TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 261 – Digging Into Dignitas Infinita & Supreme Court Takes Up EMTALA
As the latest papal document is still making waves, the TCA team chats about the clear line it draws when it comes to such issues as abortion, gender ideology, and assisted suicide. On the topic of surrogacy, the document states: “Every child possesses an intangible dignity that is clearly expressed…at every stage of his or her life,” and the practice clearly violates that child’s dignity–as well as the mother’s. Just ahead of oral argument at the Supreme Court next week on EMTALA, John Bursch of Alliance Defending Freedom fleshes out how the Biden Administration is taking a life saving measure for pregnant moms in need and turning it into an abortion mandate. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily for Good Shepherd Sunday! Catch the show every Saturday at 5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. Planned Parenthood annual report: More abortions, more taxpayer cash, fewer patients, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, April 19, 2024
Planned Parenthood saw fewer patients but performed more abortions — and raked in more taxpayer funding — in the fiscal year that saw the fall of Roe v. Wade.
The 2022-23 Planned Parenthood Annual Report showed its centers performed 392,715 abortions, representing a 5% increase from the previous year and 20% over the past 10 years, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute analysis.
The abortion uptick came even though Planned Parenthood affiliates saw 2.05 million patients, or 80,000 fewer than the previous year.
The report covered the period from Oct. 31, 2021, to Sept. 1, 2022, meaning that it included the nine months before and the three months after the Supreme Court’s decision on June 24, 2022, overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Since the Supreme Court’s decision to take away the federal constitutional right to abortion, more than 20 states have banned some or all abortions,” said the report released this week.
No state bans all abortions. Every state has an exception to save the woman’s life and most states offer other exceptions, such as in cases of rape or to prevent serious risk to the woman’s physical health.

For the nation’s largest abortion provider, it was also a good year financially. The organization reported nearly $2.1 billion in income and over $2.5 billion in net assets, as well as a surge in both private and public funding.
Private donations hit $997.5 million, up 44% from the previous year. Taxpayer funding in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements reached nearly $700 million, up from $670.4 million.

Planned Parenthood has also jumped gender-transition care, offering “gender-affirming hormone therapy” at 45 of its affiliates in 2022, an increase from the previously reported 41 affiliates.

Abortions accounted for 97.1% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy-resolution services. The organization made just 1,721 “adoption referrals,” or 0.4%. Post-miscarriage treatment represented 0.9%, and prenatal care accounted for 1.6% of the total.
2. Follow the Evidence on Transgender Care, By David Brooks, The New York Times, April 19, 2024, Pg. A21
Hilary Cass is the kind of hero the world needs today. She has entered one of the most toxic debates in our culture: how the medical community should respond to the growing numbers of young people who seek gender transition through medical treatments, including puberty blockers and hormone therapies. This month, after more than three years of research, Cass, a pediatrician, produced a report, commissioned by the National Health Service in England, that is remarkable for its empathy for people on all sides of this issue, for its humility in the face of complex social trends we don’t understand and for its intellectual integrity as we try to figure out which treatments actually work to serve those patients who are in distress. With incredible courage, she shows that careful scholarship can cut through debates that have been marked by vituperation and intimidation and possibly reset them on more rational grounds.
Cass, a past president of Britain’s Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, is clear about the mission of her report: “This review is not about defining what it means to be trans, nor is it about undermining the validity of trans identities, challenging the right of people to express themselves or rolling back on people’s rights to health care. It is about what the health care approach should be, and how best to help the growing number of children and young people who are looking for support from the N.H.S. in relation to their gender identity.”
This issue begins with a mystery. For reasons that are not clear, the number of adolescents who have sought to medically change their sex has been skyrocketing in recent years, though the overall number remains very small. For reasons that are also not clear, adolescents who were assigned female at birth are driving this trend, whereas before the late 2000s, it was mostly adolescents who were assigned male at birth who sought these treatments.

Transition through medical interventions was embraced by providers in the United States and Europe after a pair of small Dutch studies showed that such treatment improved patients’ well-being. But a 2022 Reuters investigation found that some American clinics were quite aggressive with treatment: None of the 18 U.S. clinics that Reuters looked at performed long assessments on their patients, and some prescribed puberty blockers on the first visit.

