10. Pelosi banned from receiving communion
On May 20, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, whose congressional district is in his archdiocese, to inform her that as a pro-abortion politician she can no longer present herself for Holy Communion when she is in San Francisco. Archbishop Cordileone reiterated the Catholic Church’s “clear and emphatic” teaching “on the dignity of human life in the womb” and that ignoring “this fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society.” Invoking Pope John Paul II’s 2002 Doctrinal Note, Archbishop Cordileone noted elected officials have a “grave and clear obligation to oppose laws that attack human life.” Pelosi was a leading Congressional voice for the codification of Roe and has repeatedly flouted Catholic teaching by insisting that her pro-abortion stance is consistent with her faith. The ban on Pelosi receiving communion is only in effect in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and any other diocese where the local bishop enunciates his support for the action. At least 10 other bishops announced their support for Archbishop Cordileone’s action.
9. Mixed results in U.S. midterm
Democrats pegged their midterm hopes on the issue of abortion after the Dobbs decision, but with mixed results. The Republicans barely won enough Congressional seats to take over the House of Representatives and actually lost a Senate seat which ensured Democrat control of that chamber. The split Congress probably means that Democrats will not be able to push through a radical abortion bill allowing abortion for all nine months up to the minute of birth, for any reason, and paid for by taxpayer dollars. In the states, pro-life governors in Republican states easily won re-election — for example Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbott in Texas — but so did pro-abortion Democrats in reliably Democratic states such as New York, but also swing states like Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Kari Lake, the pro-life Republican gubernatorial candidate who lost in Arizona by 17,000 (of more than 2.5 million cast), is one of the few losing Republicans to question the validity of the vote count. More troublingly, pro-abortion constitutional amendments passed in California, Michigan, and Vermont, and, more surprisingly, pro-life referenda were defeated in Kentucky and Montana. The mixed results reflect a generally polarized population.
8. Ubiquity of abortion pill
The use of the abortion pill was increasing in most countries before COVID – prior to 2020, 90 per cent of abortions in Scotland were by the abortion pill – but pandemic restrictions including the move to telehealth, accelerated the move away from surgical abortions to chemical abortions with several countries such as the United Kingdom liberalizing regulations to permit abortion pills to be sent by mail. Figures from Planned Parenthood and the Alan Guttmacher Institute show that the majority of abortions in the United States are now committed by use of the abortion pill (chemical abortions) and studies in Canada suggest that it could be true here as well. (According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, one-third of abortions in Canada between November 2017 and March 2020 were chemical abortions.) Even prior to the overturning of Roe, Operation Rescue’s annual reports of abortion facilities in the U.S. show a decrease in abortion mills that do surgical abortions and most new abortion facilities only provide chemical abortions. Abortion activists are calling for easier access to abortion pills and pro-abortion politicians are generally accommodating, despite growing evidence that chemical abortions are linked to numerous health complications for aborting women. Pro-lifers are strategizing on how to counter actions by women in states that ban surgical abortion who seek to obtain abortion pills by mail.
7. Attacks on pro-lifers ignored
Immediately following the leak of the Dobbs decision on May 2, attacks against pregnancy care centres, pro-life organizations, Catholic and evangelical churches, and pro-life politicians’ offices began and did not let up until the end of summer. According to research by the Crime Prevention Research Center, there were 135 cases of pro-abortion violence – arson, vandalism, assault, threats—between May 2 and Sept. 24, although another count had 165 such attacks by the end of August. For example, a pro-life teenager was assaulted in Kansas by a pro-abortion activist in July while campaigning for a state pro-life constitutional amendment; an 84-year-old Michigan woman was shot by an abortion supporter while campaigning against the pro-abortion constitutional amendment in that state; and, Students for Life at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia were assaulted when an activist threw a cup of urine during their “Abortion is Not a Right” tour. Local pro-life groups have complained that police are dragging their feet investigating the crimes and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have charged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal Justice Department are ignoring politically motivated violence against pro-lifers. Furthermore, unruly groups targeted the homes of Supreme Court justices said to have signed on to the Dobbs decision after it was leaked, including one would-be assailant who brought weapons to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
6. Quebec College of Physicians calls for infanticide
During testimony before the Commons Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, Dr. Louis Roy of the Quebec College of Physicians said his organization supported expanding euthanasia not only to “mature minors” but also newborns when parents and physicians agree that the child born with “severe malformation” and “grave and severe syndromes” would be better off dead. He said physicians who determine there is little chance for long-term survival should be able to medically kill newborns. The Quebec College of Physicians released a statement promoting those views in 2021 but they gained public notoriety when Dr. Roy testified before the committee.
