Abortion legislation moves forward in Missouri

Pro-life supporters stood vigil outside of the Planned Parenthood facility on Forest Park Boulevard in the Central West End Jan. 18. They were a part of the rosary procession from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, during which they prayed for the conversion of hearts to know the value of every life.

The Missouri House has passed a bill that would increase the waiting period for abortions from 24 to 72 hours.

The House voted 115-39 on March 11 to send the bill to the Senate. The Senate version of the bill, SB 519, won't be considered until after legislators return from spring break in late March.

The Missouri Catholic Conference and others involved in the pro-life movement are urging individuals to contact their legislators in support of the legislation.

Univision poll shows strong support for church teaching in Asia, Africa

MEXICO CITY -- A poll by Spanish-language broadcaster Univision shows Catholics in Asia and Africa, where the Church is growing fastest, expressing strong support for Church teachings.

The poll of self-identified Catholics in 12 countries showed high approval of Pope Francis, but split on subjects such as abortion, priests being able to marry and same-sex marriage.

Editorial | Rebelling against the culture

A new poll by Spanish-language broadcaster Univision highlighting countries where support for Church teachings is the highest and lowest has garnered much attention.

The poll became fodder for much of the secular media in the United States wanting to point out divisions between Church hierarchy and its members. "The pope's Catholic problem" was the headline of a commentary in the Chicago Tribune, for example. It stated that on every issue, Catholics in the United States are more liberal than the Church's teachings.

Guttmacher Institute reports abortion at all-time low

Missouri is among the states with the lowest rates of abortions, according to a study recently released by the Guttmacher Institute.

The study noted that the U.S. abortion rate is at its lowest since 1973, the year of the Roe vs. Wade decision. In 2011, the national abortion rate had declined to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44. The report also noted that between 2008 and 2011, the abortion rate fell 13 percent, resuming a long-term downward trend that had stalled between 2005 and 2008.

Bills would give women more time to consider abortion

Helpers of God’s Precious Infants held their monthly Mass and Rosary procession last month from the Cathedral Basilica to the Planned Parenthood facility on Forest Park Boulevard in the Central West End. Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice led the recitation of the Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood. He was accompanied by an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and seminarians from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Missouri legislation that seeks to extend the current waiting period for abortion from 24 to 72 hours is moving quickly in the House. A similar bill proposed in the Senate also recently went through a committee hearing.

HB 1307 and HB 1313, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, and Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, respectively, would increase the minimum waiting period before a woman can have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. Legislation was voted out of the House Committee on Health Policy by a 8-2 margin and now moves to the House floor for consideration.

Editorial | Making a big impact bigger

Estimates show that 50 percent of the people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., each year are under the age of 18.

It is an impressive number. And it makes a big impact for a day.

The challenge is for all of us, the young people included, to follow up on the day of action throughout the year. Citizen-advocates can make a big difference in not just changing attitudes but also changing laws.

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