1. Alabama Shields IVF Providers With New Law, A recent state Supreme Court ruling threw fertility treatment into jeopardy; law might not eliminate legal uncertainty, By Talal Ansari and Joseph De Avila, The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2024, Pg. A3 In vitro fertilization services at major Alabama clinics could soon restart thanks to a new law, even as questions about the treatment’s future in the state linger. Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law a bill granting IVF providers civil and criminal immunity almost two weeks after a court ruling that embryos qualify as children upended services in the state. The law, passed by the Legislature on Wednesday night, shields providers from any “action, suit, or criminal prosecution” if embryos are destroyed or damaged during IVF treatments or related services.  https://www.wsj.com/us-news/alabama-shields-ivf-providers-with-new-law-53d54d16__________________________________________________________ 2. Many Christian voters in US see immigration as a crisis. How to address it is where they differ, By Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press, March 7, 2024, 8:15 AM Christian voters and faith leaders have long been in the frontlines of providing assistance to migrants — but when it comes to support for immigration policies, from border security to legalization options for migrants already in the U.S., priorities diverge broadly. Both President Joe Biden and GOP challenger Donald Trump traveled to the border in Texas last Thursday to present their vision of how to fix what most agree is a broken system — immigration has risen to a top concern for Americans in this presidential election year. At the border with Mexico in El Paso, Texas, Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz believes that a nation has the right to a secure and orderly border, and to vet those who want to cross it, but he emphasizes the Church’s social teaching of caring for the poorest and most vulnerable. “Here in El Paso … we don’t say, ‘Show me your papers.’ As Christians we say, ‘How can I help you in your suffering?’” Seitz said, who leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration committee. “This is not a political issue in the first instance, it’s about putting into practice what Jesus Christ taught through the Church.”  According to a survey released this week by the Pew Research Center, majorities of white Catholics and Protestants, both evangelical and nonevangelical, consider that the big influx at the U.S.-Mexican border is a crisis for the United States — a definition that many migrant advocates and Democrats have long disputed. Only about 3 in 10 Black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated (or “nones”) say the large number of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. is a “crisis,” although in each group, about 4 in 10 say it’s a “major problem.” Those saying it is not a problem are minorities in the single digits across denominations.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/03/07/immigration-biden-trump-border-christian/d25fae3c-dc84-11ee-b5e9-ad4573c62315_story.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Borders, Migrants, & the State of the Union, By Tim Huelskamp, Real Clear Policy, March 7, 2024, Opinion Very soon, “Catholic” President Biden will address Americans at the 2024 State of the Union.    No matter what spin he puts on things, Americans must know that the state of our nation is gravely imperiled by many of Biden’s failed policies – most especially, his misguided “compassion” regarding immigration that egregiously violates Catholic social teaching at the expense of our nation.    Just recently, 22-year-old Laken Riley became the latest victim to Biden’s radical open border policies. The deans-list nursing student was brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant who’d previously been arrested by ICE and then released. Commonsense border enforcement policies could have prevented Riley’s death. Instead, the Biden Administration’s shocking refusal to protect America’s borders has allowed the insidious problem to reach nearly every state and nearly every city across America. It has resulted in millions of illegal crossings per year, strained the U.S. economy and infrastructure, and allowed dangerous criminals, gang members, human traffickers, drug mules and even terrorists to cross with practically zero oversight. Even the FBI recently confirmed that the border crisis represented a major national security threat. These concerns were heightened by the reality that 294 illegal aliens on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended at the Southwest border since 2021 alone – and “those are only the individuals Border Patrol agents have caught.”  Sadly, our leaders, and even many Catholics, have abandoned their obligation to defend our borders and protect Americans for the sake of the common good. Worse, many believe that this lackluster response is condoned by Catholic social teaching – which couldn’t be further from the truth.   The Church’s guiding principles on immigration require that those with the right to emigrate respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country receiving them, obey its laws, and help with its civic burdens. The Church also teaches that nations are morally obligated to secure their borders and have a responsibility to determine who enters and leaves the country for the sake of national security. This is not extraordinary – every single nation-state, including Vatican City, has limits on immigration as they seek the common good.     Thankfully, many Americans already see through these lies – and many rank President Biden’s handling of the border as his administration’s biggest failure.  And no matter how well Biden spins the immigration apocalypse at the State of the Union, Americans will remember Laken Riley and all the other victims of Biden’s refusal to follow church teachings at the expense of those he’s sworn to protect.  The Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D. has 30-plus years of campaign, policy, and legislative experience at both the federal and state levels and is a well-known national leader, policymaker, communicator, and campaign advisor. Huelskamp represented the 1st District in Congress for 6 years and is currently a Senior Advisor to both CatholicVote and Bienvenido. Tim and his family are active members at their Catholic parish in Kansas.  https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2024/03/07/borders_migrants_and_the_state_of_the_union_1016719.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Most Americans support abortion for pregnancy-related emergencies, By Maria Godoy, NPR, March 7, 2024, 5:00 AM In the almost two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the unintended consequences of abortion bans have become clearer. NPR has reported on women who were denied care for miscarriages and high-risk pregnancies, including Jaci Statton of Oklahoma, who was told she had to wait in a hospital parking lot until her non-viable pregnancy became life threatening.  Stories like this have increased awareness of how abortion bans are impacting health care during pregnancy. That may be reflected in the results of a new poll from the health research organization KFF, which finds there is a broad consensus – 86% of Americans – that women in such pregnancy-related emergencies should have access to abortion procedures.  Only 12% of all voters say it’s the most important issue.  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/03/07/1236344392/abortion-politics-poll-miscarriage-pregnancy-emergencies-kff__________________________________________________________ 5. Kansas could soon make doctors ask patients why they want abortions and report the answers, By John Hanna, Associated Press, March 7, 2024, 12:11 AM Kansas would require abortion providers to ask patients why they’re terminating their pregnancies and report the answers to the state under a measure moving through the Republican-controlled Legislature. Frustrated Democrats are pointedly suggesting a similar rule for vasectomies and erectile dysfunction. The state House planned to take a final vote Thursday. The bill would require providers to ask patients 11 questions about their reasons for terminating a pregnancy, including that they can’t afford another child, raising a child would hinder their education or careers, or a spouse or partner wanted her to have an abortion. At least seven states require similar reporting. Backers of the bill argued during a House debate Wednesday that the state needs data so lawmakers can create programs to address their concerns. Opponents saw an attempt to harass abortion providers, shame patients and stigmatize abortion.  States requiring doctors to report the reasons for an abortion include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah. Minnesota’s Democratic-controlled Legislature repealed its similar reporting requirement repealed it last year.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2024/03/07/abortion-kansas-reporting-patients-data/32c2f16a-dc41-11ee-b5e9-ad4573c62315_story.html__________________________________________________________ 6. ‘Cabrini’ tells the unknown story behind the well-known name, The latest from ‘Sound of Freedom’ director Alejandro Monteverde dramatizes the fierce life of a feminist saint, By Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post, March 7, 2024, 6:00 AM, Movie Review “Cabrini,” an illuminating if workmanlike portrait of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, tells the story of the woman behind the name that has graced hundreds of shrines, hospitals, parks and schools around the world. In this handsomely filmed chronicle of Cabrini’s rise — from a small parish in Lombardy, Italy, to late-19th-century New York City — a woman who at first glance was a modest, physically frail nun emerges as a fiercely determined figure who battled sexism, xenophobia and her own ailments to give radical meaning to the words “on Earth as it is in heaven.” As Pope Leo XIII tells her in one of their several respectful but spiky conversations, “I can’t tell where your faith ends and your ambition begins.” Pope Leo is played in a wonderfully warm performance by the great Giancarlo Giannini, who gives “Cabrini” a jolt of life every time he appears on-screen. David Morse and John Lithgow also show up, as a recalcitrant archbishop and peevish New York mayor, respectively; they, along with various priests and bullying naysayers, exemplify the male power structure that Cabrini routinely confronted and shrewdly disarmed as she sought to treat New York’s impoverished immigrant population with generosity and respect. (The central conflict here is Cabrini’s attempts to fund and build her first hospital.)  Still, as a straightforward biopic of a woman whose name is much better known than her story, “Cabrini” fulfills its mission with the same purposeful earnestness of its subject. It’s a movie even the most secular of humanists can love. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/movies/2024/03/07/cabrini-saint-movie-review/__________________________________________________________ 7. Pro-Choice Democrats Fight To Make Abortion the Only Option, By Marjorie Dannenfelser, Real Clear Politics, March 6, 2024, Opinion At the State of the Union address this week, President Biden and the Democrats intend to leverage a tragic situation involving a woman who suffered a medical emergency during her pregnancy in order to advance their own abortion agenda. My heart goes out to this mother and any other mother experiencing a similar situation. It is heartbreaking to lose a child under any circumstances. But while President Biden exploits this tragedy for political gain, one critical piece of information you won’t hear during his address is that all state pro-life protections have provisions to protect mothers experiencing medical emergencies. Unfortunately, Biden and the Democrats think it is more politically expedient to scare women into believing they cannot access the care that they need than to roll up their sleeves and help the majority who want to parent. Peer-reviewed research found nearly 70% of post-abortive women describe their abortions as inconsistent with their own values and preferences, with one in four describing their abortions as unwanted or coerced. What are Biden and the Democrats doing to address this