1. How the Pro-Life Movement’s Deal With Trump Made America More Pro-Choice, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, April 10, 2024, 5:03 AM
The captivity of the pro-life movement to the character of Donald Trump is a crucial aspect of contemporary abortion politics. But maybe not quite in the way suggested by Trump’s decision this week to publicly distance himself from his pro-life supporters by refusing to endorse national restrictions on late-term abortions.
That refusal was a sign of the anti-abortion movement’s political weakness but not necessarily a major blow to its cause. The contemplated legislation was unlikely to pass the Senate no matter what stance Trump took, and positioning the G.O.P. as a defender of state-based regulation usefully focuses abortion opponents on their most important challenge: defending the abortion restrictions that are already on the books in conservative states, and finding ways to win over the voters who have turned against the pro-life side in every post-Dobbs referendum — with Arizona looming as the next battleground now that its Supreme Court has upheld an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions.
The problem for pro-lifers is that these efforts at persuasion have become markedly less effective over a timeline that overlaps closely with Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party. The captivity of abortion opponents, in this sense, isn’t about the specific policy stances that Trump might choose and that they might then have to reluctantly accept. It’s about the ways in which a Trumpist form of conservatism seems inherently to make Americans more pro-choice.

Trump did deliver on his judicial promises to pro-lifers, and in his craft and cynicism he is more attuned to political reality than some anti-abortion activists and leaders. Indeed there are ways in which a pro-Trump but not pro-life conservative could reasonably complain that the pro-life movement can’t be his captive, because he’s the one who’s hostage to unpopular anti-abortion ideas.
But he is also a cause of their increased unpopularity, an instigator for the country’s pro-choice turn — because the form of conservatism that he embodies is entirely misaligned with the pro-life movement as it wants and needs to be perceived.
That’s the price of the bargain abortion opponents made. The deal worked on its own terms: Roe is gone. But now they’re trapped in a world where their image is defined more by the dealmaker’s values than by their own.
2. Britain Limits Gender Drugs For Children, By Azeen Ghorayshi, The New York Times, April 10, 2024, Pg. A1
The National Health Service in England started restricting gender treatments for children this month, making it the fifth European country to limit the medications because of a lack of evidence of their benefits and concern about long-term harms.
England’s change resulted from a four-year review released Tuesday evening by Dr. Hilary Cass, an independent pediatrician. “For most young people, a medical pathway will not be the best way to manage their gender-related distress,” the report concluded. In a related editorial published in a medical journal, Dr. Cass said the evidence that youth gender treatments were beneficial was “built on shaky foundations.”
The N.H.S. will no longer offer drugs that block puberty, except for patients enrolled in clinical research. And the report recommended that hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which spur permanent physical changes, be prescribed to minors with “extreme caution.” (The guidelines do not apply to doctors in private practice, who serve a small fraction of the population.)
England’s move is part of a broader shift in northern Europe, where health officials have been concerned by soaring demand for adolescent gender treatments in recent years. Many patients also have mental health conditions that make it difficult to pinpoint the root cause of their distress, known as dysphoria.

3. Brazil’s Yanomami leader asks the Pope to support President Lula in reversing damage to the Amazon, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, April 10, 2024, 10:00 AM
Pope Francis met Wednesday with a leader of Brazil’s Yanomami people, who asked for papal backing for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ’s efforts to reverse decades of exploitation of the Amazon and better protect its Indigenous peoples.
Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami shaman, said he came to the Vatican at Francis’ invitation to brief him on the plight of the Yanomami and the Amazon, where deforestation surged to a 15-year high during the previous administration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The Yanomami Indigenous Territory, Brazil’s largest, was ravaged by thousands of illegal gold miners spurred on by Bolsonaro. They felled trees and poisoned waterways with mercury.
Kopenawa, who wore a traditional feathered headdress and beads around his neck, told reporters afterward he gave Francis a letter laying out the concerns of the Yanomami. He said he asked for Francis to support Lula to try to fix the previous government’s “error” and that Francis said he would speak with him.

