Browsing News Entries

Biden official promises 5 actions to protect abortion after Roe

Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. / vasilis asvestas/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 14:25 pm (CNA).

The Biden administration is taking five steps to protect access to abortion, according to Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Those steps, Becerra said on Tuesday, include increasing access to medication abortion and training health workers following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Becerra condemned what he called the court’s “despicable” decision that leaves abortion policy up to each individual state.

“There is no magic bullet. But if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS,” Becerra said June 28, referring to instructions that he received from President Joe Biden.

Becerra stressed that HHS would support Biden as he works to make available abortion pills and to enable women to travel for out-of-state abortions.

Both Biden and Becerra, who are Catholic, support abortion, in contrast with the Catholic Church’s teaching that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

Following the overturning of Roe, Becerra would not say Monday if he thought fewer abortions would be a good thing in America.

“I think if we leave things in the hands of a woman to make decisions for her own body, we’re going to have the best decisions made,” Becerra told EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen.

At the Tuesday news conference, Becerra outlined the HHS’ five steps to protect abortion. He began with abortion pills, which allow women to perform early abortions without leaving their homes.

The HHS, Becerra said, “will take steps to increase access” by ensuring that federally-supported programs and services provide these pills in cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life, in compliance with federal law.

The department is also looking into protecting patient and provider privacy, supporting doctors’ “clinical judgment” when treating pregnant women in emergencies, and training providers on family planning and “helping patients navigate this new reality,” he continued.

Becerra added that he is directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to also protect “family planning care,” including contraception.

When asked about the possibility of placing abortion clinics on federal land to bypass state laws or helping women travel to different states to obtain abortion, Becerra responded that “every option is on the table.”

Of all the steps, Becerra emphasized increasing access to abortion pills, calling it a “national imperative.” That included, he said, working “to ensure that states may not ban medication abortion, based on a disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about the drug’s safety and efficacy.”

Pro-life research organizations, such as the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have expressed concern about the safety of this type of abortion for women.

“How we respond will speak to how we view the rights, the dignity and the wellbeing of women everywhere,” Becerra said. “All options are on the table. We will do everything within our legal limit of the law to reach patients and support providers.”

Immediately before his remarks, HHS launched a website claiming to inform Americans about their “rights” to “reproductive health care,” including abortion. Among other things, it recommends abortion funds “if you need help paying for an abortion.”

Following Becerra’s remarks, Senator Steve Daines, founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, issued a statement responding to the Biden administration’s plans regarding abortion. 

“The Biden administration will stop at nothing, not even a Supreme Court ruling, to force their radical, pro-abortion agenda on all Americans,” the Republican from Montana said. “Instead of allowing Americans’ voices to be heard when it comes to abortion, President Biden wants to force states to allow dangerous DIY abortion pills and is considering plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion tourism across state lines and even set up abortion clinics in our national parks.”

He added: “This is outrageous. Our fight is long from over—I will continue to stand up for all life, no matter how small.”

These U.S. companies will pay staff abortion travel expenses

Starbucks coffee shop. / AKS.9955/wikimedia. CC BY SA 4.0

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 13:54 pm (CNA).

As some states ban or regulate abortion following the Dobbs decision, numerous companies have announced they will provide financial assistance to employees traveling for abortions.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruled June 24 that the right to an abortion is not protected under the U.S. Constitution; states are thus now able to ban abortion.  

Many states already have enacted trigger laws to ban abortion immediately, while the practice remains legal in others. 

Some prominent corporations have announced they will support employees in states where they cannot procure abortion by covering travel costs associated with the procedure through their health insurance.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced June 24 that it will provide up to $4,000 in travel reimbursements to any employee, spouse, or dependent enrolled in its medical plan seeking an abortion in states where it is illegal. 

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic– and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” the company said. The statement also noted that it believes these decisions are “deeply personal.”

Some companies, including Starbucks and Levi Strauss and Co., will fully reimburse expenses for women seeking legal access to abortion. A Starbucks statement says, “We will provide partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion.”

Other companies making similar offers, The Hill reported, include Amazon, Yelp, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Tesla, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Mastercard, Lyft, Disney, Meta, Comcast, Airbnb, Patagonia, DoorDash, PayPal, Reddit, Meta, Zillow, and Uber.

Some of the firms had announced travel assistance for abortion before the Dobbs ruling was released, in reaction either to the May 2 leak of a draft of the decision, or the Texas law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

St. Vincentia Gerosa

St. Vincentia Gerosa

Feast date: Jun 28

Vincentia Gerosa was declared a saint in the 20th century. She came to her vocation as a religious sister late in life. She was born Caterina Gerosa in Lovere, Italy, in 1784. She was orphaned as a young girl and spent 40 years as a homemaker and lay woman, dedicating herself to the poor.

In 1832, she and St. Bartholomea Capitanio formed the Sisters of Charity of Lovere, with a charism to care for and educate the poor. She took the religious name Vincentia, and led the congregation after Bartholomea died in 1836, until her own death 11 years later. She was beatified in 1926 and canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

St. Irenaeus

St. Irenaeus

Feast date: Jun 28

Celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on June 28, and by Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine tradition on August 23, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons was a second-century bishop and writer in present-day France.