epidemic? They are peddling ever more abortion for any reason, past the point at which unborn children can feel pain and indeed at any time during a pregnancy. Theirs is North Korea and China-style abortion policy – and it utterly fails to align with the compassion and aid Americans desire for women facing difficult pregnancies. Meanwhile, the pro-life community has quietly built a vast network of charitable organizations across the nation that exist to address the needs of pregnant women who want to keep their babies but lack resources. In 2022 alone, pregnancy resource centers met with clients over 16 million times and delivered services with an estimated total value of at least $358 million. They saw almost 975,000 new clients and provided pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting education programs, baby diapers, wipes, formula, clothing, and much more – all at no cost. These pregnancy resource centers not only meet the material needs of women, they can quite literally save their lives. That is what happened in the case of survivor Jean Marie Davis, who had been trafficked for nearly three decades in 33 states when an unintended pregnancy became the impetus for her escape. With no money and running from a pimp who was trying to kill her, Jean Marie had almost nowhere to turn. After endless calls, she was finally connected to a pregnancy resource director who changed everything. Jean Marie ultimately escaped a life of drugs, violence, and serial abuse, without sacrificing the son she loves, and today she helps women in similar circumstances by running a pregnancy resource center of her own. Hundreds of maternity homes across the nation also provide pregnant women in need with long-term housing and the material, medical, educational, and emotional resources to transform their lives and live their dreams. Rachel already had a young child, but her partner had turned abusive toward her, and then she found out she was pregnant again. She knew for the sake of her children she had to leave but had no vehicle and nowhere to turn until she found a maternity home which agreed to help. That home provided a safe and loving environment – plus all the resources Rachel needed to heal and thrive. While there, she pursued her education in the medical field and is now a registered nurse working at a local hospital.  Now if Biden and the Democrats have their way, the charitable organizations that stepped in to help Jean Marie, Rachel, and the countless other women who come to them because they want to keep their children would no longer exist. From overt calls to “shut them down,” to an HHS proposal to revoke any public funding for these centers, to the DOJ’s refusal to protect them from the massive wave of disturbing pro-abortion violence post-Dobbs, the message is clear: For Democrats, abortion is the only option.While the president and Democrats say they care about women, their actions speak otherwise. Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and author of “Life is Winning: Inside the Fight for Unborn Children and Their Mothers.”  https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2024/03/06/pro-choice_democrats_fight_to_make_abortion_the_only_option_150603.html__________________________________________________________ 8. Md. law removing time limits on child sex abuse suits is constitutional, judge rules, By Steve Thompson, Associated Press, March 6, 2024, 3:52 PM A judge in Prince George’s County allowed a child sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Washington to go forward Wednesday, agreeing with the plaintiffs that a recent Maryland law allowing the claim was constitutional. The archdiocese said it will appeal the decision — a process that will put on hold an already long-delayed pursuit of redress by those who say they were abused by church officials decades ago — and the issue will almost certainly wind up in the Maryland Supreme Court. But the ruling marked the first time a judge has weighed in on the state’s Child Victims Act, a statute lawmakers enacted last year removing all statutes of limitation on civil lawsuits regarding child sex abuse.  Archdiocese spokeswoman Paula Gwynn Grant said in a statement that regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case, “we will remain committed to our longstanding efforts to bring healing to survivors through pastoral care and other forms of assistance that are available apart from the legal process.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2024/03/06/maryland-child-victims-catholic-diocese-constitutional/__________________________________________________________ 9. Catholic student sues Fairfax school board over transgender protections, By Karina Elwood, The Washington Post, March 6, 2024, 8:00 AM A Fairfax County Public Schools student is suing the school board, sayings its policy aimed at protecting the rights of transgender students violate the rights of others and violates the state constitution. The lawsuit was filed by the conservative group America First Legal — founded by former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller — on behalf of an unnamed Fairfax high school senior. It alleges that the school district’s policy, which allows students to use facilities that match their gender identity and requires the use of a students chosen pronouns and name, are “fundamentally at odds with her religious beliefs” as a practicing Roman Catholic. Fairfax County Public Schools spokeswoman Julie Allen said in a statement Wednesday that the district had not yet been served with the lawsuit and could not comment on the specific allegations. But she said the district’s policies are consistent with federal and state anti-discrimination laws.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2024/03/07/fairfax-transgender-student-policy-lawsuit/__________________________________________________________ 10. Maryland abortion clinics could get money for security under bill in state Senate, By Brian Witte, Associated Press, March 6, 2024, 8:59 PM Abortion clinics in Maryland could pay for enhanced security and greater access through a grant program being considered by state lawmakers, who want to tap into millions of dollars that have sat unused by insurance carriers as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. Supporters testified Wednesday that Maryland is seeing a rising demand on its abortion clinics, including from women from out of state, since the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down Roe v. Wade in June 2022. Security concerns, long an issue at clinics, also have been increasing, supporters of the bill told the Maryland Senate Finance Committee at a bill hearing. Maryland lawmakers have taken steps to expand access to abortion in anticipation of more women arriving for services from other states that have banned or restricted it. Maryland voters will be deciding whether to enshrine the right to abortion in a constitutional amendment in November.  https://apnews.com/article/abortion-security-funding-maryland-legislature-37f77c201421e83af77f9e181fab1a16

