1. The GOP’s Abortion Problem, Special election results show the issue is mobilizing Democrats., By The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2022, Pg. A14, EditorialRepublicans in Congress pondering who will paint their committee Chair portraits might want to hold off. The long-predicted GOP “wave” election may be crashing on an offshore reef, as abortion and Donald Trump energize Democrats. That’s the message Tuesday from New York state, where the GOP lost a special election for Congress in a district where they were favored, continuing a trend of recent underperformance. Republicans may still retake the House in November, but another term for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker can’t be ruled out.  Republicans are on the backfoot because they’re talking about abortion as if Roe were still the law, when it was easy to favor a total ban because it didn’t matter. Now the policy stakes are real, and Republicans will have to make clear what specific abortion limits they favor and why. The chance of abortion law changing in New York state is nil, but the GOP is still losing on the issue. If Republicans shrink from engaging on abortion, then Democrats will define the debate. Republicans can also go on offense by pointing out that many Democrats are extreme in supporting no limits at all on abortion. Voter turnout will be higher in November than in August, and the natural rhythm of a midterm election may assert itself, which tends to favor the party out of power. But after Dobbs, and with Mr. Trump back at the center of public debate, Democrats have a chance to overcome President Biden’s low popularity. GOP candidates have been warned. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gops-abortion-problem-congress-midterms-marc-molinaro-new-york-democrats-nancy-pelosi-11661371246__________________________________________________________ 2. Idaho can’t enforce abortion ban in medical emergencies, By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, August 25, 2022 A federal judge in Idaho has barred the state from enforcing a strict abortion ban in medical emergencies over concerns that it violates a federal law on emergency care. The ruling Wednesday evening came after a federal judge this week in Texas made the opposite call, barring the federal government from enforcing a legal interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act that would require Texas hospitals to provide abortion services if the health or life of the mother is at risk. In Idaho, the ban makes performing an abortion in any “clinically diagnosable pregnancy” a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Much of Idaho’s law will still go into effect Thursday, but U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Wednesday the state cannot prosecute anyone who is performing an abortion in an emergency medical situation. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-texas-xavier-becerra-4ccc7296f015270b0dc66c64e975689c__________________________________________________________ 3. Russian patriarch scrubs meeting where he was to meet pope, By Associated Press, August 25, 2022, 2:21 AM The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has canceled his planned attendance at an interfaith meeting in Kazakhstan next month where he was expected to meet with Pope Francis, a top Orthodox official said, in a sign of further deterioration in relations over Russia’s war in Ukraine. Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, head of foreign relations for the Moscow Patriarchate, was quoted by the Ria Novosti news agency as saying that Patriarch Kirill would not be attending the Sept. 13-15 meeting and that therefore any meeting with Francis was off. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/russian-patriarch-scrubs-meeting-where-he-was-to-meet-pope/2022/08/25/edadb54e-2439-11ed-a72f-1e7149072fbc_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Religious freedom ‘does not exist’ in Afghanistan one year after Taliban takeover, advocates say, U.S. international religious freedom panel hears of persecution, issues in damning report, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, August 24, 2022 Freedom to practice one’s faith “does not exist in Afghanistan anymore” one year after the return to power of the radical Islamist Taliban, an advocate told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom during a Wednesday hearing. As a result, the country’s culture has been gutted and thousands who can’t escape the Islamist regime daily live in fear for their lives and their futures, participants said. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/aug/24/religious-freedom-does-not-exist-afghanistan-one-y/__________________________________________________________ 5. German ‘synodal way’ to press on with permanent ‘synodal council’ vote, By Luke Coppen, The Pillar, August 24, 2022 Organizers have confirmed that participants in Germany’s “synodal way” will vote next month on a controversial proposal that would create a powerful permanent “synodal council” to oversee the local Church. The organizers announced on Aug. 22 that a total of 14 papers will be put to a vote at the initiative’s fourth plenary assembly in Frankfurt on Sept. 8-10.   They include a text entitled “Sustainable strengthening of Synodality: A Synodal Council for the Catholic Church in Germany,” which will have its second reading on Sept. 9.  If the document passes its second reading, it will be formally adopted as a resolution of the synodal way, a multi-year process bringing together German bishops and lay people to discuss four main topics: power, the priesthood, women in the Church, and sexual morality. The vote will be watched closely as it follows a Vatican intervention in July underlining that the synodal way has no power “to compel the bishops and the faithful to adopt new ways of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morals.” Commentators have speculated that the intervention by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State was prompted by the “synodal council” proposal. But others believe it was triggered by broader concerns that German dioceses would implement synodal way decisions before next year’s synod on synodality in Rome. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/german-synodal-way-to-press-on-with__________________________________________________________ 6. Are Yelp’s warning labels on pregnancy centers meant to ‘scare women away’ from receiving help?, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, August 24, 2022, 1:32 PM Pro-life groups and pregnancy center networks are condemning Yelp’s decision to place warnings on pregnancy centers listed on its popular platform which relies on the public to rate and review local businesses. The company announced Tuesday that it is placing “consumer notices” on the review pages of pregnancy centers. The notice reads: “This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.” In response, pregnancy center networks challenged Yelp’s move. “Every doctor’s office in the country provides limited medical services,” Roland Warren, the president and CEO of Care Net, which supports a network of 1,100 pregnancy centers, told CNA. “If you go to a heart surgeon and ask for foot surgery, they won’t do it.” Yelp’s warnings appear to discriminate against pro-life centers, Warren said. “Planned Parenthood provides limited medical services, too,” he stressed. “They provide abortions, but if you have complications from an abortion, they send you to an emergency room.” “So why is Yelp just adding this notification for pregnancy centers?” he asked.  In 2019, CLI found that many of these centers are staffed with medical professionals. It counted 10,215 licensed medical professionals involved as pregnancy center workers. That included 25% of all paid staff and 12% of all volunteers. Warren at Care Net called the claim that centers “may not have licensed medical professionals onsite” a “red herring.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252107/yelp-putting-warning-labels-pregnancy-centers-response__________________________________________________________

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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