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2013 in Review: Nation

Pro-Life Gains Amid Religious-Freedom Battle

BY The Editors

Dec. 29, 2013-Jan. 11, 2014 Issue | Posted 12/31/13 at 8:38 AM

 

2013 in Review: The Nation Page 

While the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to supporters of marriage in 2013, the pro-life movement made significant gains. A 40th-anniversary March for Life in Washington drew an estimated 650,000 to 1 million marchers, while Texas prohibited abortion after 20 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. In addition, California Gov. Jerry Brown, a onetime seminary student and proponent of abortion rights, vetoed legislation that would have allowed women to sell their eggs for commercial use and legislation that would have removed the statute of limitations only for sexual-abuse cases involving the Church. Finally, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in April revealed that 52% of U.S. citizens believe that abortion should be illegal or only legal in cases of rape or incest.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule on its contraception, sterilization and abortifacient mandate. EWTN, the parent company of the Register, renewed its lawsuit, along with the state of Alabama, to protest the mandate. Hobby Lobby was among the litigants that won a reprieve against the HHS mandate, which a court ruled substantially burdens the owners’ religious beliefs. Nonprofits in the New York Archdiocese also won a similar decision.

Church statistics showing that Atlanta is the fasting-growing diocese in the country underscored the fact that the once solidly Protestant South is becoming a hotbed of Catholicism.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., one of the oldest dioceses in the country, succeeded Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as president at the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore.

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell pleaded guilty to killing two children after they survived his abortion attempt, casting a horrific light on the practices of Planned Parenthood and what Pope John Paul II called the "culture of death." The case, covered heavily by Catholic media outlets, was picked up by the mainstream media after weeks of ignoring it.

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum got into the family-values movie business, joining EchoLight Studios as CEO.

And the country answered the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion with prayer and action, with churches and local and national charity agencies being among the first to respond with aid.