1. Democrats Failing to Distract Voters from their Abortion Extremism, By Ashley McGuire, Real Clear Policy, September 28, 2022, OpinionA fetal heartbeat is a “manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”  So said Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, in the latest installment from the Democrat misinformation machine, now working in overdrive after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Faced with a tough midterm election cycle, a rapidly changing legal landscape on abortion presents the perfect opportunity to gin up voters with blatant but scary falsehoods about what the Supreme Court’s decision means for women’s health, and apparently about basic science. But with the determination of abortion policy suddenly back in the hands of the people, Democrats also need to distract voters from the reality that their positions on abortion are extreme beyond the pale. It’s not exactly working. And that’s probably because it’s an easy enough form of extremism to suss out. If the answer to the perfectly reasonable question: ‘What, if any, limits on abortion would you support?’ is either ‘none’ or obviously uncomfortable hemming and hawing, well then, there isn’t much a candidate can do to hide. In the case of Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke in a press conference, it was at first a neck jerk that screamed ‘help I don’t want to answer this question’ and an actually audible gulp followed by the usual blustering about a woman and her doctor.  Democrats offered nearly lockstep support for the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have overridden state-level protections for women and the unborn. Going beyond Roe, it would have stripped voters of their right to enact, through their elected representatives, even the most modest and sensible laws regulating abortion – like parental consent laws and state laws barring partial birth abortion.  Nope, we’re all clear. Democrats support abortion for any reason, on demand, on the taxpayer dollar, up until the moment of birth, and even as birth is underway. That they have made eminently clear. What’s also clear is that their extremism is completely out of line with voter sentiment on the issue, including with Independents and even with their own voters. According to a recent Harvard Harris poll, only one in ten Americans align with the Democrats’ position that abortion should be legal through all nine months of pregnancy. Seventy percent of Independents would protect unborn children after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the limit Mississippi put in place in the Dobbs case. This polling is consistent with what Gallup has found for decades, namely that a very slim percentage of Americans support late-abortion and that opposition to late-term abortion is the “common ground” in our national debate on the issue.   But for some reason, even though Independents overwhelmingly support commonsense protections for women and babies and one in three of voters in their own party self-identify as “pro-life,” Democrats don’t seem particularly interested in heading to the abortion common ground. Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2022/09/28/democrats_failing_to_distract_voters_from_their_abortion_extremism_855888.html__________________________________________________________ 2. A Canonized Saint Who Began as an Everyday One, By Mike Kerrigan, The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2022, Pg. A19, Opinion I am apparently called to be a saint. That was a somewhat disconcerting revelation for a cradle Catholic in his late 40s. But according to a homily during Mass some years back, this is the purpose for which I was born. With further reading, I learned this vocation doesn’t require me to be declared a capital-S Saint by the Catholic Church. I just need to be holy, or set apart for God—a lowercase-s saint. It’s no simple task, though, to close the gap between who I am and who I am called to be. This is where the wondrous St. Thérèse of Lisieux, or the “Little Flower,” has shown me a way.  St. Thérèse of Lisieux needed another way to get to heaven, so she prayerfully came up with one: the “Little Way.” Perfecting her Little Way to sanctity amounts to remembering that “our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even their difficulty, as the love with which we do them.” The occasion to do great deeds, after all, may never come to pass, or when it does it may find us wanting in courage. Small deeds, on the other hand, are everywhere, and when done with great love, they cease to be small. Mr. Kerrigan is an attorney in Charlotte, N.C. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-canonized-saint-who-began-as-an-everyday-one-st-therese-of-lisieux-catholic-feast-day-little-flower-way-11664306793?__________________________________________________________ 3. Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting, By Jason Dearen and Michael Rezendes, Associated Press, September 28, 2022, 2:27 AM In 33 states, clergy are exempt from any laws requiring professionals such as teachers, physicians and psychotherapists to report information about alleged child sexual abuse to police or child welfare officials if the church deems the information privileged.  Efforts to rid state laws of the privilege have been successful in only a handful of states, including North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.  Michael Cassidy, a professor at Catholic-affiliated Boston College Law School and a former state prosecutor, said it’s not clear how a religious freedom case regarding the clergy privilege would turn out. Some supporters believe the privilege is securely rooted in the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion. But Cassidy said “there is no firm precedent that says the clergy-penitent privilege is constitutionally required.” “The Supreme Court has never held that,” Cassidy said.    