1. Mississippi’s abortion ban more lenient than Europe’s, Pro-choice allies want U.S. to lead on access, By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, September 23, 2021, Pg. A1

Pro-choice advocates say the United States should lead the world in making abortion more accessible and argue against restrictions in some states that limit the procedure on demand.

Still, restrictions such as Mississippi’s ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy are more liberal than those of several Western and industrialized countries.

An internet search of abortion practices finds that France limits the procedure to 12 weeks. Germany, Switzerland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Greece have the same constraint.

Access varies among the states, but the U.S. has recognized a national right to abortion before a fetus is viable since the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.


2. Woman with Down syndrome loses UK abortion law challenge, By Sylvia Hui, Associated Press, September 23, 2021

A woman with Down syndrome lost a court challenge against the British government Thursday over a law allowing the abortion up until birth of a fetus with the condition.

Heidi Crowter, 26, and two others took the Department of Health and Social Care to court, arguing that part of the Abortion Act is discriminatory and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

Abortions in England, Wales and Scotland are allowed up till 24 weeks of pregnancy. But the law states that terminations can be allowed up until birth if there’s “a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped,” which includes Down syndrome.


3. Vatican’s chief diplomat expresses concerns over AUKUS nuclear sub deal, By Inés San Martín, Crux, September 23, 2021

According to the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See is worried by the announced military collaboration between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia giving the latter submarines with nuclear technology.

“The Holy See is against rearmament and all the efforts that have been made and are being made are in the sense of the elimination of nuclear weapons because they are not the way to maintain peace and security in the world, they create even more dangers for peace and even more conflict,” he told a group of reporters that approached him on the sidelines of the meeting of the the European’s People’s Party (EPP) in Rome.

The partnership in the Indo-Pacific launched by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to counter China’s presence in the region has been presented as an opportunity to develop joint efforts and technology sharing, as well as integrating security and defense-related technology.


4. Why a ‘peace pope’ could get behind a Europe preparing for war, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, September 23, 2021, Opinion

Wednesday in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s paper of record, distinguished Italian essayist and political scientist Ernesto Galli della Loggia published the inevitable “emperor has no clothes” reaction to the idea of a “Euro-Army,” asking who, exactly, would have the authority to send such a force into war? Who could give the “go” order?

For decades, the Vatican has wanted a more independent, assertive Europe, one that can provide a genuine global counterweight to both the United States and Russia and China. Granted, the idea of a more robust military may not exactly be the Vatican’s preferred method, especially under a “peace pope” such as Francis, but the objective is nevertheless a longstanding Vatican idée fixe.

One great hallmark of Vatican diplomacy over the centuries, however, has been precisely its realism. As they survey the landscape, Francis and his advisers could just decide this is a moment in which the best has to be put on hold, in order to achieve the good.


5. Archbishop Gallagher at UN: ‘Racism can and must be defeated’, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, September 23, 2021, 1:00 AM

The Vatican’s foreign minister on Wednesday addressed heads of state at the United Nations, noting that the Church is “engaged in combating all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

“Racism is rooted in the erroneous and evil claim that one human being has less dignity than another. This not only disregards the truth that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,’ but also the foundational ethical summons to act toward “one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” said Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States at the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Archbishop Gallagher addressed the UN high-level meeting Sept. 22 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, an agreement between states to address racism and racial discrimination.


6. Judge considers request to block Arizona abortion law, By Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press, September 23, 2021

A lawyer for several Arizona abortion providers urged a federal judge Wednesday to block a new state law that would allow prosecutors to charge doctors who knowingly terminate a pregnancy solely because the fetus has a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome.

The law, set to take effect on Wednesday, is so vague that it would dissuade doctors from performing an abortion anytime there’s an indication that the fetus might have a genetic problem for fear of criminal prosecution, argued Emily Nestler, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.


7. Catholic University president says he will step down next year, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, September 22, 2021, 9:05 AM

John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., will be stepping down from his role as of June 30, 2022, the school announced today.

Garvey revealed his decision in a Sept. 22 letter to the university community. He is the university’s third lay president, and has served in the role since 2010.

“The time has come to turn the responsibility over to those younger minds and stronger lives,” Garvey said. He noted that conversations with university board members about his decision began around six months ago.


