1. As Supreme Court Weighs Abortion Rights, More States Look at 15-Week Bans, Lawmakers in Florida, Arizona and West Virginia are pushing bills similar to the one being considered by the high court, By Jennifer Calfas, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2022, 5:30 AM Lawmakers in three states are pushing bills that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as politicians across the U.S. prepare for possible changes to the abortion rights landscape.  The moves by GOP-led chambers in Florida, Arizona and West Virginia mirror the Mississippi law at the center of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices’ decision in that case, expected by the end of June, could upend Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that established a constitutional right to end an unwanted pregnancy. That would open the door to stronger state restrictions.  The West Virginia House of Delegates and Arizona State Senate both passed bills banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy last Tuesday. Florida’s House of Representatives advanced its bill in a 78-39 vote just after midnight last Thursday following hours of debate—and an interruption from protesters.  The bills in each state now move to other chambers for consideration. Lawmakers who support the bills expect them to be finalized and signed into law, as governors in those states have voiced antiabortion views.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-supreme-court-weighs-abortion-rights-more-states-look-at-15-week-bans-11645641664?___________________________________________________________ 2. The Vatican’s deadliest sin, The Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal continues to swell, ensaring a former pope, By The Washington Post, February 24, 2022, Pg. A22, Editorial Reports of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church have become so routine — and the scale of victimization and coverup so vast — that the effect is to dull the impact of each new revelation. It appears that over the course of decades, practically every higher-up in the institution knew, or should have known, what was going on. Yet even the apparent sameness of so many disclosures and admissions, over so many years, should not blunt the importance of a recent report that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, as archbishop of the German cities of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982, failed to discipline abusive priests and enabled them to maintain their roles in ministry.  More than 1 billion Catholics worldwide remain faithful to a church that has delivered comfort, good works and education. Yet many are disillusioned by an institution that, even as it has made strides to reform its rules and culture, remains unable to fully face the extent of suffering it caused and allowed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/23/clergy-abuse-scandals-catholic-church-still-hasnt-reckoned-with-what-it-allowed/___________________________________________________________ 3. Group: Assisted suicide revisions violate beliefs, Doctors sue over request ‘document’, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, February 24, 2022, Pg. A6 A group of Christian physicians sued the state of California on Tuesday, claiming that last year’s revisions to the state’s 2015 assisted suicide law will force medical personnel to violate their conscience and participate in procedures they oppose on religious grounds. The new regulations, codified in California Senate Bill 380, now require physicians who have objections to assisted suicide to “document” a patient’s request before referring that patient to another physician. The objecting physician would have to educate the patient about aid-in-dying medication and procedures and transfer the patient’s files to another doctor who would provide the treatment. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/feb/22/christian-doctors-group-cali-law-attempt-make-mora/___________________________________________________________ 4. VA Bible lawsuit dismissed; separate display proposed, By Kathy McCormack, Associated Press, February 24, 2022 A judge agreed to dismiss a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit Wednesday over a Bible displayed on a table at a New Hampshire veterans hospital after the plaintiffs’ lawyer proposed a separate display and sought to work with the hospital. Two U.S. Air Force veterans filed the lawsuit in federal court in 2019 against the Manchester VA Medical Center director, saying the Bible’s inclusion on a “missing man” table near the entrance honoring fallen or missing veterans and prisoners of war is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The case went to mediation.  The medical center initially removed the Bible in January 2019 after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation objected, saying it got complaints from 14 patients who felt it violated the First Amendment. But the Bible later reappeared on the table. It was put in a clear case and secured to the table. A VA spokesperson said the medical center received an outpouring of complaints from veterans and others. The lawsuit was filed that May and paid for by the foundation. That year, former Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on the lawsuit, saying under the current administration, “VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.” https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/02/va-bible-lawsuit-dismissed-separate-display-proposed___________________________________________________________ 5. U.S. prelates oppose plan to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law, By John Lavenburg, Crux, February 24, 2022 Ahead of a Senate vote next week, two U.S. bishops conference chairmen have labeled a bill that would codify abortion rights into federal law as “built on a false and despairing narrative” that abortion is the “only, or best, solution to a crisis pregnancy.” “In treating abortion as the moral equivalent to the removal of an appendix, this proposal is radically out of step with the American public,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in a joint letter to the Senate. “We strongly urge you to reject this bill and to put the energy and resources of our federal government behind policies that fully recognize and support both mothers and their children.” Lori and Dolan chair the bishops’ conference’s pro-life and religious liberty committees, respectively. The Senate will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) on Feb. 28. It passed the House in late September in a narrow 218-211 vote largely along party lines. The bill, though, is unlikely to pass the Senate. It needs 60 votes to do so, which is unlikely with strong Republican, and some Democrat opposition in a 50-50 split Senate. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/02/u-s-prelates-oppose-plan-to-codify-roe-v-wade-in-federal-law___________________________________________________________ 6. Pope Francis’ cardinal advisers discuss role of women in the Church, By Catholic News Agency, February 23, 2022, 12:20 PM Pope Francis’ cardinal advisers have discussed a report on the role of women in the Church, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The Holy See press office said on Feb. 23 that during the three-day meeting the seven cardinals heard and commented on report by the theologian Sister Linda Pocher, F.M.A., on “the role of women and the ‘Marian principle’ in the Church.” Pocher, a member of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, is an adjunct professor at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” in Rome. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/250461/pope-francis-cardinal-advisers-discuss-role-of-women-in-the-church___________________________________________________________ 7. Iowa justices reconsider state constitution’s abortion right, By David Pitt, Associated Press, February 23, 2022, 2:24 PM Iowa’s Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about abortion restrictions Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law, and many conservative justices deciding the case have replaced predecessors who affirmed four years ago that the state constitution guarantees women the right to have abortions. Abortion providers filed a lawsuit challenging the law passed by the Republican Legislature and signed by the GOP governor in June 2020 that required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion. A judge struck down the law in June 2021, citing the 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a fundamental right under the state constitution.  The court now has six Republican-appointed justices, including four named by Reynolds in the past four years due to retirements and the death of former Chief Justice Mark Cady in 2019. The only remaining Democratic appointee, Brent Appel, is the only justice who supported the 2018 opinion. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/iowa-justices-reconsider-state-constitutions-abortion-right/2022/02/23/3e917dc4-94de-11ec-bb31-74fc06c0a3a5_story.html___________________________________________________________

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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