1. New tactics to target at-home abortions, Groups pressing states to curb access to drugs used to end most pregnancies, By Kimberly Kindy, The Washington Post, August 15, 2022, Pg. A1Two top antiabortion groups have crafted and successfully lobbied for state legislation to ban or further restrict the predominant way pregnancies are ended in the United States — via drugs taken at home, often facilitated by a network of abortion rights groups. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 14 states now ban or partially ban the use of those drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, which are used in more than half of all abortions. But the drugs remain widely available, with multiple groups working to help provide them even to women in states with abortion bans. Students for Life of America and National Right to Life Committee, which have played leading roles in crafting antiabortion laws, hope to change that with new legislation. The groups are pursuing a variety of tactics, from bills that would ban the abortion-inducing drugs altogether to others that would allow family members to sue medication providers or attempt to shut down the nonprofit groups that help women obtain and safely use the drugs. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/14/medicated-abortions-drugs-students-for-life/__________________________________________________________ 2. White House exempts religious schools from gender mandate, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, August 15, 2022, Pg. A4 Private religious schools won’t be required to comply with the Biden administration’s gender mandate to qualify for student-lunch funding under a newly released exemption. The Agriculture Department issued a fact sheet Friday stating that all religious schools will be automatically exempted from its May 5 guidance linking the National School Lunch Program to the administration’s gender-identity requirements on hiring, restrooms, sports and dress codes.  All charter and public schools are still subject to the USDA guidance, which stems from the administration’s effort to extend Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination to encompass sexual orientation and gender identity. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/aug/13/biden-administration-exempts-religious-schools-lgb/__________________________________________________________ 3. The Vatican Should Abandon Its Agreement with Beijing, By James Jay Carafano & Stefano Graziosi, National Review, August 15, 2022, 6:30 AM, Opinion These are dark times for religious freedom in China — and when Pope Francis tells Reuters that he looks forward to renewing a controversial Sino–Vatican agreement, they get darker still. At home, the Chinese Communist Party is openly pursuing the largest-scale genocide in the world. Abroad, it has tacitly sanctioned Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Russia kidnap and forcibly relocate over a million men, women, and children and given rise to numerous other atrocities. How can the global leader of the Catholic Church even contemplate doing business with such a murderous regime?  Vatican City can’t make the case that Chinese Catholics who refused to join the “official” CPA are any better off or have any greater religious freedom as a result of this agreement. They aren’t, and they don’t. It remains illegal for anyone under 18 to attend church in China. The Catholic News Agency notes that the Chinese Communist Party continues to put pressure on bishops and priests who are not aligned with the regime. For example, Cardinal Joseph Zen, currently out on bail, will go to trial in Hong Kong next month on charges of “conspiracy to collude with foreign forces.”  Open Doors reports that “surveillance in China is among the most oppressive and sophisticated in the world. Church attendance is rigorously monitored, and many churches are being closed down.” How, then, can the papacy justify the agreement’s renewal? Within the Vatican, the main proponent of this deal is Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. Parolin’s soft-on-Beijing strategy is supported by powerful progressive-Catholic groups from the Society of Jesus to the Community of Sant’Egidio. Pope Francis himself appears content to go along with this faction’s wishes . . . and see no evil. Despite having diplomatic relations with Taipei, the Vatican has remained silent about the alarming Chinese military exercises near Taiwan. The Holy See, it seems, does not want to annoy Beijing if it means putting the agreement’s future at risk. Abandoning the battle for religious liberty in the face of Communist China’s relentless anti-religion campaign has not come without a cost for the pope. Maintaining the Sino–Vatican deal undermines the moral authority of the church, and many of the devout are not happy about it.  President Biden should lead the effort to help the Holy See recognize the serious threats emanating from its deal with Beijing, persuading the pope not to renew the agreement. Beijing’s systematic violation of religious freedom cannot be tolerated any more than its many other crimes. This is not only a geopolitical issue. It is a moral imperative. James Jay Carafano is a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, where he directs research on matters of national security and foreign relations. Stefano  Graziosi  is an essayist and political analyst who writes for the Italian newspaper La  Verità  and the weekly magazine Panorama. https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/08/the-vatican-should-abandon-its-agreement-with-beijing/__________________________________________________________ 4. Idaho Supreme Court won’t block strict abortion bans, By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, August 12, 2022 Idaho’s strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures done after six weeks of gestation — before many people know they are pregnant. Another stricter ban criminalizing all abortions takes effect later this month. A doctor and a regional Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state earlier this year over three anti-abortion laws, most designed to take effect should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, which it did in June.  The U.S. Department of Justice is also suing Idaho in federal court over a near-total abortion ban, and has asked that the law be put on hold. The federal judge has not yet ruled in that case. https://apnews.com/article/sacred-rivers-abortion-health-planned-parenthood-idaho-supreme-court-government-and-politics-c776c298f799cc8b7a8c1431f30be701__________________________________________________________ 5. NYC Mayor Adams Signs Six Bills to Increase Abortion Access, By Marie-Rose Sheinerman, Bloomberg, August 12, 2022, 12:19 PM New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed six bills aimed at expanding abortion access, seeking to bolster the city’s status as a haven for women from states with severe restrictions on the procedure. The legislation includes a mandate for clinics operated by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide free abortion medication. It also prohibits the use of city resources to detain people for performing the procedure, and forbids city agencies from cooperating with out-of-state law enforcement about abortions performed in New York. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-12/nyc-mayor-adams-signs-six-bills-aiming-to-bolster-abortion-care__________________________________________________________ 6. Nicaraguan police prohibit religious procession in capital, By Associated Press, August 12, 2022, 5:31 PM Nicaragua’s police have prohibited a religious procession scheduled for Saturday in the capital, the latest sign of tensions between the government and the Roman Catholic Church. The Managua Archdiocese urged the faithful to come directly and peacefully to the cathedral Saturday “to pray for the church and Nicaragua.” “The National Police have advised us that for reasons of internal security the procession scheduled for 7 a.m. this Aug. 13, an activity planned on the occasion of the Marian Congress and conclusion of the pilgrimage of the image of Our Lady of Fatima in national territory, is not permitted,” the archdiocese said in a statement. On Aug. 1, the government announced that Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez was under investigation for allegedly promoting hate and inciting violence. It said he would not be permitted to leave the church compound that includes his residence while the investigation continued. Police have kept the compound encircled. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nicaraguan-police-prohibit-religious-procession-in-capital/2022/08/12/c56308b0-1a83-11ed-b998-b2ab68f58468_story.html__________________________________________________________ 7. Louisiana Supreme Court rejects appeal in abortion ban case, By Sara Cline, Associated Press, August 12, 2022, 1:24 PM The Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday denied an appeal filed by plaintiffs in the ongoing legal battle over the state’s abortion ban, allowing the ban to stay in effect. Attorneys for plaintiffs in the case confirmed the court’s ruling. “While it is disappointing that four of the seven justices, without any written explanation, issued a ruling that will effectively deny critical care to women throughout Louisiana, the litigation continues and we are confident we can affect meaningful change,” Joanna Wright, an attorney for the plaintiff, said Friday afternoon. The ruling marked a major blow to abortion-rights advocates and providers, who had hoped the ban would be blocked for a third time, allowing Louisiana’s three abortion clinics to begin performing procedures again. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/louisiana-supreme-court-rejects-appeal-in-abortion-ban-case/2022/08/12/9758a36e-1a63-11ed-b998-b2ab68f58468_story.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Pope Francis, Ukrainian president speak on phone, By Inés San Martín, Crux, August 12, 2022 As rumors continue to circulate about a possible visit by Pope Francis to Kyiv in September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy revealed on Friday that he had spoken on the phone with the leader of the Catholic Church. “I thanked Pope Francis for praying for Ukraine during a talk with him,” Zelenskyy wrote on Instagram. “I spoke about Russia’s aggression and the terrible crimes against our state.” “We need the support of the world’s spiritual leaders, who should convey to the world the truth about the horrors that the aggressor country is committing in our land. It is very important for us.”https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2022/08/102118__________________________________________________________ 9. Experts see Canada’s euthanasia laws as threat to disabled, By Maria Cheng, Associated Press, August 11, 2022 Alan Nichols had a history of depression and other medical issues, but none were life-threatening. When the 61-year-old Canadian was hospitalized in June 2019 over fears he might be suicidal, he asked his brother to “bust him out” as soon as possible. Within a month, Nichols submitted a request to be euthanized and he was killed, despite concerns raised by his family and a nurse practitioner. His application for euthanasia listed only one health condition as the reason for his request to die: hearing loss. Nichols’ family reported the case to police and health authorities, arguing that he lacked the capacity to understand the process and was not suffering unbearably — among the requirements for euthanasia. “Alan was basically put to death,” his brother Gary Nichols said. Disability experts say the story is not unique in Canada, which arguably has the world’s most permissive euthanasia rules — allowing people with serious disabilities to choose to be killed in the absence of any other medical issue. Many Canadians support euthanasia and the advocacy group Dying With Dignity says the procedure is “driven by compassion” to end suffering. But human rights advocates say the country’s regulations lack necessary safeguards, devalue the lives of disabled people and are prompting doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who might not otherwise consider it. Equally troubling, advocates say, are instances in which people have sought to be killed because they weren’t getting adequate government support to live.  Roger Foley, who has a degenerative brain disorder and is hospitalized in London, Ontario, was so alarmed by staffers mentioning euthanasia that he began secretly recording some of their conversations. In one recording obtained by the AP, the hospital’s director of ethics told Foley that for him to remain in the hospital, it would cost “north of $1,500 a day.” Foley replied that mentioning fees felt like coercion and asked what plan there was for his long-term care. “Roger, this is not my show,” the ethicist responded. “My piece of this was to talk to you, (to see) if you had an interest in assisted dying.” Foley said he had never previously mentioned euthanasia. The hospital says there is no prohibition on staff raising the issue. https://apnews.com/article/covid-science-health-toronto-7c631558a457188d2bd2b5cfd360a867__________________________________________________________ 10. Bishops urge passage of bill that would give same sentences to crack and powder cocaine offenders, By Zelda Caldwell, Catholic News Agency, August 11, 2022, 4:50 PM The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pressed the U.S. Senate to make the penalty for distributing crack cocaine the same as that imposed on those caught dealing powder cocaine. In an Aug. 1 letter to Congress, the bishops announced their support for legislation passed in the House of Representatives that would eliminate a disparity in federal sentencing the bishops say has a disproportionate effect on Black people. “Although crack and powder cocaine are simply two forms of the same drug, crack cocaine is cheaper; therefore, it is more accessible than powder cocaine to persons experiencing poverty, many of whom are persons of color,” the letter read. “We cannot ignore the racial impact of current federal cocaine sentences when Blacks are more than three times as likely to be convicted for crack cocaine trafficking as for powder cocaine trafficking,” wrote Bishops Paul S. Coakley and Shelton J. Fabre of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251976/bishops-urge-passage-of-bill-that-would-give-same-sentences-to-crack-and-powder-cocaine-offenders__________________________________________________________

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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