1. The EEOC’s Unjust Abortion Mandate, Catholic bishops are suing over an attempt to rewrite a law protecting pregnant women at work., By Timothy P. Broglio, The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2024, Pg. A15, Opinion
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops cheered when Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in 2022. The bill’s purpose was laudable and obvious: to expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace. Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has subverted the law’s noble goal by turning it into an abortion-accommodation mandate. That is unjust and illegal. In federal court last week, the USCCB filed suit to challenge it.
The bill is pro-woman, pro-family and pro-worker. It is also bipartisan. The text requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations—such as paid time off or modified work schedules—for the various needs that arise during pregnancy and childbirth. It bars employers from denying employment opportunities to a pregnant employee because of these needs, or from taking adverse action against her.
Our commitment to promoting human dignity must include defending the unborn and supporting women in their pregnancies. That includes advocating dignified conditions in the workplace. The PWFA advances each of these principles.
Yet the EEOC—the agency charged with implementing the statute—has twisted it to undermine human dignity. Under the commission’s “final rule” for the law, set to take effect June 18, employers must facilitate abortion. In the EEOC’s telling, having an abortion is the equivalent of pregnancy or childbirth. Required employer accommodations would include offering paid leave to obtain an abortion, and employers who express pro-life perspectives could be subject to legal liability.

The commission is turning the plain text of the law on its head to promote abortion. If the EEOC’s rule is allowed to stand, the USCCB and Catholic ministries nationwide will be penalized for doing what they have done for centuries: teaching and serving the infinite dignity of every person. We will not compromise that twofold mission of walking with women and honoring the unborn. We look forward to the courts’ vindicating our right to do so.
Archbishop Broglio is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
2. Democrats Plan $100 Million Push on Abortion Rights to Win House, House Majority PAC’s new fund will be spent in swing districts for advertising and voter mobilization, By Natalie Andrews, The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2024, 5:00 AM
The super PAC supporting Democrats’ effort to win back the House majority is launching a $100 million fund focused on abortion rights, the latest sign that the party is leaning heavily on the issue this fall to help counter concerns about the economy and immigration policy.
In a memo to donors, the House Majority PAC outlined the Reproductive Freedom Accountability Fund, which it said will be spent in swing districts across the country for advertising and voter mobilization. The fund will also focus on voter outreach in House districts where there aren’t competitive presidential or Senate races, such as in New York, California, Oregon, Washington and Virginia.

3. Planned Parenthood asks judge to expand health exception to Indiana abortion ban, Abortion providers are asking a judge to expand the health exception to Indiana’s abortion ban, By Isabella Volmert, Associated Press, May 29, 2024, 12:05 AM
Abortion providers are asking an Indiana trial judge this week to broaden access to abortions under the state’s near-total ban.
Indiana law allows for abortion in rare circumstances, including when the health or life of the woman is at risk, but only at a hospital.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are asking a Monroe County judge for a preliminary injunction expanding the medical exemptions and blocking the hospital-only requirement. The bench trial before special Judge Kelsey Blake Hanlon is scheduled for Wednesday through Friday.
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the ban in June, ending a broader legal challenge brought by the same plaintiffs, but said the state’s constitution protects a women’s right to an abortion when her life or health is at risk.
The plaintiffs say the ban’s exceptions for protecting health are written so narrowly that in practice, many doctors won’t end a pregnancy even when a woman’s condition qualifies under the statute.

According to the complaint, the ban does not account for conditions that may threaten health later in a pregnancy, after giving birth or for conditions that may exacerbate other health problems. The health and life exception allows for an abortion up to 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
The plaintiffs also want women to be able to have abortions if medically indicated for psychological reasons. The current statute explicitly rules out the threat of self harm or suicide as a “serious health risk,” which is another reason why the plaintiffs say the state’s definition is unconstitutional.


4. ‘In the name of God’, For decades, Catholic priests, brothers and sisters raped or molested Native American children who were taken from their homes by the U.S. government and forced to live at remote boarding schools, a Post investigation found., By Sari Horwitz, Dana Hedgpeth, Emmanuel Martinez, Scott Higham and Salwan Georges, The Washington Post, May 29, 2024, 6:35 AM
These firsthand accounts and other evidence documented by The Washington Post reveal the brutality and sexual abuse inflicted upon children who were taken from their families under a systematic effort by the federal government to destroy Native American culture, assimilate children into White society and seize tribal lands.
From 1819 to 1969, tens of thousands of children were sent to more than 500 boarding schools across the country, the majority run or funded by the U.S. government. Children were stripped of their names, their long hair was cut, and they were beaten for speaking their languages, leaving deep emotional scars on Native American families and communities. By 1900, 1 out of 5 Native American school-age children attended a boarding school. At least 80 of the schools were operated by the Catholic Church or its religious affiliates.
The Post investigation reveals a portrait of pervasive sexual abuse endured by Native American children at Catholic-run schools in remote regions of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, including Alaska.
At least 122 priests, sisters and brothers assigned to 22 boarding schools since the 1890s were later accused of sexually abusing Native American children under their care, The Post found. Most of the documented abuse occurred in the 1950s and 1960s and involved more than 1,000 children.

5. Pope apologizes after being quoted using vulgar term about gay men in talk about ban on gay priests, Pope Francis has apologized after he was quoted using a vulgar term about gay men to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, May 28, 2024, 5:41 PM
Pope Francis apologized Tuesday after he was quoted using a vulgar and derogatory term about gay men to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests.
The ruckus that ensued underscored how the church’s official teaching about homosexuality often bumps up against the unacknowledged reality that there are plenty of gay men in the priesthood, and plenty of LGBTQ+ Catholics who want to be fully part of the life and sacraments of the church.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni issued a statement acknowledging the media storm that erupted about Francis’ comments, which were delivered behind closed doors to Italian bishops on May 20.

6. Harrison Butker doubles down on commencement speech at Catholic gala, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, May 28, 2024, 5:10 PM
Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker doubled down on his May 11 Benedictine College commencement speech comments during a Catholic home schooling association’s gala in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday. 
“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” Butker, a three-time Super Bowl champion and the 2019 NFL scoring leader, said during the May 24 Regina Caeli Academy’s Courage Under Fire Gala.
Butker faced some pushback on social media and from commentators and celebrities for comments about gender ideology, gender roles, homosexuality, abortion, and other hot-button issues during the commencement speech.

7. New report shows fewer abuse claims brought against U.S. Catholic clerics, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, May 28, 2024, 6:15 PM
A new report from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shows that across the country from mid-2022 to mid-2023, just over 1,300 clerical abuse allegations came to light, while payouts to victims reached $284 million — tens of millions more than the prior year. 
This figure is down from 2,704 allegations brought the prior year, the report states, while some 4,434 allegations were brought in 2019.
Of those allegations, dioceses and eparchies deemed 229 of them credible; 71% of those allegations concerned incidents that occurred or began in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The total number of new allegations from victims who were currently minors in the studied year remained similar to the prior year, at 17.
“These numbers are not just numbers. The statistics are the many stories and accounts of the betrayal of trust and the lifelong journey towards recovery,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio, president of the USCCB, wrote in the report’s introduction. 

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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