Phony Abortion History Returns to the Supreme Court

A discussion of the history of abortion law occupied several minutes of the oral argument before the Supreme Court last Wednesday. Much of what was said was false or misleading. Julie Rikelman, the lawyer for the clinic challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, gave voice to that misinformation under searching questioning from Justice Samuel…Read More

Dobbs v. Jackson: What did Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett say?

As the wait begins for a decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case, close attention will be paid to the comments and questions of three conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that some observers view as possible swing votes: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy…Read More

Religious Freedom Index results: Americans increase support for religious freedom with highest Index score yet

Becket has just released the third annual Religious Freedom Index, the only annual poll that tracks trends across the full spectrum of opinions on American religious freedom. This year’s Index reached a new high as Americans bounced back from a uniquely divisive year with revitalized support for religious liberty. In addition to the Index’s standardized…Read More

Faith Groups Say the Build Back Better Act Would Exclude Faith-Based Child Care and Pre-Kindergarten Providers

Two bishop chairmen on behalf of their committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have cosigned a coalition letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) with other faith groups raising urgent concerns that the Build Back Better Act’s…Read More

Pro-life leaders react to President Joe Biden’s statements about Dobbs abortion case

President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, in response to a question about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could overturn the nation’s abortion precedent, though he said he did not listen to the oral arguments that took place earlier in…Read More

Key excerpts from SCOTUS hearing on Mississippi abortion case

Justice Saumel Alito grilled a pro-choice lawyer during oral arguments in a major abortion case Wednesday over whether using viability as the threshold for when a state can ban abortion is a valid standard. “What would you say to the argument that has been made many times by people who are pro-choice and pro-life, that…Read More

Mike Pence calls on Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade

Former vice president Mike Pence is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. “I came here today to speak about right and wrong, to say life is a human right, and urge the Supreme Court of the United States to choose life,” he said…Read More

7 things to know about the Dobbs abortion case now before the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a historic case on Dec. 1 that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Here’s what you need to know: The case, known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involves a 2018 Mississippi law restricting most abortions after 15 weeks. “Dobbs” stands for…Read More

Early filings provide peek at 2022 legislation for Oklahoma

The deluge of proposed legislation ahead of the annual legislative session is, as yet, only a trickle. But there are some items of interest among the 50 or so bills and resolutions already in the hopper. Also, scores of bills filed last session and still in various stages of the legislative process will be eligible…Read More

Pardon and Parole Board set to review clemency for 2 Oklahoma death row inmates

Oklahoma is less than two weeks away from the state’s next scheduled execution. Death row inmate Bigler Stouffer is scheduled to be put to death on Dec. 9 for the 1985 killing of an Oklahoma teacher. Stouffer’s attorneys are appealing a judge’s decision to not stop his execution because of concerns about the drugs Oklahoma…Read More

HHS rescinds rule protecting faith-based foster care, adoption agencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nov. 18 rescinded a Trump administration rule that ensured faith-based social service agencies that provide adoption and foster care would continue receiving federal funding for services that follow their religious beliefs. Opponents of the rule modification, put in place early this year in the waning days of…Read More

What makes Dobbs the best, and possibly last, chance to overturn Roe?

After nearly a half century of legal abortion throughout the United States, that precedent could fall  — or stand  — through one critical case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet what makes it possibly the most significant abortion case in decades? The Supreme Court on Dec. 1 will hear arguments in the case of…Read More

Judge denies stay of execution for Oklahoma death row inmate Bigler Stouffer

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) – A federal judge has denied a stay of execution for death row inmate Bigler Stouffer. Attorneys for Stouffer argued the lethal injection drugs currently being used in Oklahoma are unconstitutional. They had hoped to get him added to the lawsuit challenging the state’s execution method. Those protocols are at the center…Read More

Oklahoma to allow death row inmates a personal spiritual leader in execution chamber

The Oklahoma Corrections Department has agreed that condemned prisoners in the future can have a personal spiritual advisor in the execution chamber. The spiritual advisor will have to pass a background check. Confirmation of the policy change came Monday during a hearing on a death row inmate’s request for an execution stay. The inmate, Bigler Jobe…Read More

Pro-life attorney: ‘No court should be able to usurp state laws that protect human life’

On Dec. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Many legal experts say the case presents the most momentous test yet of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. At issue is the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law…Read More

Oklahoma Attorney General joins investigation into Instagram’s alleged harmful effects on adolescents

Oklahoma’s Attorney General joined a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, and one of its platform’s impacts on young users. “It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge,” said Patrick Allmond, the owner of Focus Digital Media. “What we have to remember about these social media companies – they don’t…Read More

Lankford slams Biden admin’s memo moving to undo religious liberty protections: ‘Disregard’ for Americans

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. said Wednesday that a recent memo from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department showed the Biden administration’s disregard for Americans’ First Amendment rights. His comments came on the same day that Fox News reported on HHS’ effort to rescind Trump-era measures for beefing up religious liberty protections. “The memo is…Read More

Oklahoma governor commutes death sentence hours before execution

Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt today commuted the death sentence of an inmate, hours before his scheduled execution. Julius Jones, who was scheduled to be executed today at 4 p.m. for a murder he says he did not commit, will have to serve a life imprisonment instead, without the possibility of parole. “After prayerful consideration…Read More

Archbishop Coakley commends decision to commute Jones’ death sentence

“I applaud his commitment to seeking justice while providing the condemned an opportunity for redemption,” the archbishop said in a Nov. 18 statement. Stitt reduced Jones’ sentence to life in prison without parole, partially following a recommendation from the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board but veering from that recommendation, reached in a 3-1 vote Nov.…Read More

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Nominee Touts Transgender Book

An Oklahoma Teacher of the Year nominee, Bristow Middle School teacher Lauren Vandever, has declared that it is important to be supportive of children exploring transgender transition. “I am not transgender. I’ve never experienced being transgender or on the LGBTQ spectrum,” Vandever said. “But I definitely think it is something that is an important thing…Read More

Gov. Kevin Stitt commutes Julius Jones’ sentence to life without possibility of parole

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that he has commuted Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones’ sentence to life without the possibility of parole. Jones was sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of Edmond businessman and father Paul Howell. The death row inmate has maintained his innocence and has garnered national attention. Stitt’s decision comes more…Read More

Pro-Life Groups Launch Ad Campaign Stressing Scientific Basis For Restricting Abortion

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List launched a $2.5 million ad campaign Wednesday ahead of oral arguments at the Supreme Court for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. SBA List’s television and digital ads “highlight scientific advances that reveal the humanity of unborn children and the extremism of U.S. policy that allows unlimited late-term abortion up…Read More

HHS’ internal memo rolls back Trump-era religious liberty protections

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is considering revoking authority the former Trump administration delegated for the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to prevent violations of religious liberty – prompting concerns about conscience protections under Secretary Xavier Becerra. A draft memo obtained by Fox News targets two actions related to the First Amendment from…Read More

Oklahoma parole board questions execution procedure during clemency hearing

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Wednesday recommended clemency for another death row inmate in part because of concerns about the last execution. “That process is obviously flawed,” board member Larry Morris said before voting to recommend clemency. “We have had individuals on the table suffering for 20 and 30 minutes apiece. And I don’t think…Read More

OU professor says midazolam is an ineffective anesthetic in state lethal injections as Julius Jones execution approaches

With less than 24 hours remaining until the state of Oklahoma is scheduled to execute Julius Jones, an OU professor said the 500 milligram dose of midazolam administered in state executions lacks data to support its effectiveness as a anesthetic. Jones — a former OU student who was convicted of the 1999 murder of Paul…Read More

Oklahoma legislators make their voices heard about fate of death row inmate Julius Jones

With the fate of death row inmate Julius Jones in the hands of Gov. Kevin Stitt, legislators are making their voices heard in the remaining hours. Several Republican and Democrat lawmakers stated that they do not want to see Jones put to death. Over the days leading up to the scheduled execution day, several lawmakers…Read More

Michigan Parents and Lawmakers Launch Petition to Give Kids School Choice

An advocacy group called Let MI Kids Learn is aiming to get 340,000 signatures to put a school choice initiative on the ballot before Michigan voters – after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-MI, vetoed the legislation. “The passage of this legislation was a test for Governor Whitmer: she could stand with families and children, or she…Read More

Hawley to introduce ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., will introduce a bill to defend parents’ rights in their children’s education, Fox News has learned “America has long recognized the right of parents to direct their children’s education but we are now seeing a concerted effort by the Left to shut parents out,” Hawley said in a draft statement, obtained…Read More

Trump White House official calls on Stitt to grant Julius Jones clemency

Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications under Trump, called on Governor Stitt to spare Julius Jones’ life. “We are pleading, praying for the Governor of Oklahoma to make the right decision,” Schlapp said. “I think it’s really important to be able to bring in the people who know Julius and can talk…Read More

Julius Jones loses in federal appeals court, fate now rests with Governor Kevin Stitt

High-profile death row inmate Julius Jones has lost at a federal appeals court, meaning his execution will be carried out Thursday unless Gov. Kevin Stitt intervenes. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Friday against Jones and three other inmates — Wade Greely Lay, Donald A. Grant and Gilbert Ray Postelle. Their…Read More

Republican lawmakers call for Gov Stitt to grant clemency for Julius Jones

A group of Republican lawmakers are now calling on the governor to grant clemency to Julius Jones just seven days before his scheduled execution. Representatives John Talley, Logan Phillips, Kevin McDugle, Preston Stinson and Garry Mize released a joint statement on Thursday, some saying there are too many loose ends in the case to sentence…Read More

Texas Gov. Abbott orders criminal investigation into pornography in public schools

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath Wednesday to open an investigation into possible criminality involving the availability of pornography in the state’s public schools. The governor said in a letter to Morath that “the presence of pornography in schools is not only inappropriate, but it is also against the law.”…Read More

Parents Push Back for Their Children: Education Issue Key to Youngkin’s Victory in Virginia

Parents in Virginia weren’t thinking about starting a movement when they went to school board meetings to push for the reopening of their children’s classrooms after the COVID-19 lockdowns. But as they lobbied for in-person learning, they learned more about what their children were being taught and started asking questions, rousing other parents to action…Read More

Explicit School Materials Get Parents’ Attention

Oklahoma schools—in both rural and suburban districts—are providing students with sexually explicit materials and undermining parental rights in other ways, according to parents who have spoken out publicly at recent school board meetings. The response from school officials has been mixed. “If we had more accountability, didn’t have this type of material available, weren’t focused…Read More

Gov. Kevin Stitt orders Health Department to stop issuing nonbinary birth certificates

Gov. Kevin Stitt has ordered the Oklahoma Health Department to stop issuing gender-neutral birth certificates. After Oklahoma issued its first nonbinary birth certificate last month, Stitt signed an executive order Monday to block the state from issuing more birth certificates with an “X” gender marker. In the order, Stitt said that by issuing a gender-neutral birth certificate, the health department…Read More

