Texas Catholic Voice June 2024

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Anniversary gives time for reflection ...
  • Pray for deepening of eucharistic life ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

June 24 marked the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned Roe v. Wade.

It’s remarkable to think about the unceasing pro-life effort over the course of almost five decades since January 1973 and how many of us thought a reversal may not happen in our lifetime.

In Texas, we are blessed that elective abortion at any stage of pregnancy is no longer legal due to the Human Life Protection Act, passed in 2021 during the 87th legislative session and signed into law before the Dobbs ruling. The timing was impeccable.  

The Supreme Court recently ruled on two other abortion cases without deciding any substantive issues. In FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the judges unanimously ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the FDA’s regulatory actions regarding the abortion drug, mifepristone, because they did not demonstrate they would be harmed by the agency’s actions.  

In Moyle v. United States, the issue before the court was whether the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) preempts Idaho’s Defense of Life Act. EMTALA is a 1986 law that requires Medicare funded hospitals to provide emergency care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

The Biden administration has interpreted that law to include emergency abortions. Idaho and the state legislature challenged the federal law, arguing in part that it conflicts with the Idaho Defense of Life Act.

In a 6-3 decision, the justices dismissed the case as “improvidently granted” which means the US Supreme Court should not have accepted it yet because the appeals court case was not yet finalized. The case will return to the Ninth Circuit and if Idaho loses, it could again go before the Supreme Court. 

Finally, a study published in JAMA pediatrics reports a significant increase in infant mortality in Texas. A majority of infant deaths are due to congenital anomalies and the suggestion is that these babies would have and should have been aborted were it not for the ban on abortion.

The reality is that the loss of life has not increased, just that the deaths are now natural losses of life rather than intentional taking of life through abortion.  Palliative care and compassionate support of pregnant women and their families is the answer, not euthanasia in the womb. 

Other states continue to allow legal abortion and we are still a long way from making abortion unthinkable.

The proliferation and easy accessibility of abortion drugs due to lax FDA regulations and the internet are exposing women and girls to egregious harm. At TCCB, our advocacy efforts will continue to focus on providing support for pregnant moms and their families and blocking any legislation that attempts to expand exceptions in the current abortion law.  

This article from the National Review provides a good analysis of how Texas is becoming more supportive of mothers and their families. However, while the article is referencing the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act, in reality it is our Human Life Protection Act, which protects human life from the moment of conception, which provides better palliative care and compassionate support for families in stressful circumstances. 

Religious Freedom Week 

The last week of June we have been celebrating religious freedom, a bedrock principle of American democracy that we must not take for granted.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims are harshly persecuted in certain parts of the world, and we are blessed to freely worship in this country.

However, since 2020 there has been an alarming rise in attacks on houses of worship and the Church’s teaching on abortion and transgender issues conflicts with the views of the current administration, potentially impairing the ability of Catholic healthcare providers to fully carry out their ministry.

The Church’s migrant ministry has become a scapegoat for the failure of government to enact immigration reform. Catholic Charities and other faith-based organizations that shelter, clothe, and feed migrants have been virulently attacked as being part of the problem.

TCCB is actively advocating on these issues, but we must all pray and work to protect religious freedom.  

Pope Francis' prayer intention for July: For a eucharistic life

As many Catholics will be gathering in Indianapolis July 17-21 for the National Eucharistic Congress, Pope Francis calls for each of us to deepen our appreciation of Christ's presence in the Eucharist. "If you are the same at the end of Mass, as you were at the beginning, something is wrong,” he explains in this video. For more information, visit the Pope's Video website.

Upcoming executions

  • Ruben Gutierrez - July 16
  • Arhur Burton - Aug. 7
  • Travis Mullis - Sept. 24
  • Steven Nelson - Feb. 5, 2025

We pray for the victims of violence and their loved ones, for those on death row and for an end to the death penalty.