Browsing News Entries

More Catholic churches, pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial vandalized

LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25, 2022. / LifeChoice Pregnancy Center

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 19:20 pm (CNA).

More vandalism of Catholic churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial have been reported since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday. 

LifeChoice pregnancy center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25.

Director of Development for LifeChoices Lyndsy Flanagan told CNA Tuesday that the clinic was alerted by a local pastor who saw the damage on Sunday morning. A local church community, Winter Haven Worship Center, volunteered to repaint the whole building on Monday, Flanagan said.

The vandals also painted over security cameras and the clinic’s sign, she said. A pressure washer could not clean it and the clinic now needs a new sign, she said. 

Photos of the graffiti show the words “Janes revenge,” “Jane was here” “Abortion 4 all,” “Your time is up,” “We’re coming for you,” “We are everywhere,” some flowers, and anarchist symbols.

Being in a smaller community, Flanagan said she was surprised at the vandalism, despite the heated political climate.

The damage is estimated between $3,000 and $4,000 she said. The vandals were caught on video.

When CNA asked how many perpetrators were in the video, Flanagan said the FBI told her not to give any details until they finish the investigation. "They asked us not to speak on any of the details involved in the video footage until the investigation is complete, " she said.

"Because it's a national group that they believe could be involved in this, they are asking us to tread very lightly with all details concerning what we have knowledge of based on the video footage so that we can continue the investigation," she said.

Pro-abortion graffiti was discovered June 27 on the doors of the The Church of the Ascension in Manhattan. 

A purported photo of the vandalism on the church doors shows the words “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you!” 

Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York, said that “Any act of vandalism or violence against any house of worship should be condemned, particularly when such vandalism is a result of hatred of that religion.”

“Fortunately, thanks to the good work of the NYPD and local police departments, and the security measures the archdiocese encouraged the parishes to take, it appears that this is the only act of vandalism against a church in the archdiocese in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision,” he said.

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Renton, Washington had its windows smashed and was defaced with pro-abortion slogans in the early hours of June 25.

Dean Savelli, the church’s facilities manager, told CNA that three vandals defaced the front of the church with graffiti that said “Abortions save lives,” in two places. He said the vandals destroyed three of the five locks in the church.

The vandals smashed seven stained glass windows, Savelli said. The vandals, who were caught on camera, also broke some of the tops to collection boxes. The damage will amount to between $25,000 and $30,000 he said. 

Richard Garnett of South Bend, Indiana, told CNA that he drives by a memorial cross for aborted unborn babies almost every day and noticed June 25 that it was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. 

The white cross which says “In memory of aborted children” with a red heart, had yellow graffiti that crossed out the pro-life message and wrote pro-choice down the horizontal stretch of the cross, a photo of the vandalism shows.

According to a Saint Joseph County Police Department incident summary, an employee of St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church reported to the police June 27 that the sign was vandalized.

Karissa Lundstrom, who leads the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center in Cortez, Colorado told CNA that her clinic was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti sometime between Saturday night and Sunday evening. 

She would not share a photo of the vandalism nor say what the graffiti said, because she does not want the vandalism to be the center of attention. The graffiti was partly on the sidewalk and partly on the building, she said, and it was cleaned up easily.

Judges temporarily block abortion bans in Louisiana, Utah, Texas

The scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after the court released its decision in the Dobbs abortion case, June 24, 2022. / Katie Yoder/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Judges in Louisiana, Utah, and Texas have temporarily blocked the enforcement of those states’ laws banning abortion, after the Supreme Court returned the regulation of abortion to the states.

On June 24, the court voted 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Mississippi law restricting most abortions after 15 weeks. At the same time, justices voted 5-4, to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary block June 27 on a 2006 Louisiana law banning abortion in the state in the case of Roe’s overturn, in response to a lawsuit filed by abortion providers. 

“Abortion groups, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, argue the abortion restrictions violate providers' due process rights and ‘lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement,’” Fox News reported about Louisiana.

In the coming weeks Giarrusso will rule whether the law may be enforced on a permanent basis. A hearing is set for July 8.

The Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, even said that he is "unabashedly pro-life and opposed to abortion,” yet he is aware that not everyone feels the same, according to the BBC.

In Utah, Third District Judge Andrew Stone issued a 14-day block June 27 on the state’s trigger law in response to a lawsuit brought by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. NBC says that Stone claims women are “deprived of safe, local medical treatments to terminate pregnancies."

Utah State Senator Daniel McCay, sponsor of the state’s trigger law, said, “I'm confident that Utah’s abortion ban will be upheld, and we can work to support life." 

A hearing in the matter will be held July 11.

In Texas, Judge Christine Weems in Harris County granted a temporary restraining order June 28 against the enforcement of a 1925 law banning abortion.

Marc Hearron, a lawyer for the abortion providers in the Texas lawsuit, said, according to Reuters, "Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory." 

The state’s law banning abortion from about six weeks into pregnancy is still being enforced.

The Texas attorney general has said he will appeal Weems’ decision; a hearing is scheduled July 12.

Challenges to abortion bans in several other states are focused on state constitutions in which rights to privacy are included. These include Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Washington. 

Reuters reported that abortion providers in Kentucky, Idaho, and Mississippi are suing to block enforcement of trigger laws in those states.

How Should We Think About the Dobbs Decision?

blog

Two Ways to Respond to the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

cartoon

More Catholic Churches, Pregnancy Centers, and a Pro-Life Memorial Vandalized

cna

Judges Temporarily Block Abortion Bans in Louisiana, Utah, Texas

cna

Hundreds of Men Gather to Pray the Rosary in Mexico City

cna

Cardinal Reveals He Was Detained by Drug Traffickers in Mexico

cna

Latin American Pro-Life Leaders Celebrate Overturning of Roe v. Wade

cna

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.”