1. A bill to make abortion a constitutional right goes to a vote in the French Senate, By Associated Press, February 28, 2024, 5:01 AM France’s Senate is to vote on Wednesday on a bill meant to enshrine a woman’s right to an abortion in the constitution, a measure promised by President Emmanuel Macron following a rollback on rulings in the United States. Wednesday’s vote comes after the lower house, the National Assembly, overwhelmingly approved the proposal in January. A majority of senators appear to be in favor of the constitutional change, but some conservatives have criticized its wording, casting doubt over the outcome of the vote. Macron’s government wants Article 34 of the constitution amended to specify that “the law determines the conditions by which is exercised the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/02/28/france-constitution-abortion-right-senate-macron-assembly/48567438-d620-11ee-82ad-c2391b06a8f5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 2. About as many abortions are happening in the US monthly as before Roe was overturned, report finds, By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press, February 28, 2024, 9:24 AM The number of abortions performed each month is about the same as before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the nationwide right to abortion more than a year and a half ago, a new report finds. The latest edition of the #WeCount report conducted for the Society of Family Planning, a nonprofit organization that promotes research on abortion and contraception, finds that between 81,150 and 88,620 abortions took place each month from July through September of last year, the most recent period for which survey results are available. Those numbers are just slightly lower than the monthly average of about 86,800 from April through June 2022, before Roe and just after was overturned.  The report estimates that if states had not been allowed to ban abortion, there would have been a total of 120,000 more during the survey period in the 14 states where bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy are now in place. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/02/28/abortion-survey-wecount-telehealth-ban/b2eaf810-d63d-11ee-82ad-c2391b06a8f5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Alabama judge says God opposes IVF. Religions hold varied views., By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, February 28, 2024, 6:00 AM In an Alabama Supreme Court ruling equating IVF embryos with people, Chief Justice Tom Parker cited arguments from across the planet and the centuries, all leading to one source for the court’s judgment: “God.” In his concurring opinion, Parker quoted the Book of Genesis, an obscure 17th-century Dutch Protestant theologian and Italian Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas, positing that Christianity, at least, is in full agreement as to when a human life starts and that God views the ending of one as a personal affront. Yet major religious denominations actually hold varied views about IVF, as do Americans, including those in the conservative Christian circles to which Parker belongs. When in vitro fertilization began in the 1970s, scholars of some of the largest faiths urged caution. They raised issues including questions about how extra embryos would be disposed of, the morality of the business of making babies, and whether using donor sperm or eggs violated a marital bond. Others, including Hindus, Buddhists and some Protestant groups, were more quickly welcoming. Soon, major Muslim leaders permitted IVF, and it remains widely accepted in the Muslim world. The Catholic Church, which teaches that life begins at conception, set the theological grounding for the modern antiabortion movement. In a 1987 document called “Donum Vitae,” the Vatican’s doctrine-setting arm said IVF was forbidden, for reasons including that it separates pregnancy and birth from the act of sex between a married man and woman.  Pew Research’s most recent IVF-specific research, in 2013, found that only 12 percent of Americans viewed the practice as “morally wrong.” Only 13 percent of Protestants — a group that includes Methodists — and Catholics said IVF was morally wrong, as did just 9 percent of those unaffiliated with any organized religion, a fast-growing group with varied spiritual and theological beliefs.  Even among conservative evangelicals, a majority said IVF was either moral or not a moral issue at all, according to the 2013 Pew study. Close to half of all religious groups said IVF was not a moral issue. Last year, Pew found that 61 percent of Americans believe health insurance should cover fertility treatments; 25 percent said they weren’t sure.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/02/28/alabama-ivf-embryos-religion-beliefs/__________________________________________________________ 4. With Pressure Growing After IVF Pause, Alabama GOP Rushes to Pass Protections, Lawmakers plan to get legislation to the governor by the end of the week, By Ginger Adams Otis and Talal Ansari, Associated Press, February 27, 2024, 6:45 PM Alabama Republicans scrambling to resolve the legality of in vitro fertilization plan to double-barrel bills through the Senate and House this week after a court ruling upended fertility treatments in the state. The bills, introduced in both chambers Tuesday, would provide civil and criminal immunity to those providing IVF. “The Republican Caucus feels this is an issue that must be solved quickly, and leadership in the House and Senate are committed to ensuring that happens,” said Charles Murry, communications director for House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, on Monday.  Some IVF providers in Alabama, including the state’s major health system, suspended treatments last week after the all-Republican state Supreme Court issued a ruling that said frozen embryos qualify as children under a state law. The providers said the Feb. 16 decision could expose them to lawsuits. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has said he has no plans to prosecute providers.    https://www.wsj.com/politics/alabama-ivf-gop-rushes-to-pass-protections-be65fa9c__________________________________________________________ 5. West Virginia Senate OKs bill requiring schools to show anti-abortion group fetal development video, By Leah Willingham, Associated Press, February 27, 2024, 3:42 PM West Virginia’s Republican-majority Senate greenlit a bill on Tuesday that would make a video on fetal development produced by an anti-abortion group required viewing in public schools. Live Action’s “Baby Olivia” video, which West Virginia lawmakers want to show in eighth and tenth-grade classrooms, has received criticism from physicians and educators who say it misleads viewers. It is already being used in some schools in North Dakota, though it wasn’t specifically mandated in the law passed last year in that state. Similar bills have been proposed in Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/02/27/west-virginia-baby-olivia-abortion-sex-education/b23fad44-d5b0-11ee-82ad-c2391b06a8f5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. Bishop who participated in Freemasonry event affirms its incompatibility with Catholicism, By Nicolás de Cárdenas, Catholic News Agency, February 27, 2024, 6:00 PM The president of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Bishop Antonio Staglianò, has reiterated the incompatibility of Catholics belonging to the Masons days after participating in an event organized by the Italian Grand Orient lodge in Milan. Staglianò told Vatican News that “Freemasonry is a heresy that is fundamentally aligned with the Arian heresy” since it was Arius “who imagined that Jesus was a great architect of the universe” — the way Freemasons refer to God — “denying the divinity of Christ.”This idea of the “Architect of the Universe” is incompatible with the Catholic faith because “it is the fruit of human reasoning that tries to imagine a god, while the God of Catholics is the fruit of the very revelation of God in Christ Jesus!” “In essence,” the prelate continued, the Catholic faith “is the result of a historical event in which God became flesh, drew near to men, spoke to all human beings, and destined them for his salvation.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256930/bishop-who-participated-in-freemasonry-event-affirms-its-incompatibility-with-catholicism__________________________________________________________

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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