TCA Radio Podcast – “Conversations with Consequences”

Episode 13: Mary FioRito on the deregulation of abortion and the myth of abortion “care”

Is an abortion the best “care” for a child with limited life expectancy? Recent extreme abortion legislation has enshrined the “right” of New Yorkers to an abortion up until the moment of birth. Illinois took things one step further by stripping any regulation directed to the safety and well-being of women in the state. Are women well-served by “progressive” deregulation of abortion? This week’s guest, Mary FioRito, joins TCA’s Dr. Grazie Christie and Andrea Picciotti-Bayer to discuss recent legislative travesties and how perinatal hospice cares for both mother and child.

1. As America Debates Abortion, Hollywood Seeks the Realities, Series and films depicting abortion in a matter-of-fact way have markedly increased, a scholar finds, Writers say they’re showing what they know.

By Cara Buckley, New York Times Online, July 18, 2019

At a recent conference outside Los Angeles, a national women’s rights lawyer stood before a select group of Hollywood heavyweights to issue a demand and a plea. With a woman’s right to choose in jeopardy, the lawyer, Fatima Goss Graves, said, more abortions should be portrayed in narratives onscreen. “The stories on abortion do not match our reality,” she said.

“You’re definitely seeing more of the matter-of-fact ‘I am pregnant, I don’t want to be, I’m going to have an abortion,’” said Gretchen Sisson, a sociologist at University of California, San Francisco whose research includes tracking how abortion is characterized onscreen. “And it’s gone way up in 2019.”

Hollywood’s apparent normalization of abortion has aggravated but not surprised abortion foes, among them Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, who wrote and directed the 2019 feature “Unplanned,” based on the memoir of a clinical director at Planned Parenthood who became an anti-abortion activist.

“Hollywood’s run by the left,” said Solomon, “You won’t see pro-life stories on TV.”

Solomon and Konzelman said they did not bother approaching Hollywood financiers or studios to make “Unplanned,” which they produced in secrecy. They said that TV networks refused to run ads for the film, which was initially listed as “propaganda” on Google.

2. U.S. debates intrude on religious freedom summit.

By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, July 19, 2019, Pg. A8

As what was billed as the largest gathering on religious freedom around the world at the U.S. State Department wrapped up on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence took a veiled swipe at the political debate that is consuming Washington these days.

“Regrettably, the world’s oldest hatred has found a voice in the halls of our United States Congress,” Mr. Pence said in a prepared speech before the 1,000plus delegation of religious and civil society leaders from around the world. “Under this President, we will respect the sovereignty and diverse cultures of every nation, but I promise all of you America will continue to be that city on a hill that John Winthrop spoke about.”

This week’s summit is the second held in the District of Columbia, tripling in size from the 2018 inaugural event. Trump administration officials say they are already preparing for a third gathering in 2020.

3. 70 Catholics arrested in DC protest over migrant treatment.

The Associated Press, July 19, 2019, 6:41 AM

Hundreds of Catholics gathered in the nation’s capital to protest the federal government’s treatment of migrants, and about 70 sisters, clergy and parishioners were arrested.

The Washington Post reports protesters armed with photos of migrant children who died in federal custody recited The Lord’s Prayer as they demonstrated in the Russell Senate Office Building on Thursday. The children’s names rang out as some protesters laid on the floor in the shape of a cross.

4. Pence blasts Venezuela, Nicaragua for crackdowns on Church leaders.

By Christopher White, Crux, July 19, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence singled out leaders in Venezuela and Nicaragua for their persecution of Catholic clergy during the closing day of a high stakes summit on religious freedom at the U.S. State Department on Thursday.

Pence said the regimes of Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, in Nicaragua, as well as that of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, have targeted “Church leaders for defending democracy and religious freedom.”

Hundreds of Catholics in both countries have died protesting against their respective governments. Of Maduro, Pence said that he had “no legitimate claim to power” and noted that the United States was the first of now over 50 countries to recognize Juan Guaidó as the country’s new leader.

5. Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws set to end after UK parliament vote.

By Charles Collins, Crux, July 19, 2019

When the Republic of Ireland voted to remove constitutional protections for the unborn in May of last year, many pro-choice supporters began chanting, “The North is next!”

Northern Ireland is under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, but was exempted from the Abortion Act of 1967 that legalized it in the rest of the UK. In fact, for decades opposition to abortion seemed to be the only issue that united the Presbyterian Protestant majority and Catholic minority in the North.

However, attitudes are changing. A Sky Date poll from April showed 54 percent of Northern Ireland supported legalizing abortion, with only 30 percent opposed. With two-thirds of the electorate in the south voting to legalize abortion last year, many abortion activists feel the time is ripe to target the North’s unique – and now isolated – position.

This week, the pro-life protections in Northern Ireland were removed in a series of amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, that had the primary function of dealing with the exercise of government functions in Northern Ireland, since the power-sharing agreement collapsed in January 2017. The amendments would also impose same-sex marriage in the North, which is already legal in the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

6. UK is ‘hijacking’ N Ireland on abortion, bishops say.

Catholic News Agency, July 18, 2019, 6:01 PM

The bishops of Northern Ireland noted their alarm Wednesday at the British parliament’s passage of a bill that will legalize abortion and same-sex marriage in the region, highlighting the value of human life and the importance of devolution.

The House of Lords approved the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill July 17. It had passed the House of Commons the week prior.

“With the thousands of others who have voiced their concern in recent days, we wish to express our alarm at the unprecedented way in which the Westminster Parliament has used the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill to rush through legislation which will have a devastating impact on the right to life of unborn children,” read a July 17 statement from the four bishops whose dioceses include territory in Northern Ireland.

“The equal right to life, and love, of a mother and her unborn child is so fundamental to the common good of every society that citizens deserve the fullest participation in the democratic debate about the legislation which governs it. This also applies to decisions regarding the nature of marriage.”

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