Texas Judge Allows Woman Who Sued to Get an Abortion
Solcyre Burga for TIME reports that a Travis County judge has ruled in favor of Kate Cox, a Texas woman who filed an emergency lawsuit to ask the state for permission to have an abortion based on a fatal fetal abnormality. The case is the first of its kind in 50 years and could spur women who are seeking abortion based on medical reasons in other states with abortion bans to seek clarification on what qualifies as an exception. Burga writes that Judge Guerra Gamble has granted Cox a temporary restraining order, and Cox’s attorney has requested a stay for the proceedings on the permanent injunction pending the Supreme Court decision on a similar lawsuit. PRRI research finds that 60% of Americans oppose laws that do not allow abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
McCarthy and Johnson Are Both Conservative Christians. Only One Is on the ‘Front Lines of the Culture War’
For the L.A. Times, Faith Pinho writes that the transition of the House speakership from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a proud but subdued Christian, to Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), a fervently devout and vocal evangelical, highlights religious conservatives’ dominance of the GOP coalition. PRRI president and founder Robert P. Jones said Johnson has argued “for the Christian foundations of the country, [that] there is no separation of church and state, and American laws ought to align with God’s laws.” McCarthy, who recently announced he would resign from Congress before the end of the year, favored less public expressions of faith, and while Johnson’s decades of working for religious right causes may appeal to fellow Christian Republicans, they could also alienate swing voters.
States Have Become More Polarized on Transgender Civil Rights
In a new Spotlight Analysis, PRRI Public Fellow Andrew Flores, Ph.D., examines PRRI data that suggest a general decline in pro-LGBTQ opinions in states across the country. When looking at support for restrictive bathroom bills, Flores finds some states have had a relatively stable trend of opposing restrictive bathroom bills while other states have taken an opposite trajectory, either becoming more evenly divided, or growing more supportive of restrictive bathroom bills. As Flores shows, public opinion has shifted since 2016, when more adults opposed restrictive bathroom policies than favored them, with adults in some states, particularly in the South and portions of the Midwest, becoming more divided and then more favorable toward these policies.
What Is Bodhi Day?
Luis Andres Henao at the Associated Press writes that Buddhists around the world are celebrating Bodhi Day, honoring when Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment some 2,600 years ago. Buddhism is considered the world’s fourth-largest religion after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism and the holiday is most commonly celebrated in East Asia’s Buddhist Mahayana traditions. To honor the Buddha, observers may pray and read scriptures (sutras), decorate trees with colorful lights or candles, or engage in acts of kindness and generosity (dana). The PRRI Census of American Religion finds that 6% of Americans belong to non-Christian religions, including 1% of Americans who are Buddhist.
Read Andrew R. Flores’ spotlight, “States Have Become More Polarized on Transgender Civil Rights,” here.