they are inconsistent with the student’s sex.

7. Federal court rules in favor of Colorado church blocked from running homeless shelter, By Kate Quiñones, Catholic News Agency, July 22, 2024, 2:45 PM
A federal judge sided with a Colorado church Friday in its dispute with a Denver-area town, granting the church the right to offer temporary housing for the homeless on its property.
Beginning in 2019, The Rock Church, a nondenominational church in Castle Rock, a town south of Denver, provided a recreational vehicle (RV) and a camper on the edge of its parking lot to temporarily shelter people experiencing homelessness. The church also provides temporary shelter during emergencies through a partnership with the Red Cross.
On several occasions, town officials blocked the ministry, saying that housing people on church grounds violated zoning laws.

8. Why Americans Aren’t Having Babies, The costs and rising expectations of parenthood are making young people think hard about having any children at all, By Rachel Wolfe, The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2024, 9:00 PM
Americans aren’t just waiting longer to have kids and having fewer once they start—they’re less likely to have any at all. 
The shift means that childlessness may be emerging as the main driver of the country’s record-low birthrate.  
Women without children, rather than those having fewer, are responsible for most of the decline in average births among 35- to 44-year-olds during their lifetimes so far, according to an analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey data by University of Texas demographer Dean Spears for The Wall Street Journal. Childlessness accounted for over two-thirds of the 6.5% drop in average births between 2012 to 2022.   

The change is far-reaching. More women in the 35-to-44 age range across all races, income levels, employment statuses, regions and broad education groups aren’t having children, according to research by Luke Pardue at nonprofit policy forum the Aspen Economic Strategy Group.

Throughout history, having children was widely accepted as a central goal of adulthood.
Yet when Pew Research Center surveyed 18- to 34-year-olds last year, a little over half said they would like to become parents one day. In a separate 2021 survey, Pew found 44% of childless adults ages 18 to 49 said they were not too likely, or not at all likely, to have children, up from 37% who said the same thing in 2018.
As more women gained access to birth control and entered the workforce in the 1970s, reshaping family life and expectations around gender, Americans began having fewer kids. By 1980, the average number of children per family was 1.8, down from a high of 3.6 during the post-Depression baby boom, according to Gallup.
Now, researchers say, having children at all has begun to feel optional.


TCA Media Monitoring provides 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. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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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.