1. High Court to Hear Mississippi Case, By Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2021, Pg. A3

The Supreme Court set Dec. 1 for arguments over a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks, a case that could bring the court’s most significant ruling on reproductive rights since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

The court announced the date on Monday, as dozens of organizations, officials and advocates submitted briefs seeking to influence the decision before a midnight filing deadline. While many positions were predictable—the National Right to Life Committee favoring the ban, the American Civil Liberties Union in opposition—the case drew a range of submissions from around the world.

[T]wo scholars who have shaped modern conservative thought filed a brief arguing that “a distinct human being begins at conception,” and therefore abortion should be considered homicide.

John Finnis, who was an academic adviser to Justice Neil Gorsuch at Britain’s Oxford University, and Robert George of Princeton University cite historical and religious treatises to argue that the framers would have held similar views.


2. Texas Abortion Law Faces Pushback From Some Companies, Lyft, Box, Stitch Fix among dozens of companies to sign statement; some large Texas employers declined to sign, By Chip Cutter, The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2021, 8:00 AM

Dozens of businesses are going public with their opposition to a new Texas law that bars abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, a move that follows weeks of debate inside companies about how to respond.

Employers including ride-sharing service Lyft Inc., cloud-storage company Box Inc., online fashion retailer Stitch Fix Inc. and investment group Trillium Asset Management LLC signed a statement set to be released Tuesday that says “restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our workers and customers.”

Some companies declined to participate. They included Starbucks Corp. and Microsoft Corp. , according to people familiar with the matter. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment. A Starbucks spokesman didn’t immediately comment.


3. Texas Doctor Is Sued, Prompting Test of New Abortion Law, By Elizabeth Findell and Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2021, Pg. A3

A Texas doctor who publicly said he performed an abortion was sued Monday in state court by two different plaintiffs, handing Texas the first tests of its new abortion law.

The Texas Heartbeat Act bans abortions after “cardiac activity” can be detected, usually around six weeks of gestation, and it deputizes private citizens to sue anyone they believe may have aided such a procedure and collect $10,000. It went into effect Sept. 1.

Alan Braid, a San Antonio physician, said in a Washington Post opinion essay Saturday that he had performed an abortion in defiance of the law, widely known as SB 8, earlier this month.

A former Arkansas lawyer, Oscar Stilley, who said he is on home confinement serving time after a tax-fraud conviction, filed a civil complaint against the doctor Monday in Bexar County District Court. He said he decided to sue the doctor after he read about the case early Monday morning and wanted to test the Texas law, which doesn’t require plaintiffs to be state residents.

In a separate lawsuit, Felipe N. Gomez, an Illinois resident who is described in his filing as a “pro choice plaintiff,” filed a complaint Monday morning in Bexar County. While the complaint is against Dr. Braid, it says Mr. Gomez believes the Texas law to be illegal and asks a court to strike it down. He said that he wasn’t interested in collecting any money.


4. The Pro-Abortion Case Is Based on Bad Science, By Grazie Pozo Christie, National Review, September 21, 2021, 6:30 AM, Opinion

For us, a pregnant patient presents two human persons claiming our protective care and concern: mother and child. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a direct challenge to Roe v Wade, the 1973 case that used “science” to deny protection for the fetus before viability, physicians like me are hoping that the Court will take this reality into account. That is why I have joined two other woman doctors — a neonatologist and an ob-gyn — in asking the Supreme Court to strike down Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowing Mississippi to ban elective abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

A lot has changed since Roe put America in the same class with North Korea and China by legalizing second- and third-trimester elective abortion. The undeniable and ever-more plainly visible humanity of the unborn child has since increased our sensitivity to these vulnerable persons’ moral claims on our compassion and respect. Advances in fetal science have made plain just how barbaric and unethical their terminations are. For us as doctors, who establish warm and urgent ties with our fetal patients, who advocate for them, care for them, pray for them, it is crystal clear that Roe must pass away and a more humane America be born.

Grazie Pozo Christie is a policy adviser for The Catholic Association.


