1. Are we moving too far, too fast on aid-in-dying laws?, By Nicholas Goldberg, The Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2022, Pg. A11, OpinionTo take advantage of California’s narrowly drawn assisted suicide law one must be terminally ill, with only six months to live, as certified by not one but two doctors. I’ve long believed that state officials ought to consider expanding that to include Alzheimer’s patients and dementia sufferers who are not on the verge of death, and perhaps to people with other degenerative diseases or who are in chronic, intolerable, untreatable pain.  But in the midst of all this I also read a long and thorough Associated Press article about Canada, which has what’s described as “arguably the world’s most permissive euthanasia rules.” That story seemed to suggest we may be moving too far, too fast.  Critics of the Canadian law say that Nichols is just one of many people the rules have failed to protect. They worry about people with disabilities in particular, who can be granted the right to be euthanized even if they don’t have other medical issues and are not terminally ill. Some disabled people have even decided to end their lives because their healthcare expenses grew too costly, according to the article. Three United Nations-appointed experts reported last year that the law appeared to violate the rights of the disabled and could have a “discriminatory effect” on them. Another worry is that Canadian doctors are initiating euthanasia discussions with patients who are not otherwise considering it. Critics fear they may be encouraging patients to end their lives. These are real concerns. They shouldn’t just trouble those who oppose right-to-die laws — such as the Catholic Church, which believes euthanasia and assisted suicide are “intrinsically evil” acts — but its supporters as well. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-19/aid-in-dying-assisted-suicide__________________________________________________________ 2. Trial opens for Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 19, 2022 On Monday the trial against Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen and five other defendants formally opened in Hong Kong, initiating highly controversial proceedings that could end in heavy fines or jail time, and which has been widely criticized as an attack against democracy. Zen, 90, and five others were arrested in May under a Beijing-imposed national security law for allegedly colluding with foreign forces. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia/2022/09/trial-opens-for-hong-kongs-cardinal-joseph-zen__________________________________________________________ 3. Yeshiva University halts clubs amid high court LGBTQ ruling, By Associated Press, September 17, 2022, 11:05 AM Yeshiva University has abruptly suspended student club activity in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this week that ordered the school to recognize — for now — an LGBTQ student group. In an email to students, university officials on Friday said that it “hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.” On Wednesday, the high court cleared the way for the LGBTQ group, YU Pride Alliance, to gain official recognition from the Jewish university in New York. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/yeshiva-university-halts-clubs-amid-high-court-lgbtq-ruling/2022/09/17/cce3e3cc-3697-11ed-a0d6-415299bfebd5_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. State Abortion Bans Face Religious-Liberty Lawsuits From the Left, Some faith groups argue new laws burden their religious rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, By Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2022, 11:47 AM As bans on abortion take effect in a number of states, faith leaders with liberal views on the issue are taking a page out of the conservative legal playbook, arguing in new lawsuits that the restrictions infringe on their religious beliefs. Rabbis, Christian ministers, Buddhists and Quakers are among legal challengers who say the bans are preventing them from exercising their own religious views about when abortions are permissible. They also say the new laws have made clergy afraid that if they counsel their parishioners on abortion, they could face legal risk for aiding and abetting the procedure.  Douglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, called the cases “wishful thinking.” To make a successful freedom-of-religion challenge under the First Amendment or other laws, he said, plaintiffs would have to show not only that their religion permits abortion but that religious belief is also a substantial motivation for obtaining an abortion. That is likely to apply only in a narrow range of cases, Prof. Laycock said. https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-abortion-bans-face-religious-liberty-lawsuits-from-the-left-11663343259?