She notes that the quality of the research in this field is poor. The current treatments are “built on shaky foundations,” she writes in The BMJ. Practitioners have raced ahead with therapies when we don’t know what the effects will be. As Cass tells The BMJ, “I can’t think of another area of pediatric care where we give young people a potentially irreversible treatment and have no idea what happens to them in adulthood.”
She writes in her report, “The option to provide masculinizing/feminizing hormones from age 16 is available, but the review would recommend extreme caution.” She does not issue a blanket, one-size-fits-all recommendation, but her core conclusion is this: “For most young people, a medical pathway will not be the best way to manage their gender-related distress.” She realizes that this conclusion will not please many of the young people she has come to know, but this is where the evidence has taken her.

I’m hoping that Hilary Cass is modeling a kind of behavior that will be replicated across academia, in the other professions and across the body politic more generally and thus save us from spiraling into an epistemological doom loop.
3. Cause for canonization opened for young Polish lay missionary killed in Bolivia, By Walter Sánchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, April 19, 2024, 7:00 AM
Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Krakow, Poland, announced the decision to begin the process of beatification and canonization of Helena Agnieszka Kmiec, a young lay missionary murdered in Bolivia in 2017.
The prelate said that after the preliminary phase began in December 2022, he made the decision to officially open the process for Kmiec after having consulted the Polish Bishops’ Conference and receiving the go-ahead from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.
“With this edict I call on all those who have any document, letter, or information about the Servant of God, both positive and negative, to send them to the Metropolitan Curia of Krakow before June 30,” the archbishop stated.
The edict opening the cause was published April 14 and will be read in all the parishes and chapels in Krakow on Sunday, April 21.
4. Pope Francis issues motu proprio on Vatican judiciary retirement age and benefits, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, April 19, 2024, 10:07 AM
In the latest move in Pope Francis’ reform of the Vatican judiciary, the pope issued a new motu proprio on Friday on the retirement age and benefits for cardinal judges and magistrates in the Vatican’s court system.
The April 19 motu proprio states that Vatican magistrates will retire at the end of the judicial year in which they turn 75 and cardinal judges at the age of 80, unless Pope Francis asks them to remain in office beyond the age limit.
Magistrates and judges who wish to resign from office before the retirement age can only do so with the approval of the pope.
The pope also has the prerogative to dismiss magistrates unable to fulfill their duties at any time. Upon the termination of their duties, magistrates will retain the rights to assistance and welfare provided to Vatican citizens and employees.
5. Scotland pauses sex-change and puberty-blocker drugs for children, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, April 18, 2024, 5:55 PM
Scotland’s only gender clinic for minors is formally pausing the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone medications that are designed to facilitate gender transitions for children after a review commissioned by the English government questioned the efficacy of those practices.
This announcement effectively ends the practice of providing sex-change drugs and hormone medications to children in Scotland — just one month after England instituted the same ban.
Per the new policy formalized on April 18, new patients in Scotland must wait until they are 18 years old to access those drugs or hormone medications. However, patients who are under the age of 18 and have already begun such remedies to facilitate a gender transition will not be forced to stop.
“We are committed to providing the best possible clinical care for young people … and [we] understand the distress that gender incongruence can cause,” the announcement from the Glasgow-based Sandyford Sexual Health Service read.

According to a statement from NHSGGC, these remedies were paused because of the findings in the Cass Review: a comprehensive report on gender transition treatments for minors that was commissioned by the English government. The report, led by Dr. Hilary Cass, found that the rationale used to justify sex-change drugs and hormone alterations to facilitate sex changes in children is based on weak evidence and that the health risks it poses to children are unclear.
6. Ex-Jesuit, alleged abuser Rupnik listed as consultant in 2024 Pontifical Yearbook, By Walter Sánchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, April 18, 2024, 4:30 PM
Father Marko Rupnik, a priest dismissed from the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 2023 — accused since 2018 of having committed serious sexual, spiritual, and psychological abuse against at least 20 women in the Loyola Community that he co-founded in Slovenia — continues to appear as a Jesuit and consultant to the Vatican in the 2024 Pontifical Yearbook.
The information appears on page 1346 of the yearbook, where the list of the consultants of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is published. The entry reads “P. Rupnik Marko Ivan, S.I.” The abbreviation “S.I.” stands for “Societas Iesu,” the Latin name for the Society of Jesus.
Rupnik was dismissed from the Jesuits on June 15, 2023. The decision was made public in a statement noting that on more than one occasion he ignored the restrictions imposed by his superior and refused to respond to his alleged victims and to address his past actions.
ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, contacted the director of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni, to ask him how it is that Rupnik appears in the Pontifical Yearbook but did not receive a response by time of publication.
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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