4. Transgender inclusion? World’s major religions take varying stances on policies toward trans people, By Deepa Bharath, David Crary and Mariam Fam, Associated Press, April 10, 2024, 5:08 AM
The Vatican has issued a new document rejecting the concept of changing one’s biological sex – a setback for transgender people who had hoped Pope Francis might be setting the stage for a more welcoming approach from the Catholic Church.
Around the world, major religions have diverse approaches to gender identity, and the inclusion or exclusion of transgender people. Some examples:
The Catholic Church’s disapproving stance toward gender transition is shared by some other denominations. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention – the largest Protestant denomination in the United States – adopted a resolution in 2014 stating that “God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female.” It asserts that gender identity “is determined by biological sex, not by one’s self-perception.”
However, numerous mainline Protestant denominations welcome trans people as members and as clergy. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elected an openly transgender man as a bishop in 2021.

5. Trump gets it right on abortion, By Marc A. Thiessen, The Washington Post, April 9, 2024, 3:21 PM
Donald Trump is under fire from some in the pro-life movement for his decision to oppose a federal abortion limit, declaring instead that abortion should be left to states. We “took [abortion] out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds and vote of the people in each state,” Trump said Monday in a Truth Social video. “Now it’s up to the states to do the right thing.”
As a pro-life conservative, I get the disappointment. But Trump is right.
Let’s start with the reason we can restrict abortion at all today: Trump is the only pro-life president in six decades with a perfect record in Supreme Court appointments. The decisive 6-to-3 conservative majority he created overturned Roe v. Wade, the seemingly impossible goal of the antiabortion movement for nearly half a century. As president, he defunded the U.N. Population Fund over its support for abortion in China, allowed states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood, implemented the Protect Life Rule prohibiting Title X family-planning funds from going to clinics that perform abortions, and defended the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor. And Trump was the first president to speak in person at the annual March for Life. No president more openly embraced the pro-life movement, or delivered it more victories, than Donald Trump.
Second, he is being honest with pro-life voters: Passing a 15-week federal abortion ban is not possible in Congress anytime soon. That’s because doing so requires 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster, and there is zero chance Republicans will win that kind of majority in the next four years. So campaigning on a federal abortion limit would be an empty promise to pro-life Americans — one that Trump would be powerless to fulfill.

“At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people,” Trump correctly said. And the best way to persuade more people to support the cause of life is to leave abortion decisions where conservatives once promised they would be decided: in the states.
6. Catholic Bishops Say Abortion Can ‘Never Be a Fundamental Right’ Ahead of EU Charter Vote, ‘The right to life is the fundamental pillar of all other human rights,’ the bishops said., By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, April 9, 2024
Catholic bishops in the European Union on Tuesday reiterated that a right to abortion can never be a “fundamental” right ahead of a Thursday vote related to the insertion of a “right to abortion” in the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. 
draft resolution set to be voted on April 11 would amend the EU’s charter, which first came into force in 2009, to include the assertion that “everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, to free, informed, full, and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to all related health care services without discrimination, including access to safe and legal abortion.”
The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), based in Brussels and made up of bishops delegated by the bishops’ conferences of the more than two dozen member states of the European Union, speaks frequently in support of Catholic values in Europe, particularly against abortion and for the protection of persecuted Christians in other countries.

7. New Complaints of Abuse by Father Rupnik Presented to Vatican, As reported by the Italian news agency Ansa, the testimonies of five alleged victims were presented at the Vatican dicastery by Italian lawyer Laura Sgrò on April 3., By Almudena Martínez-Bordiú, Catholic News Agency, April 9, 2024
Five new complaints of alleged abuse committed by Father Marko Rupnik have been presented to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, where an investigation into the case is being carried out after Pope Francis decided to lift the statute of limitations.
The new cases mark the latest development in the case of Rupnik, a Jesuit accused of having committed serious sexual, spiritual, and psychological abuse against at least 20 women over a period of decades.
As reported by the Italian news agency Ansa, the testimonies of five alleged victims were presented at the Vatican dicastery by Italian lawyer Laura Sgrò on April 3.
The complainants include two women who shared their testimony at a press conference in February, while the other three are heretofore unknown cases.

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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