__________________________________________________________ 5. A National Abortion Ban Is Constitutional, The 14th Amendment extended ‘the equal protection of the laws’ to ‘any person,’ writes Prof. Robert George and Josh Craddock., By Prof. Robert P. George and Josh Craddock, The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2022, 11:12 AM, Letter to the Editor Your editorial “Lindsey Graham’s 15-Week Abortion Ban” (Sept. 13) calls Congress’s authority to enact national pro-life legislation “constitutionally dubious.” We disagree. Sen. Graham’s bill rightly invokes Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which empowers Congress to “enforce, by appropriate legislation” the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause. Section 5 authorizes Congress to enact legislation to prevent and remedy state actions that deny unborn children the equal protection of the laws. The Supreme Court has affirmed that “it is for Congress in the first instance to determine whether and what legislation is needed to secure the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Neither is there any inconsistency between national pro-life legislation and originalism. The 14th Amendment extended “the equal protection of the laws” to “any person.” The historical evidence is overwhelming that at the time of the amendment’s ratification in 1868, the word “person” had a settled public meaning that included any child living in the womb. State high courts declared that the unborn child throughout pregnancy “is a person” and hence, under “civil and common law,” “to all intents and purposes a child, as much as if born.” By the end of 1868, three-quarters of the states had enacted criminal laws against abortion at all stages. Congress is on firm constitutional ground to enact life-protective legislation that remedies state violations of the equal-protection rights of our tiny sisters and brothers at the dawn of their lives. It is, in truth, neither an ambiguous nor even a close case. https://www.wsj.com/articles/national-abortion-ban-graham-15-week-constitution-law-equal-protection-11663286642?__________________________________________________________ 6. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signs abortion ban into law, By Leah Willingham, Associated Press, September 16, 2022 Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Friday signed into law a ban on abortions at all stages of pregnancy, making West Virginia the second state to enact a law prohibiting the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning its constitutional protection. The bill will go into effect immediately, except for the criminal penalties, which will go into effect in 90 days, he said. Justice described the legislation on Twitter as “a bill that protects life.” “I said from the beginning that if WV legislators brought me a bill that protected life and included reasonable and logical exceptions I would sign it, and that’s what I did today,” he said. The ban has exemptions for medical emergencies and for rape and incest victims until eight weeks of pregnancy for adults and 14 weeks for those under the age of 18.  https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-health-legislature-west-virginia-85283cf498eee8c116d3f1cc8de4a0fb__________________________________________________________ 7. U.S. bishops hold National Migration Week amid migrant crisis, By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency, September 16, 2022, 4:25 PM The U.S. bishops are inviting Catholics to participate in National Migration Week and the World Day of Migrants and Refugees by encountering “those living on the existential peripheries.”  The week, beginning on Sept. 19, presents an opportunity to reflect on the circumstances of migrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and others, according to the bishops. The seven days conclude on Sept. 25, the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR).  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252319/us-bishops-hold-national-migration-week-amid-migrant-crisis__________________________________________________________ 8. African nations stand alone against abortion rights, gender ideology at the UN, By Edie Heipel, Catholic News Agency, September 16, 2022, 4:31 PM A United Nations resolution defining abortion as a human right and advancing gender ideology was adopted this month with overwhelming support from Western countries but was opposed by a group of mainly African nations.  The resolution, which is titled “International cooperation for access to justice, remedies and assistance for survivors of sexual violence,” includes language stating that countries must provide “access to safe abortion” as a “human right.” The resolution, adopted on Sept. 2, also references new gender terminology that some countries said was in opposition to their values because it contradicted a traditional view on human sexuality.  More than 80 nations, including the United States and members of the European Union, co-sponsored the inclusion of language that defined abortion as a human right for women and girls.   The resolution’s focus on abortion and gender ideology came under fire from 33 nations, primarily from Africa.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252317/african-nations-stand-alone-against-abortion-rights-gender-ideology-un__________________________________________________________ 9. Vatican sought Xi-Pope meeting in Kazakhstan, China declined – source, By Reuters, September 15, 2022, 2:40 PM The Vatican told China that Pope Francis was willing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping while both leaders where in the Kazakh capital but China said there was not enough time, a Vatican source said on Thursday. The source gave no details on how or when the Vatican approached China, with which it is involved in a delicate dialogue over the status of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. https://www.reuters.com/world/vatican-sought-xi-pope-meeting-kazakhstan-china-declined-source-2022-09-15/__________________________________________________________

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