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Weekly Briefing
Weekly briefing: Abortion until birth, Asia Bibi, transgender military ban

Weekly briefing: Abortion until birth, Asia Bibi, transgender military ban

New York City | Photo: Unsplash/Mike Chavarri

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

New York now allows abortion until birth

With concerns that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, New York lawmakers passed a bill that allows abortion up until birth. The Reproductive Health Act, signed into law this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, makes it a “fundamental right” to have an abortion and decriminalizes abortions after 24 weeks. 

As the New York State Legislature celebrated the new law with pink lighting throughout the state, pro-lifers decried it as “inhumane” and “infanticide.” 

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood released numbers showing that its clinics performed 332,757 abortions last year, an increase of 11,373 from the previous year. 

Court date announced for Asia Bibi

Pakistan’s Supreme Court announced that it will review a petition against Asia Bibi’s acquittal on Jan. 29. 

Though Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy in October by the top court, widespread protests and a petition against her have prevented her from leaving the country.

Death threats and Islamic mobs have forced the Christian mother to live in hiding these past few months. If the top court rejects the petition next week, she will be able to leave Pakistan.

The Covington Catholic brouhaha

Videos showing a group of Catholic school boys and their interaction with a Native American elder as well as a group of African-American men have divided the public — with many accusing the students of disrespect and racism and others defending their innocence. 

What roused bitter reactions against the Covington Catholic students were the MAGA hats some were seen wearing in the videos.

While this episode led to false narratives as the media jumped to conclusions, both sides are still standing their ground — one side convinced that this was a show of “white privilege” and the other side calling it “fake news.”

The family of student Nicholas Sandmann, 16, has hired a lawyer after he and his school faced numerous threats.

Supreme Court on transgender military ban, coach prayers

The U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 this week to allow President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender service members in the military to go into effect. 

The court granted a stay of two lower court injunctions that had blocked the ban.

Also this week, the high court decided not to hear an appeal from a public high school football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games. 

Christian foster care agency can continue operations

Miracle Hill Ministries, which only places children with Christian households, received a waiver from the Trump administration to continue to operate. 

The South Carolina agency had requested an exemption to a federal anti-discrimination rule.

“Miracle Hill’s sincere religious exercise would be substantially burdened by application of the religious nondiscrimination requirement,” the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families told South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

Pray for

Asia Bibi

The family of Esther Jung, a 12-year-old girl who died in a snow fort collapse  

New releases

Albums:

Twelve:One by Dave Miller live from Trent Vineyard (Jan. 25)

Victory by Bethel Music (Jan. 25)

The Second City by Steven Malcolm (Jan. 25)

Book:

Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can't Resist by Scott Sauls (Jan. 22)

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