1. The EEOC’s Abortion Stretch, By The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2023, Editorial The Biden Administration has been rewriting decades-old laws to advance its agenda when Congress won’t. Now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is stretching a new law that Congress passed to protect pregnant workers in a way that will underwrite abortion. The EEOC recently proposed a rule to clarify employer obligations under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which Congress enacted in December’s omnibus spending bill. The law requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers as they must for employees with disabilities. In Young v. UPS(2015), the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects pregnant workers from discrimination. But the Court’s balancing test for determining whether employers intentionally discriminate against pregnant workers by not making accommodations has created confusion for employers and lower courts. Enter Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey, who sought to clear up the mess with legislation requiring employers to make temporary “reasonable accommodations” for “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” as long as they don’t impose an “undue hardship” on employers. Some Republicans worried that the Administration would stretch the law to require employers to make accommodations for women seeking abortions. But Mr. Casey assured them on the Senate floor last December that the EEOC under the law “could not issue any regulation that requires abortion leave.” The EEOC now says it can.  The High Court this autumn plans to reconsider its Chevron doctrine, which requires judges to defer to regulators when the statutory text is ambiguous. These days, agencies invoke Chevron to defend revisions of laws whose text is clear. The EEOC’s rewrite of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act gives the Court another reason to toss Chevron. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-eeoc-wants-employers-to-assist-with-abortions-c5986f51__________________________________________________________ 2. Abortion’s next big litmus test, By Caitlin Owens, Axios, August 22, 2023, 6:19 AM Democrats are mobilizing for what they widely view as the next major referendum on abortion rights: this fall’s Virginia state legislature elections. Why it matters: Virginia is the lone southern state that hasn’t banned or restricted abortion since the Supreme Court struck down federal protection of the procedure and provides another off-year test of its potency as a campaign issue following Ohio’s special election this month.  Between the lines: Virginia’s voters will offer a high-profile test of how much Roe v. Wade’s demise drives voter sentiment — and if pocketbook issues and concerns about schools and crime have the same reach.  https://www.axios.com/2023/08/22/abortion-virginia-elections-2024__________________________________________________________ 3. Colorado parishes, archdiocese sue state over pre-school funding requirements, By John Lavenburg, Crux, August 22, 2023 Two Catholic parishes in Colorado and the Archdiocese of Denver have sued the state, alleging that requirements to participate in the Department of Early Childhood’s Universal Preschool Service violate their religious liberty and exclude them from the program. St. Mary’s and St. Bernadette’s Catholic parishes, along with the archdiocese, filed the lawsuit in Colorado District Court last week. According to the plaintiffs, for the 2023-24 school year the St. Mary’s and St. Bernadette’s preschools each would have received about $6,000 per child attending half day preschool, and about $11,000 per child for attending full day preschool, had they been allowed to participate. The disputed requirements – found in the service agreement preschool providers must sign to participate, and relating to enrollment and discrimination on the basis of factors like religious affiliation, gender, and sexual orientation – conflict with the parishes’ beliefs and guidelines and don’t include any kind of religious exemption, which the parishes claim they sought separately and were denied.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/08/colorado-parishes-archdiocese-sue-state-over-pre-school-funding-requirements__________________________________________________________ 4. San Francisco Archdiocese declares bankruptcy amid hundreds of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse, By Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press, August 21, 2023, 7:40 PM San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archdiocese filed for bankruptcy Monday, saying the filing is necessary to manage more than 500 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by church officials. The Chapter 11 protection filing will stop all legal actions against the archdiocese and thus allow it to develop a settlement plan with abuse survivors, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a statement. “The unfortunate reality is that the Archdiocese has neither the financial means nor the practical ability to litigate all of these abuse claims individually, and therefore, after much consideration, concluded that the bankruptcy process was the best solution for providing fair and equitable compensation to the innocent survivors who have been harmed,” Cordileone said.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2023/08/21/san-francisco-archdiocese-bankruptcy-sexual-abuse/22a9fa0e-406e-11ee-9677-53cc50eb3f77_story.html __________________________________________________________ 5. Lawmaker warns of Chinese communists changing the Bible, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, August 21, 2023, 1:15 PMThe chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party warned on Thursday of efforts from the Chinese government to subvert Christianity by changing parts of the Bible. “The Chinese Communist Party is rewriting the Bible,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisconsin, said in a pre-recorded message to the biannual gathering of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago held Aug. 14 through Aug. 18. Gallagher discussed two examples in which the Chinese government has rewritten parts of the Bible and taught it as fact. In one example, he noted a misrepresentation of the account in the Gospel of John in which Christ says, “Let he among you without sin cast the first stone” when a woman is accused of adultery. “It’s a beautiful story of forgiveness and mercy — unless, of course, you’re a CCP official,” Gallagher said. “Then it’s a story of a dissident challenging the authority of the state. A possible sneak preview of what a Bible with socialist characteristics might look like appeared in a Chinese university textbook in 2020. The rewritten Gospel of John excerpt ends not with mercy but with Jesus himself stoning the adulterous woman to death.” As the Union of Catholic Asian News reported in September 2020, a textbook published by the CCP-run University of Electronic Science and Technology Press falsely asserted that the story ends with Christ stoning the woman to death, declaring himself to be a sinner and saying “if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.”  In another example, Gallagher said that local CCP officials in the Henan province of China forced churches to replace displays of the Ten Commandments with quotes from President Xi Jinping.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/255144/lawmaker-warns-of-chinese-communists-changing-the-bible__________________________________________________________

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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