In Brittany Maynard's Home State, California Assisted Suicide Bill Defeated

07/07/2015 Comments (1)

Brittany Maynard

– CNA/YouTube

In 2015, disability rights groups feared that Brittany Maynard's crusade to legalize assisted suicide in California would finally secure legislation permitting physicians to provide lethal medication to terminally-ill patients who want to control the time of their death.

In life and death, Brittany Maynard has been the poster girl for Compassion & Choices, the nation's leading voice for assisted suicide. For the past year, Maynard has appeared in widely-circulated YouTube videos, and a People magazine story featured her husband's disturbing memories of their final day together.

But the Sacramento Bee just reported that the authors of Senate Bill 128 had issued a statement confirming that...READ MORE

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Are We Losing Millennials?

07/03/2015 Comments (100)


Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling that found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I had a long talk with a young relative that left me unsettled in an already difficult week.

This twentysomething cradle Catholic did not endorse "marriage equality." But he said it was past time for the U.S. bishops to cut their close ties with Republicans and get back to serving the poor. 

Perplexed, I asked him to elaborate.  He explained that many of his peers viewed Catholic leaders as GOP groupies.  "They need to get back to basics," he said. And to regain their credibility, they should follow Pope Francis' lead by helping the poor and speaking out against...READ MORE

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With Weak Protections For Conscience, "Obergefell is Roe on Steroids"

06/30/2015 Comments (46)
By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

– By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Liberals and conservatives have compared the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision with Obergefell v. Hodges. Both are landmark rulings, in which the high court takes sides in a fractious national debate that was far from decided in the minds of many voters.

But Bill McGurn, the Wall Street Journal columnist, takes issue with that assessment, at least as it involves the likely impact of the court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

McGurn does not dispute the grave immorality of legal abortion. Rather he argues that the weak, ambiguous language on free-exercise protections in Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Obergefell will unleash unprecedented attacks on individuals,...READ MORE

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If Marriage Is the Sanctuary of Life, What Happens When That Sanctuary Is Redefined?

06/26/2015 Comments (17)
Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

– Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has finally ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, invoking the Fourteenth Amendment to require every state to license marriages between people of the same sex.

Over the years, gay activists have convinced some of the public that the inclusion of same-sex couples in legal marriage would not harm a vital social institution.  But scant attention has been paid to how the redefinition of marriage will shape our  legal system's treatment of nascent human life and the rights of natural parents.

Can we continue to become a more pro-life nation if the sanctuary that once welcomed children into the world changes in ways we do not yet fully understand?

During...READ MORE

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Supreme Court Rules that Obamacare Subsidies Are Lawful Across the Nation

06/25/2015 Comments (12)

Today, an estimated 6.4 million people learned that their health insurance would not be disrupted, after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down another landmark victory for President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

In a 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court ruled that the use of federal subsidies in state exchanges across the nation is lawful. The opinion is here.

The practical effect of the June 25 ruling is that an estimated 6.4 million people who now receive health insurance subsidized by the federal government will not have their coverage threatened. The ruling also means that supporters of the Affordable Care Act can breathe a sigh of relief, as...READ MORE

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Card. Kasper Was Right About One Thing: Synod Won't Alter Church Teaching on Gay Unions

06/23/2015 Comments (10)

– YouTube/EWTN

While media coverage of the Synod has stirred expectations in some quarters that Pope Francis could extend a measure of pastoral support to same-sex unions,  Cardinal Walter Kasper told EWTN's Raymond Arroyo in a June 11 interview that no such proposal would be on the table.

"The question is not what we say about homosexual unions," Cardinal Kasper told Raymond Arroyo. "The problem is how to help families when a boy or girl comes and has this attraction ... how to help them. And I think the council [synod], the council is a council about family; it’s a council about marriage and our Catholic understanding. Such a homosexual union is not a marriage and is not a family; and, therefore, I...READ MORE

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Cash-Strapped VA Debates Withholding Treatment From Some Vets

06/22/2015 Comments (4)

The slippery slope of health-care rationing, fueled by a gaping budget shortfall, is now an issue at the Veterans' Administration. 

Last year, long waits and allegedly fraudulent practices that misrepresented the number of vets actually served in VA hospitals prompted calls for a top-down reform of the federal agency.

But a year later, as those same hospitals scramble to facilitate a surge in demand for medical services, we learn that a looming budget crisis and rising costs for an expensive Hepatitis C treatment, has  prompted administrators to consider rationing the treatment, which doesn't only alleviate symptoms of the disease, but can actually cure it. The New York Times provided...READ MORE

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Pope Francis' Letter to World: Learn to Give, And Not Simply to Give Up

06/18/2015 Comments (9)

"View from Marine One on California Drought." By Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Out here in California, where a four-year drought has already resulted in the loss of an estimated 18,000 jobs in the state's agricultural sector for the first half of 2015, Pope Francis' climate-change encyclical resonates in a unique way, and will be celebrated in some quarters and reviled in others. 

It's easy to cherry pick the encyclical's policy prescriptions, as The New York Times did in a recent article, which hinted that partisan groups will use the encyclical to attack GOP presidential candidates who identify themselves as Catholic and may dispute some aspect of climate-change arguments.  

But this pastor from Argentina is offering a message that defies the current orthodoxy of...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..