The "Affordable Care Act" and the United States Supreme CourtAs per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (6/29/12): "The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is renewing its plea to Congress to repair the Affordable Care Act after the United States Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the law. In a statement released on June 28, 2012, the Bishops...reminded us of the several reason why they ultimately opposed final passage....Now that it is known that the Affordable Care Act will stand, Pennsylvania must take action...."
HR 361 (Abortion Non-Discrimination Act) and HR 1179 (Respect for Rights of Conscience Act)As per a 7/17/12 letter from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the United States House of Representatives:
- "As you prepare to mark up the Labor/HHS appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013, I urge you to ensure that this legislation will protect the right of millions of Americans to participate in and access the health care system without violating their deeply held moral and religious convictions on respect for human life....
"in the House’s version of the FY 2012 bill, the Labor/HHS bill includes the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), which has been sponsored as a free-standing bill (H.R. 361) [Kudos to Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, one of the co-sponsors of HR 361!].... This provision...will reaffirm the basic principle that no health care entity should be forced by government to perform, participate in or pay for abortions....
"the basic policy of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179) has been incorporated into this bill....The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dan Boren (D-OK), has been co-sponsored by 222 other House members, and almost half the Senate supported it in a preliminary vote this spring [Kudos to Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, one of the co-sponsors of HR 1179!]. The legislation was denied outright majority support in the Senate due to 'red herring' arguments [In the Senate, Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S 1467. Kudos to Senator Toomey, who IS a co-sponsor of S 1467!]"
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3More than 13 months ago, Pennsylania SB 3 passed the Senate. Rather than simply put SB 3 up for a vote in the House, a separate version was introduced. More than 7 months ago, Pennsylvania HB 1977 passed the House. Subsequently, both bills have simply languished!
As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (6/29/12): "Now that it is known that the Affordable Care Act will stand, Pennsylvania must take action to prevent abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges. Senate Bill 3...would prohibit insurance providers that participate in the insurance exchanges created by the federal health care reform law from covering elective abortion services." As explained by the Pennsylvania Family Institute (6/29/12): "Senate Bill 3 would prohibit abortion coverage (with certain necessary Medicaid exceptions) from being offered in Pennsylvania’s 'health insurance exchanges.' Without SB3, everyone who purchases insurance through a Pennsylvania exchange will be paying an additional premium for abortion coverage."
Please, please urge majority leader Rep Mike Turzai (717-772-9943; 412-369-2230) email@example.com to bring SB 3 to a vote! We should certainly appeal to our representatives from Bucks County who voted favorably on HB 1977, to join us in urging Rep Turzai to do so:
- •Clymer (145th) firstname.lastname@example.org,
- •DiGirolamo (18th) email@example.com,
•Farry (142nd) Ffarry@pahousegop.com,
•Galloway (140th) RepGalloway@pahouse.net,
•O'Neill (29th) firstname.lastname@example.org,
•Petri (178th) email@example.com,
•Quinn firstname.lastname@example.org, &
(Representatives Tina Davis (141st) and Steve Santarsiero (31st) voted AGAINST HB 1977.)
Pennsylvania HB 2405As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (5/24/12), "Legislation to prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion-on-demand providers from receiving taxpayer funding was introduced yesterday as House Bill 2405 – the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act."
Pennsylvania SB 1134The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (6/19/12) asks, "did you know that a classic church-state struggle is underway in Pennsylvania regarding the authority of the state government to influence religious childcare ministries, including Catholic childcare?....Senate Bill 1134 corrects this overreach....This important legislation passed the Senate Education Committee with a vote of 9-2. The following Senators voted in favor of the bill -
- Browne, Patrick M. (R-Leigh, Monroe, Northampton)
Corman, Jake (R- Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Union)
Dinniman, Andrew E. (D – Chester, Montgomery)
Folmer, Mike (R-Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon)
Piccola, Jeffrey E. (R- Dauphin, York)
Scarnati, Joseph B., III (R – Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren)
Smucker, Lloyd K. (R-Lancaster, York)
Tomlinson, Robert M. (R- Bucks)
Williams, Anthony H. (D- Delaware, Philadelphia)