Women's rights

House expands domestic violence law with new gun ownership provision

This is a close up of a large NRA logo.
The NRA publicly opposed the reauthorization due to a new provision that prevents domestic abusers from owning and purchasing guns. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

The House on Thursday voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 in a 263-158 vote, with a newly added provision to prevent convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from purchasing or owning firearms.

The big picture: The NRA publicly opposed the reauthorization because of the gun ownership provision, per the New York Times. The reauthorized act also includes an expansion of existing protections to transgender victims of domestic or dating violence, which was opposed by Republicans, and a provision that allows "U.S. citizens to be tried in tribal courts for crimes of domestic or dating violence committed by non-native perpetrators on native lands," per NPR.

Pope Francis calls on Catholic Church to support women's rights

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis. Photo: Simon Kremer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church to be attentive to women’s "legitimate claims" for equality and justice in a letter released on Tuesday, acknowledging that the institution has a long history of "male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement" and sexual abuse of women and children, per the AP.

Yes, but: Pope Francis also noted that the Church cannot agree with "everything some feminist groups propose" — a clear reference to the Vatican's ban on a female priesthood — and he stopped short of recommending improvements for women’s roles in the Church.