US Supreme Court to hear case of death row inmate requesting pastor’s touch at execution

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Ramirez v. Collier on Tuesday, Nov. 9, almost two months after the court delayed a scheduled execution over a question about the role of spiritual advisors in the death chamber. The court will consider the constitutionality of Texas’ prohibitions on a spiritual advisor touching a condemned prisoner…Read More

Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey Announces Run For DA

Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey said Monday he is running for district attorney and, if elected, will drop “bogus” criminal cases against police officers involved in fatal incidents. Calvey, 55, is the fourth Republican to announce for the 2022 race. In his announcement, he directly criticized District Attorney David Prater, who is retiring. “Unlike our current…Read More

Oklahoma Department of Education Touts CRT

The Oklahoma State Department of Education’s website includes or directs teachers to materials that tout themes common to Critical Race Theory (CRT), a Marxist-derived theory that views issues through a lens of racial privilege and often divides groups along racial lines as either privileged or oppressed. While those materials are not explicitly labeled as CRT,…Read More

Biden’s vaccine mandate temporarily halted by federal court

A federal appeals court has halted President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for larger businesses, marking a temporary victory for the Right’s resistance to the measure. A three-judge panel issued the ruling Saturday, saying petitioners offered significant cause to believe there are “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the federal order. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who…Read More

OBN Agents Say Oklahoma Has Become Country’s #1 Supplier Of Illegal Marijuana

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says Oklahoma is now the number one black market supplier of illegal marijuana in the country. There are 8,500 medical marijuana grow licenses in Oklahoma and agents say 25 percent of them are run by criminal organizations from places like China, Russia and Mexico. People all over Green Country tell…Read More

Catholic school defends importance of pro-life assembly boycotted by students

Students at a Catholic high school in San Francisco staged a walkout last month to protest an all-school assembly which featured a pro-life speaker. Despite the students’ actions, the school’s president defended the talk as “an opportunity to come together in order to learn more about the dignity of human life.” Archbishop Riordan High School,…Read More

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in 2 Texas Heartbeat Act Cases. Here Are the Top Takeaways.

We are only a month into the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 term and abortion already appears to be this season’s defining topic. The court heard arguments in two cases on Monday related to the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans most abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected (which is usually about six weeks after conception). And…Read More

Supreme Court Will Consider First Of Two Abortion Laws Monday

The Supreme Court on Monday will hear arguments in two cases challenging the Texas abortion law that bans most abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy. The court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas, both of which challenge the Texas abortion law. On Monday, the court will…Read More

Pardon and Parole Board recommends clemency for Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones

The board voted 3-1 in favor of granting clemency for Jones, who has been on death row for more than 20 years for the 1999 murder of Edmond businessman Paul Howell. One board member recused themselves from the vote. Along with clemency, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended commuting Jones’ death sentence to life…Read More

Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City: A culture of life means an end to the death penalty

If we mean to build a culture of life, we must commit anew to emptying death row and abolishing capital punishment. We are at a crossroads in the United States as we wrestle with the question of inherent human dignity—born and unborn, innocent and guilty, young and old, well and infirm. Amid the perennial debate…Read More

Reactions to State of Oklahoma’s execution of John Grant by lethal injection, the first since 2015

The Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of Oklahoma City, issued the following statement, sharply criticizing Gov. Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor for hurrying to resume executions. “The unnecessary rush to restart executions in Oklahoma by the governor and attorney general is concerning and disappointing. Throughout our nation’s history we have justified the killing…Read More

Archbishop Coakley’s Statement on Oklahoma’s Execution of John Grant

October 28, 2021 “The unnecessary rush to restart executions in Oklahoma by the governor and attorney general is concerning and disappointing. Throughout our nation’s history we have justified the killing or mistreatment of our neighbors by lessening their value as human beings – whether it is the unborn, aged, native populations, African Americans or those…Read More

New York City Council Member Calls for Open Discrimination Against Catholics

A New York City Council Member urged the city to consider cutting off funding for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn because it is “anti-gay.” “Anti-gay discrimination is real and tremendously hurtful especially when it is done by the bishop of the church of which you are a faithful member,” wrote Council Member Daniel Dromm, who chairs…Read More

John Grant, Julius Jones executions temporarily stayed

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily granted John Marion Grant and Julius Jones stays of their pending executions today, stalling Oklahoma’s first attempt to carry out the death penalty in more than six years. Three other death-row inmates who were plaintiffs in the appeal did not receive stays of…Read More

Columbia Law Professor Explains Why Public Schools Are Tearing America Apart

Smearing parents fed up with their kids’ schools as “domestic terrorists” seems to be a wild, incendiary charge with little basis in reality. Yet it’s the basis on which the U.S. attorney general has convened an FBI task force to surveil and intimidate parents who object to what their children are being taught, and how…Read More

White House ‘National Gender Strategy’ Uses COVID as ‘Inflection Point’ to ‘Build Back Better’

The White House issued a “national gender strategy” Monday, claiming COVID-19 has “fueled” a number of crises which demand “we build back better.” “President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that advancing gender equity and equality is fundamental to every individual’s economic security, safety, health, and ability to exercise their most basic rights,” according to…Read More

What Did Public Schools Do With COVID Relief Money? Whatever They Wanted.

The federal government sent around $190 billion in aid to public schools across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is a lot of money by any standards, but in terms of federal spending on primary education, it is a shockingly large amount: as Reason‘s Matt Welch explained when surveying the Biden administration’s weak moves toward…Read More

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks 3 pro-life laws

The Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocked three anti-abortion laws from taking effect Monday. In light of pending litigation challenging the constitutionality of five new restrictive abortion laws, the court on Monday granted a temporary injunction preventing two laws that restrict medication abortions and one that would limit who can perform the procedure from taking effect Nov. 1. A…Read More

Judge denies execution stays for Julius Jones, 4 other inmates

An Oklahoma City federal judge on Monday denied Julius Jones and four other inmates execution stays. The decision came just three days before the first execution is scheduled to be carried out. The inmates immediately appealed. “The Supreme Court has made it clear that the state’s interest in timely enforcement of its judgments cannot be ignored,” U.S.…Read More

Supreme Court to Hear Two Cases Against Texas Heartbeat Law

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it would hear two challenges against Texas’ heartbeat law, which prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of gestation. The two challenges come from the Biden administration and from private abortion groups respectively. In hearing the challenges, the high court will consider whether the United States Government would be…Read More

National School Boards Association Apologizes for Letter Comparing Parents to Terrorists

he National School Boards Association has apologized for a letter that called on the Biden administration to investigate whether alleged threats against school-board members constituted domestic terrorism. The NSBA Board of Directors apologized in a memorandum to members on Friday. The initial letter, sent on September 29, asked the administration to investigate whether alleged threats…Read More

Oklahoma AG accuses two parole board members of bias, wants them off Julius Jones’ clemency hearing

Oklahoma’s new attorney general wants the chairman and another member of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board banned from two upcoming clemency hearings on bias grounds. Attorney General John O’Connor is asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to order the two to disqualify themselves. A clemency hearing for high-profile death row inmate Julius Jones is scheduled for Tuesday.…Read More

Op-ed: “Executing an innocent man is not justice; spare the life of Julius Jones”

  I am a Christian, a lifelong Oklahoman, a former law clerk for the Honorable Gary Lumpkin on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, and former appointee to the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility Tribunal, where I served for six years. I believe in our legal system, but I also know it is capable of…Read More

Oklahoma AG Joins 17 States to Condemn DOJ Targeting School Board Meetings

The attorneys general of 17 U.S. states have formed a coalition denouncing the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI for attempting to “chill lawful dissent by parents voiced during local school board meetings.” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and 16 other state chief legal officers signed a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, blasting…Read More

Senate committee proposes rollback of pro-life policies

A Senate committee introduced nine budget bills on Monday that would roll back several pro-life policies, allowing for domestic funding of abortions and funding of international pro-abortion groups. As part of the appropriations process for the 2022 fiscal year, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday released nine bills allocating funding to various federal agencies and…Read More

Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court to Stop Texas’ Pro-Life Law

The Department of Justice on Monday officially requested that the Supreme Court block a recently-passed law in Texas which bans most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. The Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted an application to the Court arguing that the Texas law violates Roe v. Wade and is therefore unconstitutional. The pro-life law,…Read More

Planned Parenthood whistleblower turned Hispanic pro-life leader details clinic corruption, intimidation

Mayra Rodríguez worked for Planned Parenthood for 17 years and was in charge of three clinics. In 2016, the abortion provider recognized her as employee of the year. Shortly thereafter she would become one of the most outspoken pro-life advocates in the Hispanic community. During her tenure with Planned Parenthood, Rodríguez said she witnessed falsified…Read More

Senate Democrats Drop Hyde Amendment for First Time in Decades

Senate Democrats left out the Hyde Amendment from the annual funding bill they presented Monday, rupturing a decades-long bipartisan custom of including the amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions, in all such bills. “The bill also did not include the Weldon amendment, which bars entities that don’t want to provide abortion care from being…Read More

Appeals court reinstates several Oklahoma death row prisoners to lawsuit

A federal appeals court has ordered that several Oklahoma death row prisoners be reinstated to a lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said a lower court made a mistake by dismissing six prisoners from the lawsuit. A group of more than two dozen death row…Read More

Oklahoma lawmakers studying worsening teacher shortage

Three former teachers now serving as Oklahoma lawmakers are studying the state’s worsening teacher shortage to see what policy measures might be of help. “The teacher pipeline is one of the critical issues we can address in the 2022 legislative session,” said Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, who previously taught government at Booker T. Washington High…Read More

Oklahoma executions could be called off for Julius Jones, others

High-profile death row inmate Julius Jones and five others scheduled for execution could get a reprieve because of a federal appeals court decision Friday. Jones, 41, is set to be executed Nov. 18. Jones claims that he is innocent, that the real killer framed him and that his trial was unfair. Millions signed a petition in his support after ABC in…Read More

What if the next generation of certified teachers were already in the classrooms?

