This week, the United States Senate failed to end a filibuster that prevented voting on a bill that would have prevented some abortions after 20 weeks gestation. This is the third bill in the last few weeks that was tied up in procedural matters, while babies die.
In the House of Representatives, a congressional committee investigating Planned Parenthood has asked the Center for Medical Progress to turn over copies of all of its undercover videos. The CMP responded that it would be willing to do so, but it is currently under court order that prohibits anyone from releasing some of the video footage. It is clear that Planned Parenthood’s allies in the National Abortion Federation have, once again, turned to the courts to try to stop the public and Congress from discovering what is really going on.
40 Days for Life’s 2015 fall campaign kicked off this week in 345 locations in the United States and 15 foreign countries. The campaign uses a combination of prayer and fasting; community outreach; and peaceful vigils to save babies, inform the public, and encourage abortion workers to leave their jobs. You can find more information at 40daysforlife.com.
Of course, one of the major happenings this week was Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States. The Catholic Church has always strongly defended preborn children, and recent popes—including Pope Francis—have specifically spoken of the horror of abortion.
On Thursday, Pope Francis became the first leader of the worldwide Catholic Church to address a joint session of the United States Congress. It is with much disappointment that we report that the pope did not mention abortion at all in his speech. This omission was also noted in his earlier speech at the White House. In these two speeches, the pope chose to highlight climate change and immigration over the specific issues of life and death. He did include remarks asking Congress to ban the death penalty—a practice that is not against Church teaching and claimed the lives of 35 people last year in the United States.
The pope has many more speeches to a number of different audiences while in the United States. We hope that he will address abortion and same-sex unions—another immediate threat against families in the United States—in future speeches.