5. National March for Life returns with a bang
The 25th annual National March for Life on May 12 exceeded organizer’s expectations in terms of participation and publicity. Held in the weeks after the Dobbs leak, journalists paid closer attention to the topic of abortion in Canada with the CBC, BBC, Ottawa Sun, La Presse, and other media outlets covering some portion of the weeklong program. With schools not sending students due to Covid-regulation bans on school trips, organizers were pleasantly surprised at the attendance of more than 4000 people in the nation’s capital to witness to the injustice of abortion and demand legal protection for the preborn. Campaign Life Coalition’s Debbie Duval explained that the theme “I AM is the great name of God who created us. He created us in His likeness and in His image. We are precious and we are fearfully and wonderfully made, each and every one of us, from conception to natural death.” CLC national president Jeff Gunnarson spoke for the throng of pro-lifers in Ottawa when he said to the crowd, “Are you stoked? I am!” as he repeated the line of former U.S. vice president Mike Pence that “life is winning.”
4. Fight back against child transitioning
There was political, medical, parental, and media pushback against the transgender mania with serious questions being raised about the wisdom of putting children and adolescents on puberty blockers and providing irreversible surgeries that maim them. In England, the Tavistock Clinic was closed after a review found that there was a complete lack of scrutiny of claims of gender dysphoria and a rush to provide what is euphemistically called gender-affirming care. In the United States, states such as Florida and Texas outlawed medical interventions for gender-confused teens, the Oklahoma legislature banned federal money from going to the University of Oklahoma’s health system because it carried out adolescent transitioning, conservative media outlets broke stories about Vanderbilt and other universities promoting highly profitable sex-change operations, and the New York Times was forced to admit that “top-surgeries” were being conducted on minor girls after attacking critics of the procedure for trumping up stories about gender-transitioning kids. Medical whistleblowers say not enough is known about the long-term effects of surgical sex-changes and that they do not increase mental well-being as supporters claim they do. Meanwhile, several girls who regret their attempts to become boys are speaking out that they were not properly informed about the side-effects and say they were hurried into “gender-affirming care” with little concern about underlying mental health issues.
3. States act in aftermath of Dobbs decision
13 states had trigger laws that brought into effect protections for the preborn either from the moment of conception or at some point in early pregnancy such as six or eight weeks, if and when Roe v. Wade was overturned: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Some states such as Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan had pre-Roe bans in place, but the Attorney General of Wisconsin said he would not enforce the state ban and Michigan’s law was overturned by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in a referendum. Other state legislatures – North Carolina and Nebraska — debated legal protections for the preborn but were thwarted by the threat of a governor’s veto or pro-abortion Democrats holding up legislation. Most of the pro-life action took place in so-called Red States which have Republican legislatures and governors. At the same time, Democrats were passing laws in New Jersey and California to make abortion easier, permitting the deadly procedure until the moment of birth. California, Oregon, and Washington pooled resources to inform women in states with abortion bans that they would pay for their travel and abortions if they came to their states to kill their babies. New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared her state an “abortion sanctuary.” In total, 26 states have total bans or restrict abortion to some point in the first trimester.
2. Euthanasia for social reasons
CTV, Global News, and the Toronto Star reported on numerous cases of Canadians accessing so-called Medical Assistance in Dying (euthanasia or assisted suicide) when they could not access timely care for their disabilities and illnesses, were living in poverty, or had inadequate homecare. There was more than one case of a person being medically killed because of severe allergies that could not be accommodated by a current subsidized housing situation. Global News also broke several stories of veterans seeking assistance in living, but instead being offered euthanasia. This included a former Paralympian who sought help to afford a stairlift. The cases garnered international attention and served as a warning about the abuse of any legalized euthanasia regime. The Toronto Star, which editorially supports Medical Assistance in Dying, has called for a pause on liberalizing euthanasia for people who do not currently qualify for medicalized killing, including Canadians suffering solely from mental illness.
1. Roe overturned
On May 2, Politico reported on a leaked draft of the decision written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito overturning the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. A campaign of intimidation against the five justices – Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – failed to sway any to change their mind. On June 24, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 in favour of upholding a Mississippi law that outlawed abortions after 15 weeks gestation, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing a concurrence but dissenting from the majority on overturning Roe. Justice Alito’s decision noted that “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” By overturning Roe the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion to the federal and state legislatures.