To characterize that Oklahoma still has a teacher shortage problem today is an outdated talking point. We now have a clogged pipeline perpetuated by the lack of innovation within the education sector. Our state’s elected officials have made great strides in recent years to address the root of the initial shortage by strengthening resources for…Read More

Before Supreme Court, Kentucky’s attorney general asks to intervene in defense of pro-life law

The office of Kentucky’s attorney general appeared at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking to be allowed to intervene in defense of the state’s dismemberment abortion ban. Kentucky’s pro-life law, H.B. 454, passed the state legislature in 2018 and was signed into law by then-governor Matt Bevin (R). It bans the practice of live dismemberment…Read More

Multi-million dollar Oklahoma County jail options presented, citizens call for community investment

Architectural consultants hired by the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council shared two multimillion-dollar options for the future of the Oklahoma County Jail in a meeting Thursday evening as citizens called for investments in social services instead. The options, one to build an entirely new facility and a second to renovate the existing facility and…Read More

US bishops welcome increased refugee admissions cap

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Monday their positive reaction to the news that the refugee cap will increase to 125,000 for the coming fiscal year. “The last few years have had a devastating impact on refugee resettlement, all while we witness the greatest forced migration crises in decades,” said an Oct. 11…Read More

‘We’re a team’: OSU partners with Catholic Charities of Eastern OK to aid Afghan refugees

Oklahoma State University has been inundated with offers of help as word has spread about a plan to house Afghan refugees on the college campus. OSU is partnering with Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma to help resettle Afghan refugees who fled Afghanistan after the collapse of its government. About 25 refugee families are expected to arrive on campus in…Read More

Texas To Appeal Judge’s Order Blocking Pro-Life Law

Texas is planning to appeal the recent order of a U.S. District Court judge that blocked the state’s new pro-life law. As Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted, “We disagree with the Court’s decision and have already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The sanctity of human life…Read More

Oklahoma schools Superintendent Hofmeister to challenge Stitt for governor as a Democrat

State schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister will run for governor in 2022 as a Democrat. Hofmeister, a longtime Republican from Tulsa, announced her campaign against Gov. Kevin Stitt in an interview with the Tulsa World posted Wednesday night and with an video advertisement and news release Thursday. “I’m running for Governor as a Democrat because I believe in supporting our children’s…Read More

Assisted suicide undermines medicine, targets the vulnerable, panel warns

Assisted suicide undermines the practice of medicine and endangers persons with disabilities, a panel of experts argued in an online event held on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The event, titled “Deadly, Not Dignified,” was hosted by the Maryland Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the three Catholic dioceses in Maryland. “Medicine is a noble profession.…Read More

Parents respond to DOJ, school boards’ statements: ‘I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?’

The Justice Department (DOJ) is facing a wave of backlash as parents criticize its recent decision to investigate potential acts of violence against school boards across the country. It came after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asked the Biden administration for assistance, suggesting that the threats and acts of violence were similar to domestic…Read More

Judge blocks two Oklahoma abortion laws; declines to act against three others

A judge Monday blocked Oklahoma laws that would have banned abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected and would have deemed abortions as “unprofessional conduct” by doctors. The judge, however, refused to block enforcement of a new law that requires abortion doctors in Oklahoma to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. “This court … believes that irreparable…Read More

Biden administration allows funding of abortion referrals, providers under new rule

The Biden administration will allow Planned Parenthood and other clinics providing abortions to once again receive federal family planning funds, although the funds cannot directly pay for abortions. In a final rule announced on Monday, clinics participating in the Title X family planning program – which funds contraceptives and family planning services for low-income communities…Read More

Do women need abortion to succeed? Women legal scholars say no

Women need abortion to succeed, according to a recent U.S. Supreme Court brief filed by more than 500 female athletes. But not all women agree. In another brief for the same case, hundreds of professional women present a different argument: Abortion harms women. Law professors Teresa Collett and Helen Alvaré and legal scholar Erika Bachiochi…Read More

School Board Group Labels CRT Critics as Terrorists; Oklahoma Lawmakers Respond

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has urged President Biden to have opponents of Critical Race Theory (CRT) investigated and prosecuted under federal anti-terrorism laws—even though the group did not identify any significant instance of organized terrorism associated with CRT opponents who have spoken out at school board meetings across the nation. In response, Oklahoma…Read More

Sen. Julie Daniels, Senate colleagues request Oklahoma State School Boards Association denounce letter from the National School Boards Association

Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, and 12 additional state senators, sent a letter to the Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA), Shawn Hime, on Friday, asking him to denounce statements from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent to President Joe Biden. Daniels referenced a letter sent by NSBA to the president…Read More

Supreme Court asked to declare that McGirt was retroactive

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year that Oklahoma had no criminal jurisdiction over a Native American on the Muscogee Creek reservation should apply to all prior criminal cases in Oklahoma involving Indians on reservations, lawyers for a Native American inmate told the court this week. A petition filed on Wednesday for Clifton Merrill Parish says…Read More

Oklahoma student achievement plummets amidst school shutdown

Academic achievement in Oklahoma public schools plunged during the COVID shutdowns that began in spring 2020 and continued in many districts throughout much of the following school year, based on the newly released results of state academic testing presented to the State Board of Education. Fewer than one in four Oklahoma students performed at grade…Read More

Counter Pelosi’s abortion stand with roses and rosaries, Archbishop Cordileone says

People should pray especially for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s change of heart on abortion, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has said in an announcement of a prayer campaign for her. “A conversion of heart of the majority of our Congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker…Read More

Pandemic toll on academics evident in Oklahoma’s newly released 2020-21 state test results

Results are in from the first state tests administered to Oklahoma students since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and the numbers should be alarming, the state superintendent said. While test participation rates were off overall, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said they are still among the highest participation rates in the nation and offer clear…Read More

Six things you should know about the Afghan refugees and the resettlement program in Oklahoma

Patrick Raglow, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City, learned that the youngest members of a family of Afghan refugees newly arrived to Oklahoma were trying to wash their feet, along with their face, hands and arms before prayer, as is custom in their Islamic faith. Many observant Muslims perform a purification ritual before prayer and many mosques are designed…Read More

Gov. Stitt won’t decide on commuting Julius Jones until after clemency hearing

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that he will not decide on whether to commute Julius Jones’ sentence, which the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended he do, until after a clemency hearing on Jones’ case is completed. Stitt issued the following statement on Tuesday evening: “I am not accepting the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation to…Read More

President Biden expected to meet Pope Francis at end of October, sources say

Pope Francis is expected to receive Joe Biden on Oct. 29, in the U.S. president’s first official visit to the Vatican since his inauguration, according to sources at the Apostolic Palace. The sources told CNA on Sept. 25 that their information came directly from the Prefecture for the Pontifical Household. Though encounters with heads of…Read More

‘Absurd’ pro-abortion laws in California highlight need for parent-child communication, policy expert says

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a pair of bills Sept. 22 that relate to privacy surrounding abortion, and a policy expert commented to CNA that the laws highlight the importance of parent-child communication regarding difficult topics such as abortion. Kathleen Domingo, Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference, told CNA that the new laws, while…Read More

‘Something that I don’t take lightly’: Gov. Stitt still mulling Julius Jones commutation

Gov. Kevin Stitt said he is leaning on his faith and the advice of former Oklahoma governors as he carefully considers whether to commute the sentence of a high-profile death row inmate. Stitt said Friday he is still considering whether to commute the sentence of Julius Jones, whose case has garnered national attention. “It certainly is something…Read More

Oklahoma abortion facilities see surge in out-of-state patients following new Texas law

Oklahoma abortion facilities are seeing a surge in out-of-state patients after Texas recently implemented the strictest anti-abortion law in the country. Women are traveling from as far as Houston, Galveston and Corpus Christi to seek an abortion in Oklahoma City. A spokesman for the Trust Women facility in Oklahoma estimates the facility has seen an eightfold increase in patients traveling from Texas. One…Read More

More Than 35 Lawmakers Urge Governor To Review Richard Glossip’s Death Row Case

Dozens of Oklahoma state lawmakers are calling on Governor Kevin Stitt to order an independent investigation into the case of a death row prisoner. The lawmakers are even taking Richard Glossip’s case to national TV. A documentary about Glossip a few years ago titled “Killing Richard Glossip” continues to get international attention. Now, there is…Read More

Afghan Refugees Coming To Oklahoma Delayed In Processing, Now Arriving In October

The United States evacuated about 65,000 refugees out of Afghanistan last month as the Taliban took over Kabul and most of Afghanistan. Many of those refugees are being dispersed throughout the U.S., including almost 2,000 people here in Oklahoma. They were originally expected to arrive in the Sooner State as soon as early September, but…Read More

As Biden looks to raise refugee cap, Catholics argue he can do more

Catholic refugee advocates on Tuesday praised President Joe Biden for pushing to raise the refugee cap in the coming fiscal year, and urged even more refugee admissions. On Monday, President Biden recommended that the United States double its limit on refugee resettlement in the coming fiscal year, to 125,000 refugees from 62,500. The U.S. bishops’…Read More

The religious freedom cases the Supreme Court could hear – and refuse – this fall

In addition to a major abortion case, the Supreme Court this fall will consider cases on vocal prayer at executions and state tuition assistance for religious schools, and could decide take up other religious freedom cases. Although the court usually decides death penalty cases on the “emergency docket” – reserved for urgent petitions outside the…Read More

Execution dates set for Oklahoma death row inmates

While it has been more than five years since an execution has taken place in Oklahoma, execution dates have been set for several death row inmates. These will be the first executions performed in Oklahoma since 2015. In 2014, the State of Oklahoma executed Clayton Lockett for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman in 1999. The resulting 43-minute procedure…Read More

Supreme Court poised to hear biggest challenge to Roe v Wade in 48 years

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic, presented its legal argument Monday for why the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the state’s 2018 law prohibiting abortions after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, setting the stage for a momentous showdown over Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The filing…Read More

Justice Clarence Thomas credits Catholic nuns’ anti-racist example

Catholic nuns and his grandparents’ example helped instill in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas the belief that all people were children of God and that the racist flaws of American society were a betrayal of its best promises, he said in a lecture Thursday. “My nuns and my grandparents lived out their sacred vocation in…Read More

Bishops Reject Abortion Funding in Budget Bill’s Health Care Provisions

Two Catholic archbishops Sept. 17 objected to two House committees advancing portions of the $3.5 trillion budget bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, with language that funds abortions being added to wording they support to improve access to affordable health care for all. The funding of abortion, “the deliberate destruction of our most…Read More

Bishop praises House members for proposing citizenship path for immigrants

The U.S. bishops’ migration committee chairman Sept. 15 welcomed a move by House members to include language in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other immigrants. “We are pleased that the House Committee on the Judiciary has taken this important step, setting up…Read More

Justice Department asks judge to block Texas abortion law during legal challenge

The US Department of Justice asked a federal judge on Tuesday to issue a preliminary injunction against Texas’ law prohibiting most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, following a suit from the DOJ against the law last week. A preliminary injunction, if granted, would prevent the law from being enforced while the DOJ’s…Read More

Pro-Life Group Says Google Banned Its Ads In ‘Dramatic And Unprecedented Move’

The pro-life group Live Action claimed Tuesday that Google banned “all” Live Action ads, accusing the tech company of siding “squarely with extremist pro-abortion political ideology.” “They aren’t hiding their bias anymore,”Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose said in a statement. “Google’s censorship baldly reveals that the corporation is in the pocket of the…Read More