__________________________________________________________ 11. Sen. Marco Rubio demands Biden protect Catholic churches from attacks, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, March 6, 2024, 4:10 PM United States Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is demanding that President Joe Biden protect Catholic churches from the “growing number of attacks” they have suffered since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In a March 5 letter addressed to the nation’s second Catholic president, Rubio cited a tracker that found more than 400 attacks against Catholic churches since May of 2020. The tracker, last updated on March 5, lists numerous examples of property damage, including arson, statue destruction, rocks and bricks being thrown through windows and the spray painting of satanic messages.  “These attacks are not random nor are they the result of a temporary lapse in judgment by perpetrators,” Rubio, who is Catholic, wrote. “They are motivated by a deep and abiding animosity towards religious institutions and people of faith.” The senator noted the examples of recent attacks in New York, in which a woman set fire to a statue of the Virgin Mary, a person beheaded a statue of the baby Jesus, and an individual cut off the hands on a statue of Christ.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257007/sen-marco-rubio-demands-biden-protect-catholic-churches-from-attacks__________________________________________________________ 12. Pro-life groups urge Alabama governor to veto IVF bill, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, March 6, 2024, 5:12 PM Thirteen of the country’s leading national pro-life groups are urging Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to veto a recently passed bill that would institute broad protections for in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers in the state. The bill, already passed by both the Alabama House and Senate, gives blanket immunity to IVF providers for the “damage or death of an embryo” conceived through IVF. IVF is a fertility treatment, opposed by the Catholic Church because it separates the marriage act from procreation and destroys embryonic human life.   The groups said in a letter sent to Ivey on Monday that “if enacted, this sweeping legislation would slam the door on any protections for the most vulnerable Alabamians, prevent families from seeking justice for the death or harm caused to their children, and leave a trail of destructive, immoral implications in its wake.” The letter was signed by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, March for Life Action, Live Action, Students for Life Action, Human Coalition Action, and several other prominent pro-life groups.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257009/pro-life-groups-urge-alabama-governor-to-veto-ivf-bill__________________________________________________________ 13. Pope Francis names retired judge to investigate sex abuse charges against Canadian cardinal, By Walter Sanchez Silva, Catholic News Agency, March 6, 2024, 5:40 PM The Archdiocese of Quebec in Canada has announced that Pope Francis has appointed a retired judge to lead an investigation into the accusations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, charges that the cardinal “categorically” denies. In a March 4 statement, the Archdiocese of Quebec said that it was informed “last Feb. 8 that Pope Francis has commissioned André Denis, a former judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, to conduct an investigation” into the accusations against Lacroix. Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, the archbishop of Quebec and member of the Council of Cardinals that advises Pope Francis, has been accused of abusing a 17-year-old girl almost four decades ago, as part of a lawsuit against his archdiocese. The cardinal has previously denied the accusation.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257012/pope-francis-orders-investigation-of-accusations-of-sexual-abuse-against-canadian-cardinal-lacroix__________________________________________________________ 14. Republican attorneys general threaten YouTube over ‘misleading’ label on pro-life videos, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, March 6, 2024, 6:00 PM Sixteen Republican attorneys general are threatening legal action against YouTube and its parent company Google for placing a ‘misleading’ label on pro-life videos. Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird led the effort to send a letter to Google executive Neal Mohan on Monday, regarding labels placed on pro-life videos on the social media platform.  The letter said the notices violate the First Amendment and spread “false” information about abortion that “minimizes and downplays some of the serious risks of abortion drugs,” potentially endangering women’s lives. The letter cites an example of a pro-life video on YouTube about chemical abortion posted byAlliance Defending Freedom in February. Under the video a notice appears with the title, “Abortion health information.” The message says that surgical and chemical abortion are procedures “to end a pregnancy” done “by a licensed healthcare professional.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/257011/republican-attorneys-general-threaten-youtube-over-misleading-label-on-pro-life-videos__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.