He is best known for defending Christian orthodoxy, especially the reality of Christ’s human incarnation, against the set of heresies known as Gnosticism.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke admiringly of St. Irenaeus in a 2007 general audience, recalling how this early Church Father “refuted the Gnostic dualism and pessimism which debased corporeal realities. He decisively claimed the original holiness of matter, of the body, of the flesh no less than of the spirit.”

“But his work went far beyond the confutation of heresy: in fact, one can say that he emerges as the first great Church theologian who created systematic theology; he himself speaks of the system of theology, that is, of the internal coherence of all faith.”

While some of St. Irenaeus’ most important writings have survived, the details of his life are not as well-preserved. He was born in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, likely in the Aegean coastal city of Smyrna, probably around the year 140. As a young man he heard the preaching of the early bishop (and eventual martyr) Saint Polycarp, who had been personally instructed by the Apostle John.

Irenaeus eventually became a priest, and served in the Church of Lyons (in the region of Gaul) during a difficult period in the late 170s. During this time of state persecution and doctrinal controversy, Irenaeus was sent to Rome to provide Pope St. Eleutherius with a letter about the heretical movement known as Montanism. After returning to Lyons, Irenaeus became the city’s second bishop, following the martyrdom of his predecessor Saint Pothinus.

In the course of his work as a pastor and evangelist, the second Bishop of Lyon came up against various heretical doctrines and movements, many of which sounded a common note in their insistence that the material world was evil and not part of God’s original plan. The proponents of these ideas often claimed to be more deeply “enlightened” or “spiritual” than ordinary Christians, on account of their supposed secret knowledge (or “gnosis”).

Irenaeus recognized this movement, in all its forms, as a direct attack on the Catholic faith. The Gnostics’ disdain for the physical world was irreconcilable with the Biblical doctrine of creation, which stated that God had made all things according to his good purpose. Gnostics, by contrast, saw the material world as the work of an evil power, crediting God only with the creation of a higher and purely spiritual realm.

In keeping with its false view of creation, Gnosticism also distorted the concept of redemption. The Church knew Christ as the savior of the world: redeeming believers’ bodies and souls, and investing creation with a sacramental holiness. Gnostics, meanwhile, saw Jesus merely as saving souls from the physical world in which they were trapped. Gnostic “redemption” was not liberation from sin, but a supposed promise of release from the material world.

Irenaeus refuted the Gnostic errors in his lengthy book “Against Heresies,” which is still studied today for its historical value and theological insights. A shorter work, the “Proof of the Apostolic Preaching,” contains Irenaeus’ presentation of the Gospel message, with a focus on Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Several of his other works are now lost, though a collection of fragments from them has been compiled and translated.

St. Irenaeus’ earthly life ended around 202 – possibly through martyrdom, though this is not definitively known.

Sri Lanka's prophetic Church on the side of a suffering people

The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka appeals for the intervention of the International Community as the nation defaults on debt for the first time in its history and the people call for political change.

Read all

 

Official Logo of Jubilee unveiled

The Vatican reveals the official Logo of the upcoming Jubilee Year due to be held in 2025 on the theme 'Pilgrims of Hope' and reflects on some of the Holy Year's early initiatives and plans.

Read all

 

Nigeria: Prayer commemoration for the Owo Pentecost attack to be held 5 July.

A month after the Owo Pentecost massacre, Bishops of the Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province call for special prayers.

Read all

 

Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Reading I Am 3:1-8; 4:11-12

Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you,
over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:

            You alone have I favored,
                        more than all the families of the earth;
            Therefore I will punish you
                        for all your crimes.

            Do two walk together
                        unless they have agreed?
            Does a lion roar in the forest
                        when it has no prey?
            Does a young lion cry out from its den
                        unless it has seized something?
            Is a bird brought to earth by a snare
                        when there is no lure for it?
            Does a snare spring up from the ground
                        without catching anything?
            If the trumpet sounds in a city,
                        will the people not be frightened?
            If evil befalls a city,
                        has not the LORD caused it?
            Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing
                        without revealing his plan
                        to his servants, the prophets.

            The lion roars—
                        who will not be afraid!
            The Lord GOD speaks—
                        who will not prophesy!

            I brought upon you such upheaval
                        as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah:
                        you were like a brand plucked from the fire;
            Yet you returned not to me,
                        says the LORD.

            So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel!
                        and since I will deal thus with you,
                        prepare to meet your God, O Israel.

Responsorial Psalm 5:4b-6a, 6b-7, 8

R.        (9a)  Lead me in your justice, Lord.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
            no evil man remains with you;
            the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R.        Lead me in your justice, Lord.
You hate all evildoers;
            you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
            the LORD abhors.
R.        Lead me in your justice, Lord.
But I, because of your abundant mercy,
            will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
            in fear of you, O LORD.
R.        Lead me in your justice, Lord.

 

Alleluia Psalm 130:5

R.        Alleluia, alleluia.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
R.        Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel Mt 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us!  We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

A new Vatican monthly magazine 'with the poor'

The first edition of the "Osservatore di Strada" is due to be published on 29 June, giving voice to those whose voices are often ignored.

Read all

 

Talitha Kum, combatting human trafficking in nearly 100 nations

In its 2021 Report, the international Talitha Kum network documents an increase in human trafficking victims, but evidences the religious sisters' network's always greater and more global effort to concretely fight, prevent and bring awareness to the scourge.

Read all