‘A willingness to start with ‘yes’’: How one Catholic school graduated its first student with Down syndrome

Tears flowed down the faces of Abigail “Abby” Agudelo’s classmates, as earlier this year she became the first student with Down syndrome to graduate from St. Augustine’s School in Andover, Massachusetts. “We know other parochial schools in Massachusetts are striving to do the same today,” Abby’s mother, Wendy Agudelo, told CNA in an interview in…Read More

Statement from Oklahoma Catholic Bishops on the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board’s Recommendation for Commutation of Julius Jones

OKLAHOMA CITY — By a vote of 3-1 today, the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board recommended to Gov. Stitt a commutation of the death sentence for death row inmate Julius Jones. The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City,  and the Most Rev. David A. Konderla, Bishop of Tulsa, issued the following joint statement: “We are encouraged by the Oklahoma Pardon and…Read More

Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommends commuting death row inmate Julius Jones’ sentence

The death penalty case of Julius Jones, which has caught the attention of people across the country, including multiple celebrities, was recommended for commutation by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Monday. It is now up to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt whether to change Jones’ sentence to something other than death. “I believe in…Read More

Don’t back false claims about St Junipero Serra, Catholics ask California governor

Misleading claims about St. Junipero Serra have made their way into a bill sent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, drawing concerns and objections from several Catholic leaders who say the errors shouldn’t stand amid debate about statues of the pioneering Spanish Franciscan missionary. After vandals knocked down a decades-old statue of Serra on the…Read More

Gov. Stitt signs 9 pro-life bills into law

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and several lawmakers held a ceremonial bill signing Thursday for nine anti-abortion laws. The laws include banning abortions if a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, and only doctors board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology can perform an abortion. All nine bills and their authors are listed below: SB 918 restores Oklahoma’s…Read More

Texas Churches Promote Abortion, Vow to Defy New Pro-Life Law

After a new Texas law banned abortions after six weeks of gestation, a number of pro-abortion Christian organizations joined abortion industry leaders like Planned Parenthood in promoting the crime. “The churches, known as ‘Reproductive Freedom Congregations,’ are united in their public support for a woman’s right to an abortion and are determined to ‘take God…Read More

Timetable to resume executions pushed back by Oklahoma attorney general’s office

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office has pushed back its timetable for resuming executions, telling the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals that the Oct. 7 date requested for death row inmate John Marion Grant is too soon to meet state requirements. In a brief filed on Friday with the court, Attorney General John O’Connor said Corrections…Read More

South Dakota Governor Issues Executive Order Restricting ‘Telemedicine’ Abortions

Gov. Kristi Noem, R-SD, has signed an executive order prohibiting the abortion industry from prescribing and selling abortion-inducing drugs online. Under Noem’s new order, only licensed South Dakota doctors may prescribe abortion-inducing drugs, and then only after an in-person exam. In addition, the order dictated that the state collect data on harmful side effects of…Read More

Facing execution, Julius Jones seeks clemency — with help from an unlikely ally

For 22 years, Connie Ellison has sought answers to the questions that sprang from the night her boyfriend was murdered in the driveway of his parents’ home. Her questions lingered even after a man was convicted and sentenced to death row for the crime. They have led her to an unexpected place: advocating for the…Read More

Transgender insureds can sue over health plan exclusion, U.S. appeals court affirms

Transgender people who are enrolled in the North Carolina State Health Plan can proceed with a lawsuit over its 2018 decision to exclude all coverage for gender dysphoria counseling, hormone therapy, surgical care or other treatment, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The 2-1 decision affirmed a federal judge in Greensboro’s 2020…Read More

Fired over transgender pronoun mandate, Virginia teacher appeals to state supreme court

A Virginia teacher fired for not using the “preferred pronoun” of a self-identified transgender student has appealed his case to the state supreme court. Peter Vlaming, who taught French in Virginia’s West Point school district for seven years, was suspended and subsequently fired in 2018 for not using a male pronoun to refer to a…Read More

Barna Study Questions Accuracy of Polling about US Christians

A new Barna study is raising questions about the accuracy of US polling data on the nation’s 176 million self-identified Christians. Longtime pollster George Barna, who now directs the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, said pollsters will get a more accurate picture of Christians’ political views if they better differentiate the sort of…Read More

Statement from Oklahoma Catholic Bishops on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow Texas’ Heartbeat Abortion Ban to Go Into Effect

OKLAHOMA CITY — Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal to block a Texas law that will ban abortion upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat. The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, and the Most Rev. David A. Konderla, Bishop of Tulsa, issued the following joint statement: “This…Read More

Abortion rights groups file lawsuit to block 5 pro-life laws in Oklahoma

A group of abortion advocates are suing to prevent five pro-life laws from taking effect in Oklahoma. The Center for Reproductive Rights, several Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice and Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic are among groups that signed onto a lawsuit alleging a slate of new state laws violate a woman’s constitutional right to…Read More

Democrat Abby Broyles files statement for candidacy for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District

Democrat Abby Broyles has filed a statement for candidacy for Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District. Broyles, a former investigative journalist and attorney, plans to challenge Republican Congresswoman Stephanie Bice. Broyles’ campaign committee filed the statement Tuesday. Bice is serving her first term after defeating Kendra Horn in November’s election. The victory reclaimed Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District…Read More

The Texas Heartbeat Act is a Huge Win for Pro-Lifers

The Texas Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortion once a baby’s heartbeat is detected, came into effect today. While, pro-lifers are celebrating, not everyone is happy. President Joe Biden released a statement saying in part, “This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade… The Texas law will significantly impair women’s…Read More

“Devout” Catholic President Blasts Texas Pro-Life Law

The nation’s second Catholic president blasted a new pro-life law on Wednesday that banned most abortions in Texas President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. said in a statement that the new state ban on abortions after six weeks “will significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals…Read More

Biden Admin Told Refugee Organizations To Prepare For Arrival Of Up To 50,000 Afghans Without Visas

The Biden administration told refugee organizations to prepare for the arrival of up to 50,000 Afghans without visas, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Nine State Department-contracted nonprofits that resettle refugees in the U.S. are trying to recruit more staff and volunteers to help process arriving Afghans, according to the WSJ. Some of the…Read More

Texas heartbeat ban takes effect, breaks barrier

A Texas law that prohibits abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected became effective Wednesday (Sept. 1) in a barrier-breaking development hailed by pro-life advocates and decried by abortion-rights defenders. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block enforcement of the measure in response to a last-ditch request by abortion-rights organizations meant the law became…Read More

Pardon and Parole Board sets clemency hearing dates for Julius Jones, more death row inmates

The state Pardon and Parole Board on Tuesday set tentative dates for clemency hearings in the cases of several death row inmates who face execution while the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals weighs whether the capital punishments may move forward. Clemency hearings for the inmates would take place 21 days before their scheduled executions. A formal approval…Read More

Pro-abortion groups appeal to Supreme Court against Texas’ ‘Heartbeat Act’

Pro-abortion groups are asking the Supreme Court to block Texas’ law that would allow private citizens to sue abortion providers for illegal abortions. The law bans most abortions in the state after the detection of a fetal heartbeat – as early as five weeks into pregnancy On Monday, several abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood’s affiliates in…Read More

Contaminated marijuana is flooding Oklahoma’s medical market amid ongoing state enforcement issues

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kenny Novotny had a problem. The owner of 1440 Processing was seeing failing lab results on 90% of cannabis he bought and submitted independently for testing. State Question 788 says only that an employer may not discriminate against an employee simply because of their status as a medical marijuana patient. This means…Read More

As Supreme Court strikes down eviction moratorium, Catholic Charities urges aid for renters

The Supreme Court struck down a nationwide moratorium on evictions late Thursday. Housing advocates are urging that congressional aid for those facing eviction should be a top priority. In a 6-3 ruling delivered Aug. 26, the Supreme Court determined that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) overstepped its authority in ordering the eviction moratorium…Read More

Julius Jones’ attorneys push back on Oklahoma AG’s request for execution date

Attorneys for a prominent death row inmate are pushing back on the Oklahoma attorney general’s request that an execution date be set for Oct. 28. Julius Jones’ legal team filed a motion Friday asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to disregard the request from Attorney General John O’Connor, who asked this week that execution dates…Read More

Investigation by Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommends Julius Jones not be executed

An investigator for the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole board wrote in her report under “Investigator recommendation” that death prisoner Julius Jones be granted life in prison, either with or without the possibility of parole. Jones, 41, has spent two decades on death row for the 1999 killing of Edmond businessman Paul Howell. Jones has maintained…Read More

1,500 Americans Still in Afghanistan with 5 Days Left to Withdraw

The deadline for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is just 5 days away. Lawmakers are asking questions of the Biden Administration about what is next for US involvement there. Some have expressed security concerns with the vetting system for Afghans arriving in the US. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he’s worried about America’s safety,…Read More

Execution dates requested for Julius Jones, 6 other inmates by new Oklahoma AG

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has requested an execution date for Julius Jones. According to the AG’s office, they’ve requested October 28th be Jones’s execution date. Advocates for Julius Jones say this request undermines public faith in the justice process. Jones is currently scheduled to have a commutation hearing on September 13th. “It is shocking–…Read More

Congress Plans to Fund Abortions With New Medicaid-Like Program

Congressional Democrats are reportedly planning to use their $3.5 trillion “human capital” infrastructure package to create a new federal healthcare program that would work around the leadership of pro-life red states which have rejected Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Democrats are likely to present their proposal as a way to get “needed” healthcare coverage to Americans being…Read More

Pro-Life Leader Decries Bill to Fund Abortions through Reconciliation

March for Life Action President Thomas McClusky wrote a letter to Congress Monday decrying the Biden administration’s plans to prop up the abortion industry with taxpayer funding from the upcoming $3.5 trillion spending bill. “I am writing to voice our opposition to the $3.5 trillion budget busting legislation, S. Con. Res. 14, setting forth the…Read More

NARAL Admits Pro-Lifers Are Succeeding at Online Messaging

Last week, McClatchy DC published an article about NARAL Pro-Choice America and its efforts to revamp its digital outreach. In the article, NARAL admits that the group has been losing the online messaging battle with pro-lifers. In Arizona and Michigan, NARAL found that focus-group participants often used pro-life language when discussing New York’s 2019 Reproductive…Read More

Arlington Catholic Schools Flooded by New Students After Reopening 100% In-Person and Banning Transgender Pronouns

As millions of Catholic schoolkids returned to classes Monday, the Diocese of Arlington braced for a huge enrollment spike following its recent announcements of a 100% in-person learning policy and a ban on transgender pronouns. John Gonzales reported for the local ABC news affiliate that 17,000 kids enrolled in the northern Virginia diocese’s 41 schools…Read More