8. Behind the corporate silence on abortion laws, By Megan McArdle, The Washington Post, September 22, 2021, 9:21 AM, Opinion

Conservative states have been teeing up restrictive abortion laws in the hopes that a conservative-majority Supreme Court will finally overturn Roe v. Wade or, at least, dramatically narrow its scope. The left is outraged, and pressure has been mounting for corporations to weigh in. Yet now corporate America seems once again rather muted.

Longtime critics of “woke capital” might suggest this is proof that these campaigns are less of a sincere moral crusade than an elaborate marketing scheme.

That strikes me as unnecessarily cynical; the CEOs who led those earlier charges were clearly outraged. But it’s also fair to say that companies want to choose their battles — with one eye on their bottom line. Notice how many protest American injustices while maintaining a polite silence about much larger abuses by the Chinese government.

Same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom access and even voting rights were relatively easy battles to choose. They all integrate smoothly into a free-market liberal paradigm where individual choice is sovereign and no customer — er, citizen — should ever be unwanted, uncomfortable or unheard. The left has framed abortion the same way: “My body, my choice.” But most people never quite forget that there is another body involved, however small.

The CEOs who jumped into a dispute about LGBTQ rights in 2015 could be confident that they were swimming with the tide of public opinion, particularly among the most desirable consumer demographics. But CEOs who speak out on abortion can’t be sure that their efforts will place them on the “right side of history,” much less the upside of their own balance sheet. It’s not surprising that so many refuse to expend their reputational capital on a campaign with no clear winners — and a lot of potential losers.


9. Collins says she opposes Democrats’ bill ensuring abortion rights, The Maine senator says the legislation would interfere with an existing law that ensures health professionals who object to abortion are not required to participate in it., By Jennifer Haberkorn, Press Herald, September 22, 2021, 4:34 PM

As Democrats consider legislation to respond to a new Texas state ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, they have lost the support of one of the few remaining Republicans who support abortion rights.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday she opposes the Democrats’ bill, which would prohibit states from enacting restrictions on abortion through fetal viability.

The House is expected to approve the bill Friday. In the Senate, Democratic leaders are considering whether to bring it to a vote.

“I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately the bill … goes way beyond that. It would severely weaken the conscious exceptions that are in the current law,” Collins said, adding that she found parts of the bill’s language “extreme.”


10. New Florida bill replicates Texas’ sweeping abortion ban, By Brendan Farrington, Associated Press, September 22, 2021

An abortion bill similar to one signed into law in Texas was filed in Florida on Wednesday that would ban most abortions in the state and would allow lawsuits against doctors who violate it.

The legislation filed by Republican Rep. Webster Barnaby immediately met with opposition from Democrats who want to preserve the right to legal abortions.


11. Pope Francis meets Afghan Christian whose parents were killed by the Taliban, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, September 22, 2021, 9:00 AM

Pope Francis met Wednesday with three Afghan refugee families at the Vatican, including a Catholic family of four children and a man whose parents were killed by the Taliban.

In the joyful encounter, seven refugee children presented the pope with some of their drawings and Pope Francis prayed with the Afghan families.


12. Archbishop Cordileone calls abortion bill ‘child sacrifice,’ urges prayer and fasting, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, September 22, 2021, 10:00 AM

The Archbishop of San Francisco warned that an abortion bill to be voted on in Congress this week amounts to “child sacrifice.” He called on Catholics to pray and fast for the defeat of the bill.

“This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a Tuesday statement regarding the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755).

The bill, 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 abortion, such as state pro-life laws requiring ultrasounds or waiting periods before abortions.

“Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil being codified in law,” Cordileone said.


13. Cardinals’ council discusses synod on synodality with Pope Francis, By Catholic News Agency, September 22, 2021, 1:00 PM

Pope Francis and his cardinal advisers discussed the upcoming synod on synodality on Tuesday.

The meeting of the Council of Cardinals took place at 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, according to the Holy See press office.

Joining the virtual meeting from his residence, the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis referred to two addresses in which he set out his vision of synodality.

The first was his 2015 speech marking the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, in which he described synodality as the path that “God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”

The second was last Saturday’s address to Catholics from the Diocese of Rome. In that discourse, he said that the two-year process leading to the 2023 synod on synodality is not about “gathering opinions,” but “listening to the Holy Spirit.”


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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