1. A Roe v. Wade reading list: Must-read books to understand the landmark abortion ruling, By Alejandro Bermudez, Catholic News Agency, November 22, 2021, 12:00 AM With oral arguments for the greatest challenge to Roe v. Wade in a half century set for Dec. 1, readers may be intrigued to know more about the landmark 1973 abortion case. These books can help explain where Roe went wrong and how to get it right.  Getting the science right  Amicus Curiae brief filed in support of the petitioners in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, M.D., M.P.H., Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., Colleen Malloy, M.D. and the Catholic Association Foundation (July 2021.) While Supreme Court briefs aren’t generally the easiest or most compelling reads, this 35-page document is an exception to the rule. Filled with important scientific advances, the brief contextualizes what Roe didn’t get right about the science. It includes stunning visual information that helps average readers conceptualize the fetus as a human being. Medical doctors treat these human beings as patients endowed with the right to life and who call forth from them a responsibility to save, thus many of these doctors are on the vanguard of new interventions that save lives. These scientific advancements uncover the hypocrisy of also treating fetuses as human beings that should be eliminated upon demand.  Getting the public policy right “What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics” (Harvard University Press, 2020) by O. Carter Snead. O. Carter Snead, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, lays bare the anthropological undergirding of abortion case law — an anthropology known as “expressive individualism”— and its implications for society. By returning to the fundamental question about what it means to be human, Snead asks his readers to consider a more “capacious” understanding of humanity: human beings as embodied, vulnerable, social, and dependent beings whose good is found in community, and not simply the naked expression of self-determination. Chapter three, which focuses on abortion, provides a robust summary of the six most important cases that have shaped abortion case law, beginning with Roe v. Wade, and analyzes the questions underneath the case law, bringing to light all the anthropological shifts that need to be made in order to get the public policy right. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249665/roe-v-wade-books-explain-landmark-abortion-law-read-books-to-understand-the-landmark-abortion-ruling___________________________________________________________ 2. Pope to young people: We need you to protect environment, By Associated Press, November 21, 2021, 5:56 AM Pope Francis on Sunday praised young people for their efforts to protect the Earth’s environment and told them to “be the critical conscience of society.” Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, filled with hundreds of young faithful, to mark a church day focused on youth in dioceses worldwide. “You have been entrusted with an exciting but also challenging task,’’ the pontiff said, ”to stand tall while everything around us seems to be collapsing.” Francis expressed thanks “for all those times when you cultivate the dream of fraternity, work to heal the wounds of God’s creation, fight to ensure respect for the dignity of the vulnerable and spread the spirit of solidarity and sharing.” He noted that many young people have criticized environmental contamination. “We need this,” Francis said. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-to-young-people-we-need-you-to-protect-environment/2021/11/21/ae4e251e-4ab9-11ec-a7b8-9ed28bf23929_story.html___________________________________________________________ 3. Bishop says U.S. Catholic Church shouldn’t be ‘captive’ to a particular party, By Inés San Martín, Crux, November 21, 2021 According to Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, the Catholic Church has to have an independent voice to speak up when they agree or disagree with the government, and it shouldn’t “shouldn’t be captive to one party or another.” Flores became the head of the doctrine committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops the moment their fall general assembly concluded Wednesday night, and had been tasked with coordinating the preparation of the synodal process launched by Pope Francis in October. https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2021/11/bishop-says-u-s-catholic-church-shouldnt-be-captive-to-a-particular-party/___________________________________________________________ 4. Can Francis make lemonade from the lemons of a rough week?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, November 21, 2021, Opinion It’s ironic that one of the premier buzzwords of the Francis papacy is “transparency,” yet in most of the imbroglio cited above, it’s precisely a perceived lack of transparency that’s seemed to get the Vatican into hot water: What did the pope know about the London deal, and what was his role in it?What does Pope Francis actually know, if anything at all, about the Orlandi case?Why didn’t he go to Glasgow?What happened to Mangiacapra’s dossier? Convincing answers to such questions might go a long way to getting things back on track. Perhaps that’s one way for Pope Francis to make lemonade out of the lemons this past week has served up – to use these relatively minor setbacks to stimulate a new resolve around transparency, the idea being to head off more serious headaches down the line. https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2021/11/can-francis-make-lemonade-from-the-lemons-of-a-rough-week/___________________________________________________________ 5. Conflict over abortion laws won’t abate if Roe v. Wade falls, By David Crary, Associated Press, November 20, 2021, 12:37 PM Yet no matter how the current conservative-dominated court handles pending high-profile abortion cases — perhaps weakening Roe, perhaps gutting it completely — there will be no monolithic, nationwide change. Fractious state-by-state battles over abortion access will continue.   Roe’s demise would likely prompt at least 20 Republican-governed states to impose sweeping bans; perhaps 15 Democratic-governed states would reaffirm support for abortion access. More complicated would be politically divided states where fights over abortion laws could be ferocious — and likely become a volatile issue in the 2022 elections.  “For nearly 50 years, states have been prevented from passing abortion laws that reflect the values of people who live there,” said Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group. “Dobbs is the best opportunity since 1973 to correct that.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/conflict-over-abortion-laws-wont-abate-if-roe-v-wade-falls/2021/11/20/7a209d22-4a0e-11ec-beca-3cc7103bd814_story.html___________________________________________________________ 6. Media Outlets Mislead on ABC News/Washington Post Abortion Poll, By Michael J. New, National Review, November 19, 2021, 1:25 PM, Opinion A recent poll on abortion and public opinion, conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, has the mainstream media swooning. In their respective articles about the survey, both ABC News and the Post used the results to claim that Americans strongly support both Roe v. Wade and legal abortion. The poll also received favorable coverage from a number of other major outlets including USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and MSNBC. As I have written before, surveys on Roe tend to provide little insight into public attitudes toward abortion. This is for two reasons. First, most surveys, including this one, fail to mention that Roe effectively legalized abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy, a policy that few Americans support. Many Americans aren’t aware that this was the effect of Roe. Second, most surveys fail to explain that a reversal of Roe would not ban abortion but would instead allow each state to decide its own abortion laws. More important, the media coverage of the new survey has failed to report that the poll actually founds below average levels of support for Roe. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents think the Supreme Court should uphold Roe, but of the three ABC News/Washington Post polls on the subject over the past 13 months, this was the lowest level of support respondents have had for the Roe decision.  This new poll should be encouraging to pro-lifers. Despite the media’s best efforts to cast pro-life efforts in a negative light, public attitudes toward abortion have remained relatively stable in recent months. With oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization coming up on December 1, we would do well to stay the course. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/media-outlets-mislead-on-abc-news-washington-post-abortion-poll/___________________________________________________________ 7. Justices could rule on Texas abortion ban as soon as Monday, By Mark Sherman, Associated Press, November 19, 2021, 3:14 PM The Supreme Court could rule as soon as Monday on Texas’ ban on abortion after roughly six weeks. The justices are planning to issue at least one opinion Monday, the first of its new term, the court said on its website Friday. There’s no guarantee the two cases over the Texas law, with its unique enforcement design that has so far evaded judicial review, will be resolved Monday. Those cases were argued Nov. 1, and the court also is working on decisions in the nine cases the justices heard in October. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/justices-could-rule-on-texas-abortion-ban-as-soon-as-monday/2021/11/19/aaaba054-4973-11ec-beca-3cc7103bd814_story.html___________________________________________________________ 8. House passes Build Back Better; bishops raise religious liberty, abortion objections, By Christine Rousselle, Joe Bukuras, Shannon Mullen, Catholic News Agency, November 19, 2021, 2:08 PM The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the Build Back Better Act on Nov. 19, voting 220-213 to approve nearly $2 trillion in domestic spending for a host of ambitious new social programs, including universal pre-kindergarten, increased child care subsidies, and initiatives aimed at shifting the country away from fossil fuels.  Prior to Friday’s vote, in a Nov. 3 letter to members of Congress, six bishop chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed support for the legislation’s broad goal of fostering the “common good,” especially those elements of the bill that seek to “support the poor and vulnerable and strengthen the social safety net.” Specifically, the bishops pointed to “an extension to the recent expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit; provisions to support families such as a permanent refundable Child Tax Credit, childcare resources, in-home care for family members, and a strengthening of child nutrition programs; an expansion of SSI to residents of U.S. territories; affordable housing provisions; and important environmental provisions, especially climate and energy programs critical to achieving emissions reductions targets.” At the same time, the bishops’ letter expressed grave concerns about other key provisions of the Build Back Better Act.  “Specifically, while expanded access to early child care and pre-k would be beneficial for many working families, we are concerned that the current provisions to do so — in a departure from the approach in existing federal programs — explicitly make providers recipients of federal financial assistance and attach new and troubling compliance obligations,” the letter said. “This will effectively exclude many faith-based providers from participation (or in some already existing state-based programs, continued participation), thereby severely limiting options for families, and suppressing a mixed delivery system,” the letter stated. The letter also called the provisions for direct government funding of abortion in the bill “completely unacceptable,” and urged Congress to restore those long standing restrictions. “We have been consistent in our position and reiterate that it would be a calamity if the important and life-affirming provisions in this bill were accompanied by provisions facilitating and funding the destruction of unborn human life,” the bishops’ letter stated. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/249653/house-passes-build-back-better-bishops-raise-religious-liberty-pro-life-objections___________________________________________________________

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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