Catholic Charities-OKC staff assists with Afghanistan refugee processing in Virginia

Three staff members from Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City are assisting with the processing of Afghan refugees at Fort Lee in Virginia as the crisis in Afghanistan  continues to unfold. Patrick Raglow, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City, said his agency, in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and U.S. government agencies, is providing…Read More

Planned Parenthood’s Deception: Former Abortion Workers Share Ex-Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen’s Disillusionment

In her recent book, former Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen outlined how her vision of expanding mainstream health-care options at the nation’s largest abortion provider led the group to part ways with her in favor of a continued focus on abortion advocacy. Several former Planned Parenthood workers who have since become pro-life told the Register…Read More

Proposal for at-home medical abortion puts ‘profit ahead of people’, says prolife Democrat

A move to eliminate the in-person requirement for medical abortions and to allow abortion pills to be distributed through the mail will harm women and only serve corporate interests, says one pro-life activist. Four members of the US House of Representatives submitted a resolution Aug. 19 to eliminate the requirement that a woman seeking to…Read More

Blended virtual learning, longer school days and fidelity to the magisterium: The experiment that could change the future of Catholic education

The Archdiocese of Boston, home to Lexington and Concord, may now be the stage for an education revolution. This fall, the archdiocese is launching Lumen Verum Academy, which will be a blended-learning high school—the first such Catholic school in the nation. This new initiative should yield important lessons for Catholic schools, and for educators more…Read More

Biden Tells Secretary Of Education To Use ‘Legal Actions’ Against Governors Banning Mask Mandates

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the topic of the coronavirus on Wednesday, going a step further in his battle against specific Republican governors who have pushed back against mask mandates in schools. Biden said, “For those who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet — children under the age of 12 — masks are…Read More

Atlanta Public School Told Catholic Couple To Remove Child From District If They Want To Avoid LGBTQ+ Issues In Kindergarten

An Atlanta public elementary school principal told a Catholic couple that their child would need to leave the district to avoid learning about LGBTQ+ issues at the age of five. An Atlanta couple — who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution — obtained a copy of their child’s incoming teacher’s Amazon classroom wish…Read More

Archbishop Cordileone: Social Media Being Weaponized Against Religious Freedom

The archbishop of San Francisco has warned of the use of social media to promote a “new kind of fundamentalism” hostile to religious freedom in an Aug. 12 op-ed. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, together with Jim Daly, the president of the Christian group Focus on the Family, authored an op-ed in The Wall…Read More

U.S. Bishops Welcome Restoration of Hyde Amendment

Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ have welcomed the restoration of the Hyde Amendment to the federal budget following a recent non-binding Senate vote, even though it may still not be included in subsequent legislation. “I’m hopeful and praying hard for this and I’m very grateful that the Senate did the right thing,”…Read More

New Infrastructure Bill Includes Non-Discrimination Clause for Grant Program

Earlier this week, the Senate passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill which includes a non-discrimination clause. The bill sets up a grant program but says organizations who get the money must abide by the non-discrimination clause. So-called gender identity and sexual orientation are included in this provision which may make it difficult for religious organizations…Read More

Arkansas Legislature passes bill banning Planned Parenthood from public schools

Arkansas lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed a bill that would, if enacted, prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from providing resources to public schools. Known as the “Arkansas Student Protection Act,” the bill passed the state Senate on Monday in a vote of 27-5, having previously passed the state House of Representatives by a vote…Read More

Lankford Saves Hyde Amendment with Late-Night Move

Pro-life groups praised the Senate on Wednesday for narrowly approving language against taxpayer-funded abortion. The language was part of a budget resolution, a procedural step toward eventual passage of the Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion spending package for the 2022 fiscal year. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the pro-life amendment, which was included in the resolution…Read More

Federal judge says Oklahoma death penalty suit can proceed

A federal judge in Oklahoma City ruled Wednesday a lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection protocols can proceed to trial, making it likely Oklahoma’s de facto moratorium on executions will extend into a seventh year. U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot agreed in his order to consider at trial whether Oklahoma’s current three-drug protocol risks subjecting…Read More

Federal court dismisses lawsuit against Indianapolis archdiocese

A federal district court on Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, filed by a former Catholic school guidance counselor fired for entering a same-sex marriage contract. Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana on Aug. 11 ruled that the former Roncalli Catholic High School counselor, Lynn Starkey, qualified as…Read More

Federal court rules against ‘transgender mandate’

A federal district court judge on Aug. 2 ruled in favor of Catholic and Christian health care organizations fighting the “transgender mandate,” a federal requirement that doctors and insurers provide or cover gender-transitioning procedures upon referral. The Biden administration in May had revived the “transgender mandate,” stating that a statutory federal ban on sex discrimination…Read More

Despite millions in Catholic residential schools reparations, critics seek to end church tax exemptions

Catholic entities had committed tens of millions of dollars in legal settlements for their involvement in the Canadian government’s historic residential schools campaign forcibly to assimilate indigenous people, even before the rediscovery of graves and cemeteries at the former schools made headlines, renewed the grief of affected communities, and possibly inspired several church burnings. There…Read More

Bishops in Colorado back conscientious exemption for coronavirus vaccines

The Catholic bishops in Colorado have emphasized the need to respect those with conscientious objections to the COVID-19 vaccines and have provided a template letter for any Catholics with objections to mandatory vaccination. They also welcomed the City of Denver’s vaccination mandate for including a religious exemption. “In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, we…Read More

Catholic Lawsuit Ties “Public School Monopoly” to “Bigoted” Blaine Amendment

The Wall Street Journal editorial board drew attention to a Catholic federal lawsuit targeting South Carolina’s Blaine Amendment, and made the case that the exclusion of private Catholic schools from education funding is part of a longstanding legacy of bigotry. “Blaine Amendments are a relic of 19th-century prejudice, and meant to deny public funding for…Read More

Bioethicist: There must be conscience exemptions to vaccine mandates

As workplaces have begun to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, some Catholic institutions insist that conscience exemptions are necessary. In addition, priests should be allowed to support Catholics who conscientiously refuse COVID-19 vaccines, says one bioethicist. “It is Catholic doctrine that people’s well-founded conscientious objections are part of their religion,” said Dr. Joseph Meaney, president…Read More

Millions in federal money fetal tissue harvesting: report

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has funneled at least $2.7 million into a University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) project that utilizes a tissue bank with organs from aborted fetuses, according to a release from Judicial Watch Tuesday. The conservative nonprofit obtained hundreds of pages of public records requests, which detail Pitt’s interest in…Read More

More than 75 briefs filed supporting Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban at Supreme Court

More than 75 amicus briefs have been filed at the Supreme Court supporting Mississippi’s ban on most elective abortions after 15 weeks, the state’s attorney general said last week. Many of the briefs were filed by Catholic or pro-life organizations. In the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – a critical abortion case…Read More

US bishops welcome emergency resettlement of Afghans

Leading U.S. bishops on Friday welcomed Afghan nationals to the United States who had assisted the United States’ military, diplomatic, and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. As part of the official withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the United States expedited the immigration process for certain Afghan nationals and their families who had helped the U.S.…Read More

Poll: Large Majority of Americans Support School Choice

A RealClear Opinion Research poll found majorities of both Republican and Democrat voters support school choice. 74% of voters support school choice, including 83% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats, and 69% of independents, according to the poll, which was conducted in June. A majority (66%) of both Republican and Democrat poll respondents also supported giving…Read More

Rep. Cole Offers Motion to Recommit Advocating for Bipartisan Pro-Life Protections

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04), Vice Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered remarks on the House floor in support of the Republican motion to recommit (MTR) on H.R. 4502, which the House will vote on this this week. The motion would restore the longstanding and traditionally bipartisan Hyde and Weldon Amendments to annual appropriations.…Read More

Catholic Bishops Rebuke Self-Described ‘Strong Catholic’ Terry McAuliffe

The Catholic Church in Virginia is condemning Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s plan to eliminate conscience protections for religious organizations—a policy that threatens Catholic adoption agencies and other charitable institutions. In his second bid for governor, McAuliffe has pledged to repeal Virginia’s conscience clause, which allows religious charities to place children into foster homes and for adoption…Read More

Recent target of NY pro-abortion protests speaks out

After pro-abortion protesters obstructed a July 10 pro-life rosary procession in Brooklyn, a priest leading the procession compared it to a “Way of the Cross.” Pro-life advocate Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, CFR helped lead the “Witness for Life” prayer procession from St. Paul’s Catholic church in Brooklyn to the local Planned Parenthood clinic on July 10.…Read More

STITT APPOINTS NEW STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Gov. Kevin Stitt has appointed a former Trump judicial nominee, longtime Tulsa attorney John O’Connor, to serve as the attorney general of Oklahoma. O’Connor said he would work “with our governor and Legislature to bring honest, outstanding governance to Oklahomans” and expressed a willingness to fight in court to reverse some high-profile U.S. Supreme Court…Read More

New Bill Would Defund Public Universities That Provide On-Campus Abortions

Pro-life lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday to defund public colleges and universities that perform abortions or offer the abortion pill to students or staff. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the founder and chairman of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, on Wednesday introduced the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2021 in the Senate, while Reps. Chip…Read More

Abbott plans to restrict minors’ access to gender transition-related surgeries, hormone treatments

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he plans to take action to restrict minors’ access to gender transition-related medical services, since legislation on the issue failed to pass during the regular session of the legislature. “I have another way of achieving the exact same thing, and it’s about a finished product as we speak…Read More

Investigation: Los Angeles city illegally kept funds destined to Catholic Schools

In a decision that could restore millions of dollars to Catholic schools, the state of California has ruled that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) violated federal law in ways that slashed assistance for academically struggling students in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ADLA). The 58-page “investigation report,” issued June 25 by the California…Read More

Texas Senate passes abortion and critical race theory bills in special session

The Texas Senate approved measures restricting abortion and amending rules about critical race theory Friday, advancing two of the 11 priorities listed in Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda for the special legislative session. Lawmakers passed S.B. 4 19-3, with one Democrat joining 18 Republicans, to tighten rules relating to access to abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone.…Read More

Op-Ed: With school choice, critical race theory wouldn’t be a problem

Mandating a curriculum that teaches critical race theory in public schools is on the rise across our country’s education system. Before that, transgender curriculum, even for kindergartners, has been floated in schools across the United States. For decades, teachers unions and public school administrations have adopted curricula for their states that are anathema to parents’…Read More

Cuban-American bishops state solidarity with Cuba protests

Four Cuban-American bishops issued a statement Tuesday indicating their support for Cubans seeking recognition of their human rights, following protest’s of the island’s communist government. “We, Cuban-American bishops, join in solidarity with the Cuban people in their quest for responses to their human rights and needs.  We are deeply troubled by the aggressive reaction of…Read More

