1. Federal judge suggests national right to abortion exists after Supreme Court ruling, Clinton appointee questions whether 13th Amendment protects national right to abortion, By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, February 7, 2023, Pg. A2 A federal judge in Washington, D.C. suggested Monday there may still be a national right to abortion, despite the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last year overruling Roe v. Wade. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, told lawyers on Monday they must file briefs arguing whether or not the 13th Amendment to the Constitution protects the national right to abortion. The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery. She said the justices only considered precedent surrounding the 14th Amendment when the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last year. The decision upended Roe, the 1973 ruling that gave women a national right to abortion. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/6/federal-judge-suggests-national-right-abortion-exi/__________________________________________________________ 2. I left abortion clinic to save my baby and myself, By Sarah Howarth, The Washington Times, February 7, 2023, Pg. B3, Opinion Before I realized what was happening, I got up, and one foot was stepping in front of the other. It was as if my body, and the tiny body inside of me, were telling me to leave. And so, I did. I turned my back on the woman who struggled to answer my questions, and I walked past the man I barely knew who waited for me in the lobby. I left the abortion clinic and decided to give my baby a chance at life. I never believed abortion was good, and while my family advocated adoption, the father of my child insisted on my getting an abortion — even going as far as to pay for it. While I valued the life inside of me, I doubted my own value. I lacked confidence and a sense of self-worth and struggled to see in myself someone worthy of love or someone who was capable of raising a child. I thought that the stranger in the lobby would love me if I aborted my child. I was wrong. Would an abortion worsen my mental health issues? The clinic worker couldn’t promise otherwise. The cold walls of that clinic would not be able to provide the support or guidance I was seeking. While I had no idea what waited for me outside the clinic doors, I knew that for my own mental health, as well as the life of my child, I would need to take a risk and find out.  Finding Bethlehem House and becoming a mother are the best things that have ever happened to me, and I can truly say that without Bethlehem House, I would probably be dead. While I hold immense pride and gratitude for the woman who left the abortion clinic, I no longer recognize her. Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a mother whose son loves her with every ounce of his being. I see a woman who had the strength to give her child the best life possible. But most importantly, I see a woman who against all odds, chose life and, with the help of true guardian angels, is now happier and healthier than she ever thought possible. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/feb/6/i-left-abortion-clinic-to-save-my-baby-and-myself/__________________________________________________________ 3. Tennessee Gov. Lee proposes $100M for anti-abortion centers, By Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise, Associated Press, February 6, 2023, 8:56 PM Brushing aside calls to tweak one of the strictest abortion bans in the United States, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday unveiled plans to funnel tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to anti-abortion centers as he declared the state had a “moral obligation” to support families. Lee, a Republican, said he wants to create a $100 million grant program for nonprofits commonly known as “crisis pregnancy centers.” If approved, Tennessee would become one of the top spending states on such organizations known for dissuading people from getting an abortion. However, now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, many Republicans have gone on the defensive about their abortion bans, including by offering to expand government programs aimed at women and families. Lee, for example, is focusing on pregnant mothers and parents on Medicaid and state employees who have newborns. The crisis pregnancy centers Lee is banking on, meanwhile, have shifted to touting that they offer pre-natal prenatal and post-birth classes.  Along with creating a $100 million grant fund for crisis pregnancy centers, Lee also proposed expanding paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents. His administration also plans to ask the federal government to cover the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for two years. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/tennessee-gov-lee-proposes-100m-for-anti-abortion-centers/2023/02/06/a42a34be-a68a-11ed-b2a3-edb05ee0e313_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. European court: Russia violated human rights by not legally recognizing gay unions, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, February 6, 2023, 9:55 AM The European Court of Human Rights ruled Jan. 17 that Russia violated the human rights of three homosexual couples because the government did not have any formal legal recognition of those unions under Russian law. Two female homosexual couples and one male homosexual couple claimed Russia’s failure to recognize their request for homosexual marriages violated the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. One of the couples brought their claims to the court in 2010 and the other two brought their claims in 2014, while Russia was subject to the European Convention on Human Rights because of an international treaty. Although Russia backed out of the treaty on Sept. 16, 2022, the court ruled that it still had jurisdiction because the country was subject to the treaty when the claims were originally brought before the court. The court ruled in the case of Fedotova v. Russia that Russia did not need to recognize homosexual marriage under the convention but that it needed to have some formal legal recognition of same-sex couples, such as civil unions, as long as the homosexual couples had similar legal rights to married couples. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253563/european-court-russia-violated-human-rights-by-not-legally-recognizing-gay-unions__________________________________________________________5. In blue New Mexico, antiabortion activists use small towns to push national ban, By Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post, February 6, 2023, 6:00 AM  Seven months after the Supreme Court ruling, the abortion debate has in some places gone hyperlocal, and nowhere do stakes feel higher than in border areas like this one. With abortions outlawed in Texas, New Mexico has become a nearby haven. The Mississippi clinic at issue in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization relocated to Las Cruces, just over the border from El Paso. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has pledged $10 million to build another clinic in that area. But antiabortion activists see in New Mexico’s small-town rebellions a large-scale opportunity. Mark Lee Dickson, a Texas antiabortion activist who has instigated the ordinances in dozens of cities nationwide, says this part of the state — where flat ranchlands and oil fields are often likened to an extension of West Texas — is a launchpad for a legal argument that a 150-year-old federal statute bars abortion nationwide.  The ordinance, like those in the city of Hobbs and Roosevelt and Lea counties, doesn’t outright ban abortion or clinics, though Dickson refers to it as a “de facto abortion ban.” Instead, it says licensed businesses — such as abortion clinics or pharmacies — must comply with federal law, including the Comstock Act. That act banned the mailing of “obscene” materials, including birth control and abortion drugs or supplies. Courts have since said it does not prohibit the mailing of contraceptives sent with lawful intent, and the Justice Department contends this means it also does not apply to abortion medications, which can be used for other medical purposes. This week, 20 Republican state attorneys general said they disagreed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/02/06/new-mexico-abortion-fight/__________________________________________________________ 6. Dictatorship in Nicaragua sentences priest critical of the regime to 10 years in prison, By Catholic News Agency, February 6, 2023, 12:30 PM The dictatorship in Nicaragua, led by President Daniel Ortega, sentenced Father Óscar Danilo Benavidez Dávila to 10 years in prison for the alleged crimes of “conspiracy” and “spreading fake news” to the detriment of the regime. The news site Despacho 505 obtained access to the closed-doors verdict and reported Feb. 4 that the Tenth Criminal Trial District Court of Managua, presided by Judge Nancy Aguirre, had sentenced the priest on Jan. 24. According to the ruling, after a trial riddled with irregularities, the priest was given five years in prison for the crime of “spreading fake news” and another five for “undermining national security and sovereignty.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253566/dictatorship-in-nicaragua-sentences-priest-critical-of-the-regime-to-10-years-in-prison__________________________________________________________ 7. AP tells reporters to call crisis pregnancy centers ‘anti-abortion centers’, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, February 6, 2023, 1:21 PM The Associated Press (AP) issued new guidelines advising reporters not to use the terms “crisis pregnancy center” or “pregnancy resource center” but to instead refer to centers that offer pro-life counseling and support as “anti-abortion centers.” Reporters should “avoid potentially misleading terms such as pregnancy resource centers or pregnancy counseling centers,” because “these terms don’t convey that the centers’ general aim is to prevent abortions,” according to the AP’s Abortion Topical Guide. The AP publishes the most widely used style guide, which journalists and editors across the country look to determine proper rules for coverage. According to the Daily Signal, the AP made the rule change in November 2022. In its updated guidance, the AP states that though the centers provide “counseling, material support and/or housing,” because their purpose is to “divert or discourage women from having abortions” they should be labeled “anti-abortion centers.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253567/ap-tells-reporters-to-call-crisis-pregnancy-centers-anti-abortion-centers__________________________________________________________

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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