1. Planned Parenthood sues three states over regulations on abortions, By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, December 1, 2016, Pg. A1.

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down safety requirements on abortion clinics in Texas, Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups are suing three states over their regulations, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The lawsuits were filed Wednesday in Alaska, Missouri and North Carolina. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights are joining Planned Parenthood in the cases.

Julie Rikelman, interim vice president of the U.S. Legal Program for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the Supreme Court made clear in its Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision in June “that states cannot pass sham restrictions in order to block access to reproductive health care.”

Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said these lawsuits mark the first step toward striking down local regulations on abortion across the board.

“We’re going to fight back state by state and law by law until every person has the right to the life that they want, including people who decide to end a pregnancy,” Ms. McDonald-Mosley said.


2. What the pro-life community wants from the Trump administration, By Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic News Service, November 30, 2016.

Sadly, the Obama administration has been an ally to abortion advocates in advancing such oppressive policies. It imposed the so-called HHS mandate forcing even religious organizations to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their health insurance plans.

Given all of this, it is fair to say that the presidential election offers the pro-life movement some cautious optimism. At least at the level of rhetoric, President-elect Donald Trump indicated support for renewed opportunities to protect women and children from abortion and to protect pro-life Americans from forced complicity in it.

The president-elect said he would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law, would sign a ban on late-term abortions, would defund Planned Parenthood and would nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.

On his transition page he promises to “protect individual conscience in health care” and “protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities.”

We certainly hope that the policies pursued by the president-elect and his administration will match these promises. In particular, we are eager to see immediate enforcement of federal conscience protections on abortion and elimination of the contraceptive mandate.


3. Why Catholics support Trump’s pick for the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, By Matt Hadro, CAN/EWTN News, November 29, 2016, 5:09 PM.

Pro-life groups praised President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that he would name Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“In particular, Rep. Price’s strong pro-life values and record to match make him the right man to reform an agency that has been marred by its aggressive abortion agenda,” said Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association.

“We are confident that Rep. Price will finally put an end to the anti-religious liberty HHS mandate, as well as introduce comprehensive reforms to restore the agency as one that genuinely promotes health care that respects human life and dignity,” she said in a statement.

As a member of Congress, Price has received a 100 percent rating from the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. Before his time as a six-term congressman, Price was an orthopedic surgeon who also taught doctors-in-training at the Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Price’s appointment is significant for two reasons. If he replaces the current health care law, his policy could impact millions, especially those who purchased insurance on the state exchanges, received federal subsidies for insurance, or obtained coverage through Medicare.

Additionally, Price’s department could do away with the law’s controversial mandate that virtually all employers must contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans.


4. Pope Francis: ‘Mercy Must Continue!’, By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News, November 30, 2016.

In his last catechesis on mercy, Pope Francis focused on the works of praying for the living and the dead, as well as burying the dead, insisting that since we are all part of one family in Christ, we must remember to pray constantly pray for one another.

When we say “I believe in the communion of saints” while reciting the Nicene Creed, “it’s a mystery that expresses the beauty of the mercy that Jesus revealed to us … all; living and dead, we are in communion,” Francis explained.

This communion is “like a union: united in the community of the many who have received baptism,” he said, noting that since all of us by virtue of our same baptism “are the same family, united,” we must “pray for each other.”

Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for his Nov. 30 general audience, concluding his catechesis on mercy. He began the series last fall as a lead-in to the Jubilee of Mercy, which closed Nov. 20.

In his address, the Pope noted that while his weekly lessons on mercy, which culminated with the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, might be over, “mercy must continue! Let us thank the Lord for this and conserve it in our hearts as a comfort and consolation.”

Pope Francis closed his address by repeating that while his catechesis on mercy is over, we must pray “so that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy become increasingly the style of our lives.”