Oklahoma Pardon And Parole Board Votes To Hold Enhanced Second Commutation Hearing In Julius Jones Case

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted Monday to give death row prisoner Julius Jones a longer second stage commutation hearing to better understand the details of his case. Jones was convicted of murdering Edmond man Paul Howell in 1999. Jones claims he is innocent. The board already voted to move Julius Jones to the…Read More

Board of Education to limit classroom discussions CRT

Oklahoma K-12 educators could have their teaching licenses suspended and schools could have their accreditation docked for teaching banned concepts about race and racism under administrative rules approved by the State Board of Education. Amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, the board on Monday approved on a 5-1 vote emergency rules to implement a new law that prohibits the teaching…Read More

Amid Catholic opposition, states are legalizing composting of human remains

Washington, Colorado and Oregon are now among the U.S. states that have legalized the process of converting human bodies into soil, a procedure the Catholic Church said fails to show “respect for the body of the deceased.” Meanwhile, California and New York are seeking to be next in line to allow human composting. The process…Read More

Pro-life groups warn draft spending bill would fund abortion on demand

A House subcommittee on Monday advanced a draft spending bill without the usual prohibitions on abortion funding, legislation that pro-life groups warned would force taxpayers to subsidize abortion on demand. “These are bad bills. They are never going to pass the Senate,” said Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, to CNA on Monday.…Read More

Republican Legislators Ramp Up Pressure on State Board of Ed Critical Race Theory Vote

Pressure to implement House Bill 1775 is being applied by Republican Legislators on the State Board of Education. A meeting is scheduled for Monday to consider emergency rules to implement the guidelines set by the legislation which disallows teaching history and other courses using the concept of critical race theory. HB 1775 House author Representative…Read More

Federal LGBT Employment Guidance ‘An Outrageous Overreach’ One Lawyer Says

Recent federal LGBT nondiscrimination guidance for employers goes far beyond the law, one legal and religious freedom expert told CNA. “This is an outrageous overreach compared to what the Supreme Court said [in Bostock v. Clayton County],” said John Bursch, senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with the group Alliance Defending Freedom, in…Read More

Planned Parenthood-trained instructor: sex-ed programs sexualize children

A former sex-education instructor is challenging Planned Parenthood for “sexualizing children”, cutting parents “out of the picture”, and dehumanizing the unborn. She knows, she said, because she received training from the nation’s largest abortion provider. Monica Cline, who was taught and trained by Planned Parenthood, now serves as a pro-life advocate and founder of It…Read More

Cardinal Tobin, Colorado bishops warn against federal abortion funding

Catholic leaders this week warned that proposed legislation could push billions of federal tax dollars toward funding of elective abortions. “I am deeply concerned that the proposed federal budget would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which, for 45 years, has prohibited the use of federal funds for abortion,” Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark said in a…Read More

Bishop Barron Calls Out Pro-abortion Politicians

In a video message Bishop Barron is calling out pro-abortion politicians for refusing to “dialogue” about abortion – or support restrictions of any kind. Bishop Robert Barron, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, released a video asking pro-abortion politicians “Can We Actually Dialogue?” If politicians can’t even agree to “protecting the life…Read More

Attorney General Merrick Garland suspends federal executions

Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a temporary stop Thursday to scheduling further federal executions. In a memo to senior officials, he said serious concerns have arisen about the arbitrariness of capital punishment, its disparate impact on people of color, and “the troubling number of exonerations” in death penalty cases. “The Department of Justice must ensure…Read More

Senate pro-life chair criticizes proposed ACA abortion billing rule

The chair of the Senate pro-life caucus on Tuesday criticized a proposed loosening of safeguards against taxpayer funding of abortion coverage on health exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. “Abortion is not healthcare and taxpayers should not be subsidizing it,” stated Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chair and founder of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus,…Read More

After Shocking Revelations About Brutalized Dead Babies, Biden Administration To Shut Down Fetal Harvesting Probe

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and radical pro-abortion activist Xavier Becerra shut down the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ethics board overseeing human fetal tissue research. Under President Donald Trump, the advisory board had the authority to block fetal research proposals on ethics grounds. In April, at President Joe Biden’s direction, HHS also reversed…Read More

University of California regents advance proposal to pressure hospital partners’ Catholic ethics

The regents of the University of California have advanced a proposal that could end longtime partnerships with Catholic hospitals, as well as with other hospitals whose ethics bar participation in assisted suicide, abortion or transgender-affirmative care. Backers of Catholic health care, however, emphasized the benefits of the university-hospital partnerships, and the ability of Catholic health…Read More

American Public Schools Lost More Than A Million Students Last Year

More than a million students disappeared from public school rolls during the 2020-2021 school year according to a new report from Education Week that analyzed available state-collected data about schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. “America’s public school system lost almost 1.3 million students this year, according to an Education Week analysis of state data,” the…Read More

Biden Admin: All States Must Let Boys be Girls

The Department of Education announced Wednesday that all public educational institutions nationwide must recognize the “gender identities” of “trans” people, including by allowing biological males to use female facilities such as restrooms and compete in female sports. “Today marks 49 years since the passage of Title IX, the strongest tool we have to protect every…Read More

In third filibuster, Senate GOP blocks partisan election overhaul bill

Senate Republicans blocked a measure authored by Democrats that would overhaul election and voting laws, calling the legislation a partisan power grab. Democrats voted unanimously to begin debate on the For the People Act, a bill they framed as critical voting rights legislation. But the party only controls 50 votes in the Senate, and the…Read More

Massachusetts mayor challenges local pro-abortion Catholic politicians

A Massachusetts mayor called out pro-abortion Catholic politicians last Thursday at a pro-life rally in Quincy. In his speech at a June 17 “Night 4 Life” rally in Quincy, Massachusetts, the city’s mayor Thomas Koch asked, “Where are the consciences today of our elected politicians – particularly the Catholic and Christian ones?” the New Boston…Read More

Supreme Court unanimously sides with Catholic foster agency

The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of “exemplary” foster mothers Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch, allowing these foster care heroes to continue serving children in need in partnership with the Catholic foster ministry that has been serving Philadelphia for over 200 years. Catholic Social Services supports foster mothers like Sharonell and Toni and serves…Read More

Court Rules Cake Shop Must Make Cakes Celebrating Transgenderism

A Colorado district court ruled that Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, must create custom cakes celebrating gender transitions. The Wednesday ruling is the latest event in a long saga involving Phillips, a devout Christian, and customers seeking him out to demand he make custom cakes celebrating the LGBT movement, which he opposes on religious…Read More

Biden administration seeks death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber

The Justice Department recently asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. Tsarnaev’s death sentence had been handed down by federal jury a lower court, and the Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate it, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday. The…Read More

Betsy DeVos and the Future of Education Reform

My job as Betsy DeVos’s assistant secretary for policy often came down to translating her reform vision into concrete legislative proposals, budgets, and grant competitions. It was a stimulating, enjoyable job—despite the constant tumult created by the unconventional president. There was also some unpleasantness because of the conventional labor unions that represent teachers in collective…Read More

Pro-life leaders warn of ‘egregious’ new pro-abortion bill

Pro-life leaders warn that an “egregious” bill introduced this week in Congress would override most state abortion regulations, require health care workers to perform abortions, and mandate federal funding of abortion. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), along with Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas),…Read More

Biden administration cites ‘duty’ to uphold Title IX exemption for Christian schools

The Biden administration on Tuesday said it is required by law to uphold a Title IX exemption for religious colleges, in response to a lawsuit filed by students identifying as LGBT. Filing in an Oregon district court, the Justice Department said that religious post-secondary schools seeking to intervene in a case to defend their Title…Read More

Court reinstates Virginia teacher suspended over transgender pronoun policy

A county court on Tuesday ruled that a Virginia teacher suspended for opposing a school transgender pronoun policy must be reinstated while his case continues. The Loudoun County Circuit Court ruled that Tanner Cross, a teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, had to be reinstated by Loudoun County Public Schools after he was suspended for speaking…Read More

Pro-life group says new poll demonstrates support for 15-week abortion ban

A national pro-life group says that its new poll of likely voters demonstrates support for a 15-week abortion ban. The survey of likely voters, conducted by OnMessage Inc. and released on Monday by the Susan B. Anthony List, revealed that a majority voters were “more likely” to support restrictions on abortions after 15 weeks once…Read More

Texas passes bill that bans general health insurance coverage of abortions

On Tuesday, HB 214 was signed into Texas law, requiring consumers to purchase supplemental coverage from health insurers to cover abortions in the state. Abortions needed for medical emergencies will still be allowed to be covered by general insurance plans, however. According to US News, Texas has now joined 25 other states that have enacted…Read More

Judge dismisses Planned Parenthood challenge to Lubbock’s abortion ban

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood against a Texas city over new pro-life policies, saying Planned Parenthood does not have standing to sue the city. Citizens in Lubbock had voted in early May to declare the city a “Sanctuary City for the Unborn,” drawing praise from the Catholic diocese’s…Read More

Gov. Kevin Stitt gets three finalists for Oklahoma Supreme Court vacancy

Three female judges made the final cut Thursday for the Oklahoma Supreme Court vacancy, as the state Judicial Nominating Commission set up Gov. Kevin Stitt to pick his third justice for the nine-person court. The finalists announced by the commission are: Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Dana Kuehn; Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals Judge…Read More

Revisiting ‘Roe’: Why the Supreme Court Decision on Mississippi Case Will Likely Ditch Viability

The U.S. Supreme Court finally announced May 17 that it would decide Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where a Mississippi law banned most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy because, by then, the fetus is capable of perceiving pain. I say “finally” because the petition for review lingered in the high court for…Read More

Court Rules Vermont Cannot Deny Aid to Catholic School Students

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that officials in the State of Vermont violated the First Amendment by denying public tuition aid to students who attended private Catholic schools. The Wednesday ruling struck down a Vermont rule that prohibited students attending private religious schools from taking tuition aid through the State’s…Read More

Ahead of Pivotal Supreme Court Decision, Foster Care Agency Mired in Religious Freedom Fight

Ahead of an anticipated ruling by the Supreme Court in a landmark foster care case, a Christian foster care agency in Kentucky says the state is forcing it to violate its religious mission. Sunrise Children’s Services, a Kentucky-based nonprofit ministry affiliated with Kentucky Baptists, says a clause in a new state contract would force it…Read More

Catholic leaders to meet on immigration

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hosted an emergency meeting with prelates from Central America as well as Vatican representatives June 1-2 in Chicago to set forth a path for the U.S. church’s response to immigration. The meeting included representatives from the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section, bishops from Central America and Mexico, as well…Read More

Julius Jones’ commutation hearing rescheduled to September to allow for enhanced process