In 2003, amid the uproar over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals, several states added clergy to their child sex abuse reporting laws, often with the exception for clergy who learn about child sex abuse during spiritual confessions. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/churches-defend-clergy-loophole-in-child-sex-abuse-reporting/2022/09/28/d5a718ca-3ee5-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Pope presses Muslim dialogue message with Bahrain visit, By Associated Press, September 28, 2022, 7:12 AM Pope Francis will travel to Bahrain in November to press his message of dialogue with the Muslim world, the first pope to visit the country the Vatican said Wednesday. Bahrain is home to the Gulf’s first Catholic Church, located in the capital Manama, as well as its biggest one, Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral, which opened last year in the desert town of Awali.  Francis, 85, has made dialogue with the Muslim world a hallmark of his papacy. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-presses-muslim-dialogue-message-with-bahrain-visit/2022/09/28/60b5e1de-3f1e-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 5. Morning-After Pill Gets a Rebrand, By Chavie Lieber, The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2022, Pg. A14 With TikTok videos, bright colors and sleek packaging, the morning-after pill is getting a rebrand—one aimed at Gen Z consumers. Amid widespread efforts to step up digital marketing for morning-after pills, more female-focused healthcare companies are turning to TikTok campaigns that encompass a mix of education and humor. Though the methods of companies like Get Stix Inc. and Hey Favor Inc. are unusual within the drug market—including memes, viral audio clips and upbeat explainers—they are becoming more common as brands across industries aim to reach Gen Z shoppers now coming of age.   https://www.wsj.com/articles/morning-after-pill-gen-z-julie-stix-favor-11664294713?__________________________________________________________ 6. Transgender male guard can’t strip-search Muslim inmate, Judges panel finds prison should have heeded religious objections, By Sean Salai, The Washington Times, September 28, 2022, Pg. A6 A federal appeals court has ruled that a Wisconsin prison must exempt a Muslim inmate from strip searches by a transgender male guard whom the prisoner said violated his faith. In a ruling published this month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit found the Green Bay Correctional Institution should have heeded inmate Rufus West’s religious objections. West argued in a lawsuit that the prison’s insistence on allowing a guard “whose biological sex is observably female” to view him naked violated Sharia law and state regulations against cross-sex strip searches. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/sep/26/court-rules-transgender-male-prison-guard-cant-str/__________________________________________________________ 7. Cardinal Zen’s second day in court: Magistrate rules there is sufficient evidence, By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency, September 28, 2022, 4:48 PM On Tuesday, Cardinal Joseph Zen’s second day in court in Hong Kong, five witnesses were cross-examined and the magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence to justify a trial. The 90-year-old cardinal appeared on Sept. 27 for the second consecutive day in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. The prosecution called four police officers and one other witness to testify in the preliminary hearing.  Principal Magistrate Ada Yim ruled that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to make a prima facie case against the cardinal and five others for failing to properly register a fund to provide legal aid to pro-democracy protesters, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252408/cardinal-zen-s-second-day-in-court-magistrate-rules-there-is-sufficient-evidence__________________________________________________________ 8. Idaho universities disallow abortion, contraception referral, By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press, September 27, 2022, 4:11 PM Public universities in Idaho are warning staffers not to refer students to abortion providers or tell them how to get emergency contraception because they could be charged with a felony, and one is barring employees from recommending birth control, as well.  The prohibition against referring students or “promoting” abortion in any way comes from the No Public Funds for Abortion Act, a law passed by Idaho’s Republican-led Legislature in 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/idaho-universities-disallow-abortion-contraception-referral/2022/09/27/18dd33ee-3e6f-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 9. New California abortion laws set up clash with other states, By Adam Beam, Associated Press, September 27, 2022, 7:08 PM California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed more than a dozen new abortion laws Tuesday, including some that deliberately clash with restrictions in other states — a sign of the coming conflicts that must be sorted out as lawmakers rush to set their own rules now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.  Democratic-led states like California, New York and Connecticut have been writing and passing laws to make it easier to get an abortion, with California promoting its abortion services on a state-funded website designed in part to reach women who live in other states. Conflicts seem inevitable as more people travel for abortions in the coming years, especially with California and Oregon prepared to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for things like travel, lodging and child care. On Tuesday, Newsom signed a number of laws meant to thwart investigations from other states seeking to prosecute or penalize abortion providers and volunteers in California. The laws block out-of-state subpoenas, empowering the state insurance commissioner to punish health insurance companies that divulge information about abortions to out-of-state entities. They ban police departments and corporations from cooperating with out-of-state investigations regarding abortions that are legally obtained in California. And they shield prison inmates from other states’ anti-abortion laws.  