1. Texas limits distribution of abortion-inducing drugs, New legislation limits medication by mail in state, By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, October 12, 2021, Pg. A7

Texas further limited abortion in a little-noticed move recently.

Shortly after Texas banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected, Gov. Greg Abbott last month signed a law to halt the mailing of abortion drugs into the state and limited the distribution of the medication to the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

The newest legislation in the state restricting abortions, known as Senate Bill 4, doesn’t allow women to receive the abortion inducing medication by mail in Texas and limits the pill’s use to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, around the time a fetal heartbeat could be detected — usually between six to eight weeks. The federal government, meanwhile, allows the drug to be used during the first 10 weeks.


2. Europe court rejects case seeking to blame Vatican for abuse, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 12, 2021, 8:16 AM

A European court agreed Tuesday that the Vatican couldn’t be sued in a local court for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, affirming that it enjoys sovereign immunity and that the misconduct of priests and their superiors can’t be attributed to the Holy See.

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed a case brought by two dozen people who said they were victims of abusive priests in Belgium. The 24 had argued the Holy See was liable because of the “structurally deficient” way the Catholic hierarchy had for decades covered up cases of priests who raped and molested children.


3. Federal appeals court reinstates Texas’ fetal heartbeat law — for now, Order issued as litigation in controversial abortion case continues, By Alex Swoyer And Emily Zantow, The Washington Times, October 11, 2021, Pg. A6

A federal appeals court temporarily reinstated Texas’ fetal heartbeat law on Friday that bans abortions in the state after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s order halting the law from being enforced last week.

The order issued Friday will remain in place as the litigation continues — unless the court decides to lift it, reinstating the injunction. The three-judge panel told the Biden Justice Department to respond to Texas’ appeal by next Tuesday.


4. Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law, By Paul J. Weber, Associated Press, October 11, 2021, 11:57 PM

The Biden administration urged the courts again Monday night to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care.

The latest attempt comes three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again.


5. Texas abortion law foes target lawmakers’ corporate donors, By Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press, October 10, 2021, 8:27 AM

Foes of Texas’ strict abortion ban are taking aim at companies that donated money to the bill’s sponsors, hoping consumers will pressure corporate America to join the fight against a surge of restrictions.

The television and digital ads begun this past week by the groups Corporate Accountability Action and American Bridge 21st Century, the Democratic Party’s opposition research arm, highlight AT&T’s contributions to Texas Republican lawmakers. There are plans to expand the campaign to Florida, where a similar abortion proposal has been introduced.

Abortion rights supporters in Texas are confronting the nation’s strictest abortion law in one of the most populous states, as well as a conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court and a wave of GOP lawmakers who want their states to be next. Democrats and their allies on this issue are looking for new ways to harness frustration into leverage.


6. GOP senator backs Ex-Sen. Donnelly’s pick for Vatican post, By Associated Press, October 10, 2021, 4:59 PM

One of Indiana’s Republican U.S. senators has endorsed the nomination of Democratic former Sen. Joe Donnelly as the country’s ambassador to the Vatican.

Sen. Todd Young offered his congratulations to Donnelly in a Twitter post on Saturday, a day after the White House announced President Joe Biden would nominate Donnelly for the position that requires Senate approval.

“Joe is a devout Catholic and longtime public servant, and I know he will serve our nation well and represent the best of our Hoosier values,” Young’s post said.

Donnelly served six years in the U.S. House from a South Bend-area district before winning election to the Senate in 2012. He lost his 2018 reelection bid to Republican Mike Braun.


7. Pope Francis meets Pelosi in private audience at the Vatican, By Amy B Wang, The Washington Post, October 9, 2021, 2:13 PM

Pope Francis on Saturday met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a private audience at the Vatican, amid ongoing criticism of Pelosi by conservative Catholics in the United States over her support for abortion rights.

Pelosi, who is Catholic, described the meeting as “a spiritual, personal and official honor” and praised the pope for his attention to climate change and for his work lifting up the underprivileged.


8. President Biden’s pick for Vatican ambassador: former Sen. Joe Donnelly, By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2021, 3:04 PM

Former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, the White House announced on Friday.

Donnelly is a Catholic and a former professor at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his undergraduate degree and his law degree. He served in the U.S. Senate from 2013 to 2019, leaving office after he lost the 2018 election to Republican challenger Mike Braun. He represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District from 2007 to 2013, during which time he voted against funding embryonic stem cell research and was a strong foe of abortion funding in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

In the Senate he reversed his position against federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions.

He supported some pro-life policies over the years, including restrictions on abortions after 20 weeks and banning taxpayer-funded abortion; he also earned criticism from some pro-life groups for eventually voting against defunding Planned Parenthood in the Senate.


9. Vatican: Pope Francis not going to UN climate summit, By Associated Press, October 8, 2021, 8:00 AM

The Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis does not plan to attend the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Francis has made care for the environment a hallmark of his papacy, and he said in a recent interview that he intended to participate in the Oct. 12-Nov. 12 event and had a speech being drafted. Scotland’s bishops also were preparing for a visit.

But Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Vatican delegation would be led by the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who acts as the prime minister of the Holy See.


10. Archbishop Naumann: Biden administration ‘wrong’ to fund abortion providers, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, October 8, 2021, 10:01 AM

The U.S. bishops’ pro-life chairman said on Thursday that the Biden administration is “wrong” for reopening federal funding of abortion providers in the Title X program.

This week, the administration published a final rule stating clinics receiving Title X family planning funding could refer for abortions, and did not have to be physically and financially separate from abortion facilities. The rule reversed regulations put in place by the Trump administration to separate Title X funding from abortion providers.

“The Administration is wrong to allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortion providers who participate in a pre-pregnancy program specifically designed to exclude abortion,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, on Thursday, Oct. 7.


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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