Julius Jones’ commutation hearing has been rescheduled to September 13, after originally being scheduled for June. “It’s a little bit longer. It’s three months away instead of next month,” Jimmy Lawson, Julius Jones’ best friend, told KFOR on Thursday. “The positive side is that we will still get our chance to have a hearing.” Jones…Read More

Scientists Want to Abolish Rule Against Experiments on Unborn

A leading stem cell research organization has called for scientists to lift a long-held ethical rule against growing and experimenting on embryonic human beings beyond 14 days of gestation. The Illinois-based International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) made the suggestion in a new set of guidelines published this year for consideration by governments, research…Read More

Pro-life leader ‘confident’ Manchin will oppose abortion funding in upcoming budget battles

One pro-life leader is “confident” that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) – a key swing vote in the U.S. Senate – will oppose efforts to fund abortions in the coming fiscal year. With President Joe Biden expected to release the details of his budget request for the 2022 fiscal year next week, one long-standing federal…Read More

As S.C. Catholics challenge state’s Blaine Amendment, scholars argue it was ‘born of bigotry’

Catholics and others challenging South Carolina’s Blaine Amendment are right to argue that the amendment was “born of bigotry and prejudice, based on race and religion,” two scholars say. The state’s Blaine Amendment – a constitutional ban on public funds for private religious schools – was enacted amid efforts by those schools to educate freed…Read More

OFFICIALS DECLARE ‘YEAR OF OKLAHOMA’S EDUCATION TURNAROUND’

Appearing before dozens of children who will benefit from policy changes approved this year, Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislators declared 2021 the “Year of Oklahoma’s Education Turnaround” during a press conference. “When the legislative session began, we crafted policies to give you the best chance to get the best education, because we knew that education…Read More

School choice bill headed to governor

Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives have passed a significant expansion of a school-choice program that has benefited thousands of low-income students, sending the measure to Gov. Kevin Stitt to be signed into law. “These opportunities are real,” said House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, “and they change the trajectories of peoples’…Read More

Gov. Abbott Signs Pro-Life ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-TX, signed into law legislation protecting unborn children as soon as a heartbeat can be detected. The law sets the cutoff for legal abortions at about six weeks after conception. While Texas is often considered a conservative state, passing pro-life legislation in the Lone Star State has proven difficult. Pro-life leaders said…Read More

Despite protests from senators, Planned Parenthood affiliates still received PPP loans in 2021

Planned Parenthood affiliates have continued to be approved for emergency small business loans in 2021, despite protests by senators who say they should be ineligible for the loans. The office of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said last week that it had once again sought an explanation from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as to…Read More

Charleston diocese ‘extremely disappointed’ with law recommencing executions

South Carolina on Monday became the fourth state to officially sanction the use of the firing squad as a method of execution. Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed into law a bill allowing the state to execute death row inmates by electrocution or firing squad, if the drugs used for lethal injection are not available. Previously,…Read More

Oklahoma Attorney General: state’s abortion laws at stake in Supreme Court case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a Mississippi case that represents a major challenge to abortion rights and could allow Oklahoma and other states more latitude in restricting access to abortion. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, who joined 17 other states last year in urging justices to take the case, applauded the…Read More

School choice clears Senate hurdle

A significant school-choice measure has won overwhelming approval from the Oklahoma Senate and is now one vote away from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk. Senate Bill 1080 increases the size of the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, which provides tax credits to those who donate to organizations that provide private-school scholarships. “Other than affirming life,…Read More

Catholic Schools Are Losing Students at Record Rates, and Hundreds Are Closing

Catholic schools across the country are struggling to keep the doors open, after a pandemic year that left many families unable to pay tuition and the church without extra funds to cover the difference. At least 209 of the country’s nearly 6,000 Catholic schools have closed over the past year, according to the National Catholic…Read More

OK Leaders Announce Budget Deal to Expand Private Education Scholarships

State leaders touted a “historic” investment in education in the proposed budget. Common education will see a $178 million increase in funding, which will trigger a provision in state law that caps class sizes for kindergarten and first-grade students. In total, the budget would appropriate $3.2 billion for common education. “After such a very challenging…Read More

HHS Secretary: ‘There is no law’ against ‘partial-birth abortion’

The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday would not acknowledge an existing federal ban on “partial-birth abortion.” During a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) asked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra if he agreed that partial-birth abortion is illegal. Becerra answered that “[t]here is no…Read More

Bishops urge Catholics to sign petition against Hyde Amendment’s repeal

Diocesan Respect Life coordinators and the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops are encouraging Catholics to speak out against the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, legislation which bans federal Medicaid funding of abortions. “It is so important for people in our parishes to learn about the Hyde Amendment and the life-saving, conscience-protecting…Read More

Florida Governor Signs “Historic” School Choice Bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, signed a school choice bill Tuesday, allowing families to use public education tax dollars to send children to private schools, to homeschool, or to employ private tutors. Wealthy parents “can make whatever decisions they want” and “have the world as their oyster,” DeSantis said at a televised signing ceremony held at…Read More

Possible brain death law changes pose ethical concerns

Some Catholic doctors and medical ethicists have raised concern about possible forthcoming changes to the legal definition of brain death used in most U.S. states. The issue of whether family consent should be required for brain death testing is of particular importance, especially since a determination of brain death can allow for patients’ organs to…Read More

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice speaks to Assembly of Catholic Professionals

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Edmond, talked on Thursday about faith, family and the issues facing the U.S. Congress at the Assembly of Catholic Professionals in downtown Oklahoma City. Bice, who was elected in November to represent Oklahoma’s 5th District, said her freshman year in Congress has been a whirlwind, including being chosen president of the…Read More

Catholic Schools Beat Public Schools in Reading and Math

Here is one demonstrable fact about the difference between Catholic and public schools: Students who study at Catholic schools do better in reading and math. We know this because students who attended Catholic elementary schools in 2019 tested better in mathematics and reading than students who attended public schools. The latest issue of the Digest…Read More

Landmark lawsuit targets Christian higher education

One of Oklahoma’s largest faith-based universities is among 25 higher education institutions named in a federal class-action lawsuit recently brought against the U.S. Department of Education. Filed by the nonprofit Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP), the lawsuit, Elizabeth Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Department of Education, is being brought against the department on behalf of…Read More

‘Demographic earthquake’? U.S. fertility rates fall again to record-low levels

The U.S. total fertility rate fell to its lowest-recorded level last year and the number of births was the lowest in 42 years, new federal data published on Wednesday revealed. According to provisional data of the National Vital Statistics System published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the total fertility rate in the…Read More

CDC Helped Teachers Unions Keep Schools Closed

House Republicans confronted the Centers for Disease Control this week after newly-released emails revealed the CDC quietly “partnered” with leading teachers unions while crafting the latest school reopening guidelines. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, Morgan Griffith, R-VA, and Brett Guthrie, R-KY, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a strongly-worded letter to CDC Director…Read More

Catholic dioceses appeal to Supreme Court for protection against New York’s abortion coverage mandate

The dioceses of Albany and Ogdensburg and other Catholic and Christian ministries last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against New York’s abortion coverage mandate. The 2017 mandate from the state’s Department of Financial Services required that employers cover abortions in their employee health insurance plans. While the state granted a…Read More

Governor Greenlights Restorative Justice Program

The governor this week signed into law a bill that will allow for a victim-led restorative justice pilot program to be established in the state. The purpose of House Bill 1880, by House Majority Caucus Whip Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City, is to divert non-violent offenders from traditional prosecution and incarcerations models. Instead, cases are referred…Read More

Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Banning Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt today signed a bill into law that that would ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Last Tuesday, the state Senate passed the heartbeat bill and two other pro-life measures and today Stitt signed them into law. “I’m keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation. We now have…Read More

Connecticut Girls Hit Setback, Press Forward Against Unfair ‘Trans’ Policy

A group of girl athletes are appealing a judge’s rejection of their case against a policy that allows male-born “trans” athletes to compete with females in Connecticut high school sports. After a new pro-LGBT policy was introduced to school sports in Connecticut, biological boys began competing with (and defeating) female athletes in 2017. A number…Read More

Gov. Stitt signs bill preventing government from closing places of worship

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Monday signed a bill that would prevent the government from closing places of worship. House Bill 2648 creates the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, which authorities say anything closing places of worship would be considered a substantial burden on people’s freedom of religion. Government officials in Oklahoma and across the U.S. forced…Read More

Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning Biological Males From Competing In Girl’s High School Sports

Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) signed a bill into law on Friday that bans biological males from being able to compete against girls in high school sports. The law states that “no public K-12 school may participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition…Read More

Arkansas Legislature passes bill banning Planned Parenthood from public schools

Arkansas lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed a bill that would, if enacted, prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from providing resources to public schools. Known as the “Arkansas Student Protection Act,” the bill passed the state Senate on Monday in a vote of 27-5, having previously passed the state House of Representatives by a vote…Read More

OSSBA says girls should compete against transgender athletes

The Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) has called on lawmakers to require female athletes to compete against male athletes who identify as transgender, saying a proposed ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports “jeopardizes local control” because it would overrule “the policy school districts have adopted” through the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association “regarding…Read More

Biden Admin Files Appeal To Force Doctors to Perform “Trans” Surgeries

The Biden administration filed an appeal Tuesday against a January federal court order in North Dakota that said the government cannot force doctors to perform controversial “gender reassignment” surgeries against their consciences. Lawyer Luke Goodrich, who serves as chief counsel for the pro-religious liberty law firm Becket, called the move an attempt to establish a…Read More

USCCB: Permitting mail-order abortion pills places women’s health ‘in serious jeopardy’

The pro-life chair of the U.S. bishops’ conference on Friday warned that loosening federal regulations of the abortion pill places women’s health “in serious jeopardy.” Earlier this week, the acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic the agency would allow for the abortion pill regimen to…Read More

More states pass bills aimed at protecting women’s sports

State legislatures of West Virginia and Kansas recently passed bills restricting participation in women’s sports to one’s biological sex and not gender identity. New legislation in West Virginia would require participation in single-sex sports teams and events to be based on the “biological sex of the athlete at birth.” The bill passed the state legislature…Read More

Amazon Reinstates Book Critical Of Trans Identity For Children After Claiming To Have Banned It In ‘Error’

Amazon has reinstated sales of a book critical of transgender identity among children after complaints from the author, who speculates many others might have joined her in the pushback. Earlier this week, Maria Keffler’s new book, “Desist, Detrans, & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult,” had sold less than 100 copies across…Read More

Charleston diocese sues South Carolina for barring Covid-relief funds from private schools

The Diocese of Charleston filed a suit against South Carolina on Wednesday challenging the state’s “Blaine Amendment”, which prohibits public funds from going to private schools. The state supreme court has blocked the governor’s efforts to provide Covid-relief funding to private schools and the parents of private school students, citing the state’s Blaine Amendment. Bishop…Read More

