1. The GOP’s winning abortion strategy got lost in its Virginia defeat, By Ramesh Ponnuru, The Washington Post, November 16, 2023, 7:00 AM, Opinion Republicans have finally found it: a successful model of how to navigate the politics of abortion after Dobbs while still winning elections. They just haven’t noticed their success because it comes well-camouflaged as failure.  Under that strategy, Republican candidates endorsed a ban on abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. The theory was that this position would look more reasonable to centrist voters than a more comprehensive ban would. One flaw in the theory, or at least the execution, was that Democrats were more willing to talk about abortion than Republicans were — and they said Republicans wanted to ban abortion, period. The outcome of the election has left strategists in both parties thinking Democratic tactics have been vindicated — “Abortion wins elections” is becoming a popular slogan on the left — and Republican ones discredited.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/16/gop-winning-abortion-strategy-virginia-elections-youngkin/__________________________________________________________ 2. Unfettered abortion pill access is exploitation, not liberation, It turns out ‘reproductive health care’ applies only to ending pregnancy, By Chelsey Youman, The Washington Times, November 16, 2023, Opinion As the Supreme Court takes up the case regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s abortion pill approval, one group of voices is drowned out by all the noise: the women who have suffered from chemical abortions. In the painful, risky aftermath of a far too easily obtained abortion, many turn to pregnancy centers for help. The nurses who help save their lives or treat their emotional wounds remember their stories, stories that should be heard. At issue in the case is the FDA’s removal of basic safety protocols designed to protect women from dangerous complications arising from the abortion pill regimen. Although the FDA acknowledges the abortion pill regimen carries the risk of “serious adverse drug experiences,” beginning in 2016, it removed safeguards for women before, during and after their abortions, abandoning them at every point in their abortion.  An amicus brief filed before the Supreme Court tells the heart-wrenching accounts of the Human Coalition clients placed in harm’s way.  In addition to the millions of children extinguished by chemical abortions, the FDA sacrificed women in pursuit of politics by ignoring available data and approving mifepristone. And when it later removed basic safeguards to protect women from the known dangers of the drug, the FDA discarded women as easily as the children they carry. As the Supreme Court weighs these women’s voices, we should, too. Unfettered access to abortion pills spells disaster for women and children alike. But the mass death of children is lucrative. That’s exploitation, not liberation. Chelsey Youman is national director of public policy for Human Coalition, a pro-life organization that operates a network of telecare and brick-and-mortar clinics for women across the nation. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/nov/15/unfettered-abortion-pill-access-is-exploitation-no/__________________________________________________________ 3. US bishops affirm abortion as preeminent political concern, By John Lavenburg, Crux, November 16, 2023 When it came time for a much-anticipated debate among the American bishops over a voting guide ahead of the 2024 election, the surprise may be that there wasn’t actually any contention. They simply voted to approve the agreed-upon materials in a 225 to 11 vote, with seven abstentions. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the U.S. bishops’ voting guide for Catholics, now has a new introductory note, five bulletin inserts, and video script. The materials make clear that “the threat of abortion remains our [the bishops] preeminent issue.”  Last November they committed to a full rewrite of the document after the 2024 election cycle. Pressed by reporters on why the bishops chose to hold off on rewriting the document, Lori defended the decision, saying, “I don’t think we kicked the can down the road,” and noting that he accepts a very broad, consultative, even synodal, process to take place to rewrite the document.  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2023/11/us-bishops-affirm-abortion-as-preeminent-political-concern__________________________________________________________ 4. As Catholic Leaders Met, Fired Bishop Took His Message to the Street, The meeting opened with a call for unity, but clerics are navigating a contentious relationship between Pope Francis and conservative American Catholics., By Ruth Graham, The New York Times, November 15, 2023 Inside a windowless hotel ballroom on the Baltimore waterfront on Wednesday, more than 250 American bishops were trying to pilot through the choppy waters of the increasingly contentious relationship between Pope Francis and conservative American Catholics, many of them in their own ranks. But the most visible sign of that struggle was outside on the street, as a small crowd gathered to show support for Bishop Joseph Strickland, the bellicose Texas bishop fired by Francis over the weekend. Bishop Strickland has accused the pope of undermining the Catholic faith and represents an outspoken cohort in the church who view Francis as dangerously liberal.  The meeting of American bishops, which happens each year, typically does not make for great drama. Even the agenda for this year’s meeting — which ends on Thursday — did not look like the stuff of tumult. Action items included tweaks to a prayer book for the years when the traditional date of the Feast of the Epiphany happens to fall before the feast’s Sunday celebration; the reauthorization of a committee against racism; and the advancement toward sainthood of the 19th-century priest Isaac Thomas Hecker. But under the surface and on the sidelines, there was friction over topics including the church’s approach to politics, and Pope Francis’s recent global gathering on the church’s future, which has rankled some conservatives. The meeting also came just days after Francis made clear that transgender people could be baptized and serve as godparents.  The Vatican has not cited a reason for Bishop Strickland’s dismissal, which followed a formal investigation this summer into his leadership of the diocese.  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/15/us/as-catholic-leaders-met-fired-bishop-took-his-message-to-the-street.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Archdiocese mounts legal test of watershed Maryland Child Victims Act, Legal motions filed by the Archdiocese of Washington could ultimately impact hundreds of victims of child sex abuse seeking damages from long ago abuse, By Erin Cox, The Washington Post, November 15, 2023, 6:10 PM The Archdiocese of Washington sought to overturn Maryland’s new landmark Child Victims Act in court this week in an effort to dismiss a handful of decades-old allegations of child sex abuse.  The Child Victims Act took effect Oct. 1 and eliminates all statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits regarding child sex abuse in Maryland, part of what lawmakers called a long-overdue public reckoning.  Late Monday, the archdiocese also filed motions to dismiss the cases on the grounds that the new law violates the Maryland Constitution’s provisions on due process by allowing previously barred claims to be revived.  Church lawyers, however, argue in court papers that the law strips the archdiocese of immunity that the General Assembly granted it six years ago. The immunity — called a statute of repose and considered by some lawyers to be irrevocable — was granted in a compromise that extended the statute of limitations for child victims to sue up until they reach age 38. The church lawyers, and even some previous assistant attorneys general, have argued that eliminating a previously granted right violates due process protections enshrined in the state constitution.  “The Maryland Supreme Court ‘has consistently held that the Maryland Constitution ordinarily precludes the Legislature … from … reviving a barred cause of action, thereby violating the vested right of the defendant,’” the lawyers said in the memos, quoting Maryland case law.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/11/15/maryland-child-victims-act-lawsuit/__________________________________________________________ 6. ‘Do the right thing’: Senators demand secretary of defense rescind abortion travel policy, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, November 15, 2023, 1:45 PM A group of nearly 30 U.S. senators this week called on the Biden administration to rescind the Department of Defense’s controversial policy that authorizes the payment of travel expenses for service members and their families seeking abortions. In October of last year, several months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that repealed Roe v. Wade and returned the power of abortion regulation to state legislatures, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed the department to “establish travel and transportation allowances” so that service members and their dependents can access abortion in states that offer it.   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256018/do-the-right-thing-senators-demand-secretary-of-defense-rescind-abortion-travel-policy__________________________________________________________

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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