Republican lawmakers propose abortion restrictions

Republican lawmakers in New Mexico are proposing a ban on late-term abortions and a requirement for minors to notify parents within 48 hours before terminating a pregnancy.

The legislation proposed Friday comes less than a month after Roman Catholic bishops urged lawmakers to enact new abortion laws this legislative session with the Republican Party in control of the House for the first time in decades. Democrats remain in control of the Senate.

Several Democrats also have signed on to support the bills, said Chris Sanchez, a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus. The legislation is expected to be introduced Monday.

The Republicans say the late-term abortion ban is designed to bring New Mexico in line with 42 other states by restricting abortions after five months’ gestation and if the doctor determines the fetus is viable.


Move to make teachers live by doctrine draws protest

About 100 people attended a vigil outside the Roman Catholic cathedral in San Francisco on Friday to protest the local archbishop’s move to require teachers at four Catholic high schools to lead their public lives inside the classroom and out in accordance with church teachings on homosexuality, birth control and other hot-button issues.

The protest came as Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was holding mass for teachers from parochial schools throughout the three-county Archdiocese of San Francisco and then meeting with high school teachers to answer questions about changes he wants to make to their faculty handbook and employment contract.

Cordileone this week presented teachers at the four high schools owned by the archdiocese with a detailed statement of faith affirming that Catholic school employees “are expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny” church doctrine on matters related to sexuality, marriage and human reproduction.


Partisan polarization may limit Obama approval ratings

President Obama’s standing with the public likely will continue its recent upward trend following the latest positive economic news, but new data on the country’s polarized politics suggests he will soon bump up against a low ceiling.

The labor market data released by the federal government Friday showed the best three months of job growth since the mid-1990s, an increase in the percentage of Americans who are working and the first signs of wage growth.

That’s the kind of good news that usually sends presidential approval ratings upward.

But political polarization exerts a powerful pull in the other direction: Obama faces near unanimous disapproval from opposing partisans.

– From news service reports