New Mexico’s Dangerous, Discriminatory Assisted Suicide Law

In the midst of a pandemic, the New Mexico state legislature ignored the needs of its constituents—many of whom lack basics like reliable electricity and running water, never mind basic medical care—in favor of passing a dangerous and discriminatory assisted suicide law. This and similar policies in other states have proven the failure of proponents…Read More

FDA Lifts Restriction on Remote Prescriptions of Abortion Drugs

The Biden administration cited the coronavirus pandemic to give the green light to at-home, self-administered abortions on Monday. The FDA said it will allow the prescription of an abortion pill, mifepristone, through the mail, reversing Trump administration restrictions on remote prescription of abortion drugs. The agency wrote that because “the in-person dispensing of mifepristone for medical termination…Read More

California Lifts Capacity Limits on Religious Gatherings Following Supreme Court Ruling

California lifted all capacity restrictions on religious gatherings on Monday, following the Supreme Court’s ruling over the weekend that the state’s restrictions were too harsh. “In response to recent judicial rulings, effective immediately, location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended,” the state announced on Monday. The state’s…Read More

SCOTUS Rules Against CA Restrictions on Home Prayer Gatherings

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of religious complainants against a California COVID restriction on in-home religious gatherings. “…California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise,” the Friday ruling stated in part, “permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and…Read More

Crisis: Record Number Of Migrants Taken Into Custody At Southern Border In March, Highest Number Of Child Migrants Ever Recorded

United States Customs and Border Protect (CBP) reported a record number of illegal immigrants taken into custody at the United States-Mexico border in March — the most in nearly two decades, according to an official release. That number includes 19,000 child migrants, the “largest monthly number ever recorded …,” according to the Chicago Tribune. CBP…Read More

Court: Government can’t interfere in Catholic schools’ mission

Catholic schools must be free to uphold the Church’s teachings, lawyers for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said after a federal judge allowed a lawsuit against the archdiocese to proceed. Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana ruled on March 31 that a former counselor at a Catholic school in the archdiocese, who was…Read More

Utah to Require Fathers to Pay for Half of Prenatal Care amd Pregnancy Costs

A new law in Utah will require fathers to pay for half of the mother’s cost of pregnancy, making Utah the first state to mandate prenatal child support from the father. HB 113, sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer, stipulates that the baby’s biological father must pay half of the mother’s insurance premiums while she is…Read More

Arkansas lawmakers override Hutchinson veto on transgender youth bill

The Arkansas State Legislature on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) veto on legislation that bans gender reassignment surgeries and other treatments for transgender youth. The majority-Republican state House voted 72 to 25 to approve the controversial bill before sending the legislation back to the state Senate, which rejected the governor’s veto of the bill in…Read More

Point of view: Public funds for public schools is a hollow slogan

“No public money for private schools.” This slogan, employed against the idea of public funding for parents to choose which schools their children attend, is so void of meaning, so vapid in its reasoning. Such is the wit and wisdom in the Public Funds for Public Schools OK Coalition’s (PFPS) name. This coalition of the usual suspects — unions, insider associations and a couple…Read More

Governor Stitt Signs Most Transformative Education Reform in State History Into Law

Governor Kevin Stitt signed the most transformative education reform legislation in Oklahoma history into law today in a ceremony in the Blue Room at the Capitol. House Bill 2078 and Senate Bill 783 allow for students to attend public schools that best meet their needs and modernize the funding formula to match enrollment counts more…Read More

In a Rebuke to Teachers Unions, School Choice Is Going Gangbusters in the States

School districts are slowly beginning to reopen in-person instruction after being closed for nearly a year—or, in many places, for over a year. While this is a wonderful development, it will never erase what parents experienced last year: uncertainty, inconsistency, and, in some cases, ineptitude from public schools. The events of the last year have…Read More

Arkansas governor signs landmark medical conscience objection law

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Friday legislation allowing doctors to decline to perform non-emergency medical procedures that violate their moral or religious beliefs. The law will take effect by August 2021. “I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny…Read More

Kentucky Legislature Overrides Governor Beshear’s Veto, Becomes 28th State with Private School Choice Program

Tonight the Kentucky Legislature voted to override Governor Beshear’s veto of House Bill 563. The bill will now become law, making Kentucky the 28th state to enact a private school choice program. Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children: “Today lawmakers in Kentucky did the right thing by rejecting a veto by their Governor that would have…Read More

Federal Court: Professor Can’t be Forced to Use Trans Pronouns

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that it was unconstitutional for university administrators to punish a Christian professor who wouldn’t use a “trans” student’s preferred gender pronouns. Dr. Nicholas Meriwether teaches philosophy at Shawnee State University. “The university punished Meriwether because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a…Read More

Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Protecting Women’s Sports

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Friday that prohibits biological males from competing against females in sports. “I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” Lee announced on Twitter. “This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and…Read More

Agreement means equitable funding for Oklahoma students

The State Board of Education has voted to settle a longstanding lawsuit by requiring that public charter schools be funded on an equitable basis with their traditional public-school counterparts. The agreement provides that charter schools will now receive per-pupil funding from local property taxes based on student enrollment, just like all other public schools. Board…Read More

Federal Judge Ends DC Church Restrictions

A federal judge ruled against Washington D.C.’s onerous restrictions on churches Thursday, freeing up worshippers considerably just ahead of Holy Week. Judge Trevor McFadden wrote that D.C. lockdown orders “discriminate against houses of worship:” The District’s order states that “houses of worship may admit no more than” the lesser of 25 percent of their capacity…Read More

Arkansas Bans Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Thursday a bill banning transgender female-identifying athletes from participating in women’s sports. The new law, meant to preserve the integrity of female sports and protect girls and women from competing against biological males, comes amid a push by state legislatures to enact similar protections. “Today, I have…Read More

ND Law’s Religious Liberty Initiative files amicus brief in support of Maine families in school choice case

Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday (March 11), representing the Council for Islamic Schools in North America, Partnership for Inner-City Education, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. The case is an important parental choice case, Carson et al v. Makin, that seeks…Read More

After Supreme Court victory, Colorado baker in court for declining gender transition cake

Jack Phillips, a Christian cake baker, was again in court for declining to make a cake that expresses messages contrary to his religious beliefs after an attorney who identifies as transgender filed suit over the bakery’s refusal to make a cake to celebrate a gender transition. The civil trial began March 22, conducted virtually by…Read More

Kentucky Governor Vetoes School Choice Bill

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-KY, vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have granted parents and their children more freedom in education choices. Student advocates decried the veto. “We are discouraged by Governor Beshear’s decision to put powerful special interests before children and families in Kentucky,” American Federation for Children CEO Tommy Schultz said in a statement.…Read More

Second Massachusetts city to recognize polyamorous relationships

Cambridge, Massachusetts has redefined domestic partnerships to give relationships involving more than two people the same rights as a married couple. Home to Harvard University, Cambridge is the second city in the state, after its neighbor Sommerville, legally to recognize polyamory. During a March 8 meeting, the Cambridge city council voted to redefine “domestic partnerships,”…Read More

Biden administration moves to reinstate Planned Parenthood funding

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it would rewrite a Trump-era policy that barred federal family planning funding from going to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that refer patients to abortion. The Department of Health and Human Services will rewrite the 2019 rule that withheld federal funding through the Title X Family Planning Program from…Read More

House passes legislation to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants

The House of Representatives Thursday passed immigration bills that would protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and offer them a pathway to stay in the United States permanently. The House approved the Dream and Promise Act, which would help more than 3 million so-called “Dreamers” and others gain legal status and a chance for citizenship, according to a…Read More

Bishops Support Measure to Protect Faith-Based Foster Agencies

Three U.S. Bishops Conference chairmen on March 15 gave their support for First Amendment protections for faith-based foster care and adoption providers with legislation introduced that aims to ensure those institutions continue to receive funding. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2021 would prevent both the federal and state governments from taking action against…Read More

New Mexico Senate passes assisted suicide bill

The New Mexico state Senate has passed a bill to decriminalize assisted suicide, which the state’s Catholic bishops had strongly opposed. The bill, known as the “Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act,” allows licensed physicians, osteopathic physicians, nurses, and physician assistants to prescribe a lethal drug to people with a terminal illness and the…Read More

Utah governor considering law that would block porn on phones by default

The governor of Utah is considering signing a bill that would make pornography filters mandatory and switched on by default on cell phones sold in the state. The bill would require smartphone manufacturers automatically to enable filters on devices “activated” in Utah that prevent “the user from accessing or downloading material that is harmful to…Read More

Merrick Garland faces first death penalty test in Boston Marathon bomber case

Attorney General Merrick Garland faces his first test on federal executions as the Supreme Court considers reinstating a death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber. The court since October has been mulling a Trump-era federal appeal to rehear a death penalty case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, along with his brother, killed three people and injured…Read More

Williams Nominated for Role on Pardon and Parole Board

Governor Kevin Stitt announced he is nominating Scott Williams to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Williams has served with several criminal justice organizations and has been the Campus Pastor at Life.Church. “I am thrilled that Scott Williams will soon join the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board,” said Stitt. “Scott is the perfect fit for…Read More

USCCB urges lawmakers to oppose amendment that could require government funding of abortion

The U.S. bishops’ conference is urging congressional lawmakers to oppose the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, a measure they say could threaten religious freedom and fund abortion. Some members of Congress are pushing for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution. The amendment states that “[e]quality of rights under law…Read More

Poll: most Illinois voters want parental notification for abortion, but lawmakers seek repeal

Some Illinois lawmakers want to repeal a law requiring abortion providers to notify parents of a minor who seeks an abortion, but their effort might not have the sympathy of voters. “Nearly three-quarters of the people in the state of Illinois are opposed to repealing our parental notice law,” said Mary FioRito, an attorney and…Read More

Bishops back bill to protect faith-based foster care, adoption providers

Legislation introduced in the Senate and the House aims to protect “the cherished freedom of religious liberty” of faith-based foster care and adoption providers who believe children “deserve to be placed with a married mother and father,” the chairmen of three U.S. bishops’ committees said March 15. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2021…Read More

Manchin poised to deliver crucial support for controversial Becerra nomination

Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is expected to cast a crucial vote in favor of advancing the nomination of Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services, clearing his path to confirmation. Manchin had resisted publicly disclosing whether he will support Becerra, whose nomination deadlocked in the Senate Finance Committee last week…Read More

Educators voice support for school-choice bill

Legislation that would expand an existing tax-credit program and encourage more donations to public schools and scholarship-granting organizations is drawing opposition from establishment “education” groups, such as teachers’ unions and their allies. But the bill is quietly receiving support from many Oklahomans who work on the front lines in schools who have seen the real-world…Read More