TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 124 – Helen Alvaré On Mississippi Abortion Ban & Erika Bachiochi On Reclaiming Women’s Rights!

With the Supreme Court declining to block the Texas Heartbeat Act, Dr. Grazie Christie and Maureen Ferguson chat with legal scholar Helen Alvaré about the upcoming Mississippi abortion ban case and a brief she submitted in support of the 15-week ban that challenges the faulty argument that the ability of women to achieve economic and social equality depends on abortion. We also re-visit with Erika Bachiochi who worked with Alvaré on the brief to discuss her timely and important book, The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 7amET/5pmET on EWTN radio!

1. Texas’s Abortion Law Blunder, The Supreme Court was right not to interfere for now, but the statute won’t survive scrutiny on the merits., By The Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2021, Pg. A14, Editorial

America is back fighting its endless legal war over abortion. A new front opened late Wednesday when five Justices issued an unsigned opinion declining to block a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks. Cue the hysterics about the end of abortion rights. But this law is a misfire even if you oppose abortion, and neither side should be confident the law will be upheld.

Texas Republicans have handed Democrats a political grenade to hurt the anti-abortion cause. Pro-life groups have spent nearly 50 years arguing that abortion is a political question to be settled in the states by public debate. Yet now in Texas they want to use the courts via civil litigation to limit abortion.

2. Pelosi Plans Abortion-Rights Vote for House After Supreme Court’s Texas Decision, Legislation has limited prospects in Congress but could highlight the issue headed into midterm elections, By Eliza Collins and Aaron Zitner, The Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2021, Pg. A4

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said the House would vote later this month on legislation designed to protect abortion rights, following the Supreme Court’s decision to leave in place a new Texas law that bars the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The move sets up a contentious vote for the fall, while underscoring the limited prospects for congressional action related to abortion, an issue that has long divided Democrats and Republicans. The developments could also put the fight over abortion rights and restrictions at center stage as voters decide control of Congress in next year’s midterms.

3. Communism, Secularism and Jewish Schools, By Dovid Margolin, The Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2021, Pg. A13, Opinion

Today New York’s yeshivas (traditional Jewish schools) face a challenge with echoes of ancient persecution. As of 2018, 110,000 students were enrolled in Orthodox yeshivas in New York City, an increase of 46.3% in the past two decades. Many parents, including my wife and me, are opting for yeshiva education.

But some in New York—such as the Young Advocates for Fair Education, or Yaffed, a fringe group of mostly former Orthodox Jews who bill themselves as yeshiva-reform advocates—wish to place the city’s Jewish schools on trial. They accuse yeshivas of concentrating too much on Jewish teachings and neglecting secular education.

Officials in Albany have taken up their demands. In 2018 then-Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia unilaterally issued guidelines based on Yaffed’s proposals. She warned that children attending yeshivas that don’t comply with these new directions could be found truant—which might lead Child Protective Services to remove them from their homes. A court struck the guidelines down in 2019 on procedural grounds, so Ms. Elia reissued them as formal regulations. Though not yet enacted, Yaffed’s attendant public campaign to vilify Jewish parents like me continues unabated.

My grandfather fled to the U.S. for the promise of a society that respected religious liberty, the very freedoms he was denied. Jewish history has shown time and again that those who can’t tolerate cultural differences seek to impose their will on others by any means. That’s true in the new world as well as the old.

Mr. Margolin is a senior editor at

4. Biden orders government response to Texas law, High court allows abortion restriction, By Alex Swoyer, The Washington Times, September 3, 2021, Pg. A1

President Biden announced Thursday that he has directed the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to launch a “whole-of-government” effort to look for ways to protect women’s rights after the Supreme Court refused to block a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks.

5. Pope Francis heaps praise on Cardinal O’Malley -Why?, By JD Flynn, The Pillar, September 2, 2021

Pope Francis heaped praise this week on the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, commending the cardinal for his work on the Church’s global efforts to address clerical sexual abuse, and crediting him with launching the pope’s global commission on the subject.

The praise came as O’Malley, 77, draws near to retirement as Boston’s archbishop. It might prove to be the final word from the pontiff on a relationship in which O’Malley, who frequently lent credibility to the pope’s efforts on sexual abuse reform, was eventually sidelined from one of the most significant papal initiatives on the subject.

Given the history of that relationship, the pope’s spontaneous praise for O’Malley comes as a surprise to many Vatican-watchers. And it has led some to wonder whether the cardinal is close to being retired, or whether the praise could mean that Francis — facing new criticisms of mishandling sexual misconduct allegations — might again need O’Malley’s help, as he has needed it in the past.

6. What the Church teaches about abortion laws, By The Pillar, September 2, 2021

The Catechism affirms the “moral evil of every procured abortion” and says that the “unchanged and unchangeable” teaching of the Church is that willing an abortion, as either a means or an end, is “gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Of course, almost everyone knows that the Church teaches abortion is a very grave sin.

But not all sins are crimes in the Church’s own law. And the Church does not teach that just because something is sinful, the state should outlaw it.

Right. Abortion is a sin. But does the Church actually say abortion should be illegal?

In its 1974 “Declaration on Procured Abortion” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was direct.

“A law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion,” the CDF said, “is in itself immoral.”

In fact, the CDF said in 1987 that ending legal protections for abortion isn’t enough. It said the state has the obligation to make abortion a crime, and one with legal consequences:

“As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of his conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”

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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