California Family Council President Jonathan Keller said the group is “investigating which of these laws are ripe for a court challenge.” One early candidate: a law that requires religious employers to tell their workers about publicly available abortion services. Keller noted a previous California law that instructed crisis pregnancy centers to tell patients about abortion services was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-california-abortion-laws-set-up-clash-with-other-states/2022/09/27/78ce34c6-3eae-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 10. Pause on Ohio ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban extended to Oct. 12, By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, September 27, 2022, 5:53 PM A judge extended a temporary block Tuesday on an Ohio law banning virtually all abortions for an additional 14 days, further pausing a law that had taken effect after federal abortion protections were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The decision by Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins means pregnancy terminations through 20 weeks’ gestation may continue in Ohio through Oct. 12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pause-on-ohio-heartbeat-abortion-ban-extended-to-oct-12/2022/09/27/cb9da7f4-3eae-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html__________________________________________________________ 11. Church and contraception: Experts expose errors in Pontifical Academy for Life book, By Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2022, 10:07 AM Nine international experts have pointed out in an open letter the serious errors contained in a book published a few weeks ago by the Pontifical Academy for Life, which promotes a change in the Catholic Church’s teaching on the use of contraceptives. “It is not possible to take good care, give spiritual advice, counsel, and accompany a married couple by applying a pastoral approach that does not take the experience of medical studies into account,” the experts pointed out to the academy. Proposing that Catholics be able to resort to contraceptives, as the document published by the academy does, “is, beyond a theoretical intellectual exercise, an affirmation that does not take the reality of the studies on the coaching of married couples nor the experience of so many marriages into account.” The open letter, titled “Pastoral care that does not take into account experience is no longer pastoral care,” was signed by Spanish doctor Jokin de Irala, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Michèle Barbato of Italy, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Jacques Aimé Bazeboso of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, president of the African Federation for Family Action; and Italian physician Maria Boerci, national president of the Italian Confederation of Centers for Natural Fertility Regulation. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252395/church-and-contraception-experts-expose-serious-errors-in-pontifical-academy-for-life-book__________________________________________________________ 12. Religion is ‘interruption,’ not continuity, German bishops’ president says, By AC Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2022, 12:33 PM The president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, said that the shortest definition of religion is “interruption,” and that some forms of continuity people seek from religion are “frankly suspect.” Bätzing spoke in a live-streamed Mass on Tuesday on the occasion of the bishops’ plenary assembly, which is being held in the central German town of Fulda from Sept. 26–29, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner. In his homily the bishop of Limburg said, “all too surely asserted continuities, i.e., seamless connections according to the motto ‘that has always been so; that has always been believed so; what was wrong yesterday cannot be right today’ … are frankly suspect.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252399/religion-is-interruption-not-continuity-german-bishops-president-says__________________________________________________________ 13. Legislators raise concerns about FBI raid at pro-life family’s home, By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2022, 7:00 PM Twenty-two members of Congress are demanding an explanation from the Department of Justice after the arrest of a Catholic pro-life leader in front of his wife and children at the family’s home in Pennsylvania last week.  Mark Houck, 48, was charged with two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or the FACE Act, and entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment in Philadelphia on Tuesday. The FACE act “prohibits violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).  “The FBI’s treatment of pro-life leader Mark Houck is chilling,” Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines said in a press release that accompanied the Sept. 27 letter. “Instead of allowing for a local resolution of the dispute, the FBI nationalized the matter by using excessive force with an early morning raid at gunpoint in front of young children. The American people deserve answers.”  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252405/legislators-raise-concerns-about-fbi-raid-at-pro-life-family-s-home__________________________________________________________

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.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!
“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.