1. New survey shows most Americans favor limited restrictions on abortion By Charles Collins, Crux, October 5, 2022 A new survey shows that most Americans want some limits to abortion, no matter what their political affiliation. The 2022 American Family Survey released on Tuesday shows that only 8 percent of Americans want abortion to be legal throughout a pregnancy, while 19 percent want an outright ban. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2022/10/new-survey-shows-most-americans-favor-limited-restrictions-on-abortion__________________________________________________________ 2. What Do the Physical Costs of Pregnancy Mean for the Abortion Debate?, By Ross Douthat, The New York Times, October 5, 2022, 5:00 AM, Opinion “My pregnancies were not separate from me,” writes Charlotte Shane in the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine. “The growth would be impossible without my organic matter; nothing about it occurred without incorporating the material of me.” And this awareness of pregnancy’s power of physical coercion, its “protracted invasion, debilitation and deadly hazard,” brought with it a certain moral knowledge: The realization that she was pregnant “came with the understanding that I had the right not to be.” Three weeks ago I promised a series of columns on the pro-choice arguments that have assumed particular importance in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. The first installment covered the argument over whether exceptions to abortion restrictions can fully protect the life of the pregnant woman when it’s threatened. This essay picks up where that one left off, with arguments like Shane’s — which suggest that regardless of whether an unwanted pregnancy is life-threatening, it still constitutes a form of bondage, bodily torment, trauma or transformation that the law should not require a woman to endure.  And it’s true that if you assume a fetus or embryo has no significant moral standing, no meaningful claim to personhood, then abortion can seem like a straightforward form of rescue, akin to removing a unique female disability or curing a disease. But as in the debate over life-of-the-mother exceptions, the argument for the inherent trauma of unwanted pregnancy is intended to be persuasive regardless of your views on the moral status of unborn human life. As Shane puts it, the right not to be pregnant “lays claim to a state of being, not an action, and in doing so obviates arguments about what abortion is or is not (health care, violence).” The need to be free from trauma and transformation is intended to overwhelm any rival considerations the presence of an unborn life might raise. So for those who are uncertain about abortion, who are at least open to the claims made on behalf of human life in utero, I want to raise three questions about the idea of unwanted pregnancy as an experience so harrowing and so unfair that it automatically justifies that life’s elimination.  [M]aking abortion a core right… implies that the male experience is normative, the male body is the neutral human form and the male citizen the desirable default, whose rights and freedoms femaleness can approach only through subtraction, termination. It offers women equality, but at a price, abortion, that men still don’t have to pay.  Their argument deliberately isolates the traumatic aspects of childbearing, the better to cast them as a disease or a form of trauma, from the radical gift that pregnancy provides.  [T]he great ambition of feminism has always been to right the wrongs of patriarchal power, not merely to match its most self-interested maneuvers. Its aim has been to champion a vision of society free from all forms of oppression and deliberate violence, not just to establish a gender-neutral or gender-reversed equivalent of whatever men in power would impose. Thus the question hanging over the modern abortion debate. Does the impulse — the understandable impulse — to relieve the burdens of unwanted pregnancy through swift and safe termination represent the fulfillment of feminism’s highest ambitions? Or does it represent an understandable but fatal temptation, an idealistic movement’s redirection toward the well-trodden downward path? https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/05/opinion/pregnancy-abortion-dobbs.html__________________________________________________________ 3. Senator Warren, what’s your problem with pro-life centers?, Warren wants no competitor to Big Abortion, By Jor-El Godsey, The Washington Times, October 5, 2022, Pg. B3, Opinion Sen. Elizabeth Warren is often an outspoken critic of economic goliaths like Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, but has most recently aimed her vitriol at those she perceives as competitors of the multibillion-dollar industry that is Big Abortion: pregnancy help centers. With the ink hardly dry on the SCOTUS Dobbs ruling overturning Roe, Ms. Warren is racing to protect abortion profits and political power. Never mind that the Massachusetts Democrat’s state remains firmly an Abortion State. Her grave concern, apparently, is that women might be swayed from securing an abortion, even going so far as to falsely say pregnancy help centers seek to “harm” women. The harm she fears is women being “talked out” of an abortion.  Crisis pregnancy centers — as Ms. Warren prefers to call them — are universally local, grassroots efforts raised up by concerned citizens who believe that women need alternatives to abortion. Their funding is predominantly from private individuals, mostly from the faith community, who want to make sure that women have a chance to choose something besides abortion — whether that is the opportunity to choose to parent, or perhaps choose the parents of a loving, welcoming home. Unlike abortion clinics, services are free of charge at pregnancy centers. Women facing an unintended pregnancy can receive a pregnancy test, material items, relationship counseling, and even sonograms from licensed or certified health care professionals — at no cost. Often these pregnancy centers are staffed by volunteers who give their time, their care and their concern to help women overcome the temporary obstacles that push them toward abortion instead of parenting. Love is what motivates pregnancy help centers. Jor-El Godsey is president of Heartbeat International. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/oct/4/senator-warren-whats-your-problem-with-pro-life-ce/__________________________________________________________ 4. An Open Letter To The Synod General Secretary, By George Weigel, First Things, October 5, 2022, Opinion The “National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States of America for the Diocesan Phase of the 2021-2023 Synod,” prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a very disappointing document, not least because it largely focuses on what the 1 percent of U.S. Catholics who participated in these “synodal” discussions find wrong with the Church—a roster of grievances that, unsurprisingly, reflects both the progressive Catholic agenda in American Catholicism and certain dominant (if false) impressions about our local Church in Rome. But rather than amplify others’ critiques of the “National Synthesis,” I would like to share with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops some good news about U.S. Catholicism: news that might well be of interest to the universal Church as it considers its evangelical future.   Catholic schools in America are a treasure the country is beginning to recognize as such.  The U.S. Church is experiencing something of a Golden Age in Catholic campus ministry.  Catholic seminaries have been thoroughly reformed.  Catholics constitute a core constituency of the vibrant American pro-life movement.   Vocations to consecrated life in the United States are increasing where religious institutes embrace the gospel in full and live a distinctive manner of life.  Younger Catholic scholars are leading a renaissance of Catholic intellectual life.  Catholic parishes are livelier in the United States than in virtually any other developed country.  I hope these brief notes help fill out the portrait of U.S. Catholicism you have been sent by the bishops’ conference. They tell a story the entire world Church needs to hear.  George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2022/10/an-open-letter-to-the-synod-general-secretary__________________________________________________________ 5. Medical groups ask DOJ to investigate critics of hospitals’ gender surgeries on children, By Edie Heipel, Catholic News Agency, October 4, 2022, 2:30 PM Three top medical groups have called on Biden’s justice department to investigate and prosecute activists and journalists who report on hospitals that perform irreversible gender surgeries on children.  The American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch an investigation on Monday in a letter saying the backlash against children’s hospitals that perform gender surgeries amounted to “attacks.”  “Children’s hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are being targeted and threatened for providing evidence-based health care,” the letter read. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252465/doctors-group-asks-doj-to-investigate-online-critics-of-hospitals-gender-surgeries-on-children__________________________________________________________ 6. Belgium violated right to life in euthanasia case, European Court of Human Rights rules, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, October 4, 2022, 8:53 AM The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that Belgium failed to conduct a proper investigation into the circumstances of the 2012 euthanasia of Godelieva de Troyer on the grounds of “untreatable depression.”  The court found there was a violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights that everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.  The landmark euthanasia case was brought to the court in Strasbourg by Tom Mortier, de Troyer’s son. She died in 2012 after she had approached the country’s leading euthanasia advocate, who ultimately agreed to euthanize her despite being a cancer specialist. Before her death by euthanasia at age 64, neither her son nor any family member was consulted. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252458/belgium-violated-right-to-life-in-euthanasia-case-european-court-of-human-rights-rules__________________________________________________________ 7. Vatican unveils new documentary on climate change, A new documentary “on humanity’s power to stop the ecological crisis” facing the world is presented at a press conference at the Vatican on Tuesday. The film “The Letter,” says Cardinal Michael Czerny, “is a clarion cry to people everywhere: we have to act together, we have to do it now.”, By Christopher Wells, Vatican News, October 4, 2022 A new documentary by filmmaker Nicolas Brown “highlights the key concept of dialogue,” Cardinal Michael Czerny explained on Tuesday, at the presentation of the film “The Letter” at the Holy See Press Office. The film itself is aimed at conveying the messages of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato si’. Despite the encyclical’s “widespread impact on the global stage” since its publication seven years ago, “the environmental crisis of our common home has worsened drastically,” the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said.  Cardinal Czerny insisted, “The time is over for speculation, for scepticism and denial, for irresponsible populism.” Instead, the challenges humanity faces in caring for our common home must be resolved together. The film “The Letter,” he said, provides a pathway for the “encounter and dialogue” called for by Pope Francis in Laudato si’. “This beautiful film,” Cardinal Czerny concluded, “heartbreaking yet hopeful, is a clarion cry to people everywhere: Wake up! Get serious! Meet! Act together! Act now!” https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2022-10/vatican-unveils-new-documentary-on-climate-change.html__________________________________________________________

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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