5. Media critical of the pope do ‘the devil’s work,’ Francis says, By Elise Ann Allen, Crux, September 21, 2021

In his conversation with Slovakian Jesuits while visiting the country last week, Pope Francis took a swipe at his media critics, saying he sometimes loses patience with people who insult without knowing the facts.

He also criticized members of the Church who he said are too nostalgic for the past, such as priests who are more attached to the Old Latin Rite of the Mass than they are to their parish communities, which he said is a sign that the Church is going backwards.

In response to a question from this Jesuit about how he handles people who look at him with suspicion, Francis pointed to “a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the pope.”

Although he did not specifically mention which Catholic television network he was referring too, many have interpreted the remark as a jab at American conservative broadcaster EWTN, or the Eternal Word Television Network, which has consistently aired commentary critical of Pope Francis and his decisions.

In his remarks, Pope Francis said that “I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil. I have also said this to some of them.”


6. The Pro-Life Prayers Begin, By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times, September 21, 2021, Pg. A2

Pro-life forces are on high alert now that the Supreme Court is reviewing Mississippi’s law that limits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy — which could lead the justices to reconsider abortion as a constitutional right.

The Susan B. Anthony List — a 900,000-member pro-life grassroots network — has already organized a wide-ranging prayer campaign which it hopes will upend the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and “save lives,” the organization said.

The outreach is described as “a national prayer initiative for life” and includes a weekly national guided prayer via a conference call, plus a free, daily devotional guide titled “31 Days of Prayer for Life.” There is also an advisory on the complex legal issues at hand.


7. German cleric defends pope’s decision to keep archbishop, By Associated Press, September 20, 2021, 11:06 AM

The head of the German Bishops’ Conference on Monday defended the pope’s decision to allow the archbishop of Hamburg to stay on at this post, despite being faulted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.

Limburg Bishop Georg Baetzing said that he understands how people feel about the decision, but that Pope Francis arrived at it by adhering to strict new rules that he instituted after a summit on abuse in 2019 to prevent cover-ups.


8. Vatican City enforces mandates for vaccines, COVID-19 test, By Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service, September 20, 2021, 1:33 PM

Starting Oct. 1, people wishing to enter Vatican City will have to provide proof they have received the vaccine, recovered from COVID-19 or tested negative for the virus within 72 hours.

To enter Vatican City, people will have to present a Green Pass, the certification used in Italy to avoid the spread of the pandemic, or any international equivalent. The decision was announced on Monday (Sept. 20) and signed by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.


9. ‘The most radical abortion bill of all time’: House to vote this week on codifying ‘right’ to abortion, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, September 20, 2021, 2:49 PM

The House this week will vote on a bill that the U.S. bishops’ conference warns would effectively impose abortion on-demand throughout pregnancy.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755), introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), recognizes the “statutory right” of women to have abortions. It also states the “right” of doctors, certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners and doctor’s assistants to perform abortions. It prohibits many limitations on this right, such as state pro-life laws requiring ultrasounds or waiting periods before abortions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a Catholic, announced the House vote on the bill earlier this month after a Texas law went into effect restricting abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat; a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The Texas law is enforced through private civil lawsuits.

In an action alert, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) calls the legislation “the most radical abortion bill of all time.”

Archbishop Joseph Naumann – chair of the USCCB’s pro-life committee – outlined how the bill would expand abortion, in a Sept. 15 letter to members of Congress.

“This deceptively-named, extreme bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute,” Archbishop Naumann wrote. The legislation, he said, would also override state and local pro-life laws such as parental notification and informed consent requirements.

“It would force all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars,” he said, and “would also likely force health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.”

The bill overrides prohibitions on abortion “pre-viability,” or before the age an unborn child is determined to be likely to survive outside the womb.

However, the bill also allows for late-term abortions when a physician’s “good-faith medical judgment” deems the mother’s life or health at risk from the pregnancy. This, the USCCB argues in a fact-sheet, is not a “meaningful limitation” on late-term abortion and would effectively allow abortions until birth.


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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