1. Communion for Pelosi at the Vatican no surprise, but possibly a harbinger, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, June 30, 2022, Opinion To no one’s real surprise, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi received communion during a papal Mass yesterday marking the traditional feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Pelosi, her husband Paul, and other family members happened to be in Rome on vacation and decided to attend the Mass.  The contrast between “banned in San Fran” yet “welcome in Rome” is destined to mark another twist in the ongoing tensions in the United States, and between the U.S. and Rome, over how the Catholic Church should respond to members of its own flock in positions of political leadership who defy church teaching, which is especially keen in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.Three observations suggest themselves. First, whatever one makes of Pelosi getting communion on Wednesday, it’s hardly unprecedented.  Second, there is a longstanding contrast between European and American Catholic sensibilities when it comes to the abortion issue. To put it simply, in America abortion remains a “live issue,” one over which both the general population and the political class remain bitterly divided. In Europe, on the other hand, the legalization of abortion was decided democratically long ago, and it’s now considered largely a settled question.  Third, it’s clear that Pope Francis and the figures who make up his leadership team are conceptually opposed to the idea of deploying the Eucharist as a weapon in what they perceive to be essentially political causes.  In theory, Pope Francis could make things simpler by issuing a decree one way or the other – either pro-choice Catholic politicians should, or should not, be denied communion. Yet he’s shown no appetite to do so, insisting that such decisions have to be made by local pastors. As a result, the short-term prognosis probably is for heartache ahead. The one fixed point is that, should other American bishops opt to take the same stand as Cordileone with their own local political class, they probably shouldn’t expect explicit Vatican support for doing so. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2022/06/communion-for-pelosi-at-the-vatican-no-surprise-but-possibly-a-harbinger__________________________________________________________ 2. What Are Abortion Pills and How Widely Are They Used?, Medication abortion accounts for more than half of procedures nationwide, By Dominique Mosbergen, The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2022, 12:28 PM Medication abortion, also known as medical abortion or plan C, involves the administration of so-called abortion pills to terminate a pregnancy. Patients obtain the pills from a prescribing clinician or from online pharmacies and can take the medications in a clinical setting or at home.  Medication abortion accounted for 54% of abortions in the U.S. in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Since 2000, when the FDA approved mifepristone, a steadily increasing proportion of patients have chosen medication abortions. Some 37% of U.S. abortions were medication abortions in 2017, up from 14% in 2005. https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-is-an-abortion-pill-leaked-supreme-court-decision-11651775689?__________________________________________________________ 3. WHO chief: U.S. abortion ruling ‘a setback,’ will cost lives, By Associated Press, June 29, 2022 The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, saying the decision to no longer recognize a constitutional right to abortion was “a setback” that would ultimately cost lives. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing that decades of scientific data prove that access to safe and legal abortion saves lives. https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-science-health-united-nations-c2de97f0e27ba424000b0f8aeed0dd39__________________________________________________________ 4. Every Abortion Law in America Protects Women with Ectopic Pregnancies, By John McCormack, National Review, June 29, 2022, 9:01 PM Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, there has been a lot of viral misinformation spread on social media that women with ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions may not be able to be treated in states with laws limiting or banning abortion.  In fact, no abortion law in any state in America prevents lifesaving treatment for women with ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions. That was true of abortion laws in 1972, and it’s true of abortion laws in 2022. “All states had at least a life of the mother exception before Roe v. Wade,” Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life, told me in an email. See, for example, the language in the Texas abortion statute struck down under Roe v. Wade in 1973 that said nothing in the law applies to an abortion performed “for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” The other lie in Ali’s tweet is the idea that women undergoing abortions will be prosecuted. As Forsythe wrote in 2006, states prosecuted abortionists, not women, under pre-Roe laws. Every state abortion law triggered by the overturning of Roe includes an exception at least to save the life of the mother, but that didn’t stop Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer from falsely claiming at a May 10 press conference (emphasis added): “If the MAGA Republicans get their way, pregnant women could lose their lives because there will be no exception for the life of a mother if there’s a dangerous complication in the pregnancy.” https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/06/every-abortion-law-in-america-protects-women-with-ectopic-pregnancies/__________________________________________________________ 5. Dobbs, Roe and the Vindication of American Democracy, In siding with the unborn in Dobbs, the Supreme Court has struck a blow for civil rights as important as the blow it struck in Brown v. Board of Education., By George Weigel, National Catholic Register, June 29, 2022, Opinion There will be ample time in the months ahead to reflect upon the political, cultural and social ramifications of the Dobbs decision, which are sure to be tremendous. For the moment, and in the immediate aftermath of a decision that at least some pro-lifers privately feared they would never see, it is good to celebrate the heroes of the pro-life cause. They fought for the truth against immense cultural and political pressures; they refused to accept the dictum of editorial board of The New York Times, which, the day after Roe was issued, harrumphed and declared the abortion debate over; and they respectfully declined to follow the instruction to cease-and-desist addressed to them by the Supreme Court’s plurality opinion in Casey.   Those pro-life heroes have been, and are, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and secular. Permit me to mention several Catholic heroes living and dead, whose conscientious work won the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal arguments while creating thousands of pro-life pregnancy and maternity centers where women in crisis pregnancies can find a humane response in their immediate hour of need, and beyond. I think of then-Msgr. James McHugh, who created the pro-life office at the U.S. bishops’ conference.  I think of public officials of both parties: Henry Hyde of Illinois, the powerful and effective leader of congressional pro-life forces for decades; Chris Smith of New Jersey, who assumed Hyde’s mantle on his retirement; and Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. I think of scholars and authors: John T. Noonan, Jr., who briskly eviscerated Roe v. Wade in A Private Choice; James T. Burtchaell, CSC, whose Rachel Weeping is perhaps the most elegant book-length statement of the pro-life case; Richard John Neuhaus, a pro-life champion as both Lutheran pastor and Catholic priest, whose 1967 article in Commonweal, warning his liberal friends in the civil rights movement against being seduced by the “pro-choice” mantra, won a Catholic Press Association award (those were the days…); Mary Ann Glendon, whose impeccable scholarship has kept the pro-life flag flying boldly at Harvard Law School and throughout the world.    I think of Jeanne Mancini, who, with the unflagging support of the Knights of Columbus, has built on Nellie Gray’s work and made the annual March for Life bigger, more powerful, and ever more insistent that the pro-life movement is a pro-women movement. I think of the Gabriel Project, Project Rachel and the volunteers who staff those expressions of Christian love and compassion, which demonstrate the mendacity of the charge that pro-lifers only care about babies before they’re born and ignore women who’ve suffered the trauma of abortion. There are so many more. God bless them all. https://www.ncregister.com/blog/dobbs-roe-and-the-vindication-of-american-democracy__________________________________________________________

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