In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Defending the Sanctity of Life and Marriage/Family in D.C. and Harrisburg

WASHINGTON

"We are deeply troubled by Senators Casey and Toomey voting for S 815, which the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says 'could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches.'  We need Representative Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house vesion, HR 1755.

"In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - we need your CO-SPONSORSHIP/ SUPPORT of HR 3279, HR 732 / S32 / S369, HJ Res 51, HR 940 / S 1204, HR 3133, HR 7 / S 946, HR 1797 / S 1670 / S 886, and HR 301 / S 653, as well as HR 1091 / S 583, and HR 23.

"Further, we need you to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve compassionate immigration reform."  

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279


As per Cardinal O'Malley's 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, "I am writing to ask your support for Rep.Chris Smith's Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act' (H.R. 3279)."  Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 115 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279.  


Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369



"Federal lawmakers praised the reintroduction of a bill requiring parental notification to transport minors across state borders for an abortion....Earlier versions of the legislation passed the House of Representatives in previous years but failed in the Senate due to filibuster efforts opposing it (National Catholic Register, 2/18/13).  As the USCCB previously explained, "a mother in Pennsylvania, where parental involvement is required, testified before Congress that her daughter was taken without her knowledge to New Jersey for a secret abortion by the parents of her daughter's boyfriend. After contacting state police, she learned that nothing could be done to protect her parental rights.... 'We urge Congress to pass this law to help protect vulnerable girls from this kind of exploitation'" (USCCB, 4/27/05).  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 112 co-sponsors of HR 732.  NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

De-Fund Planned Parenthood

In a 4/13/11 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, then chair  of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood: "The current and future budget debate will involve hard choices and much shared sacrifice....Whether to fund the largest abortion network in the country is not one of those hard choices.”  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "Tax funding PPFA is too often debated as an 'either-or' proposition, as if healthcare for underserved women and the poor depended on the decision ....With other choices available, neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey need to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815

As S 815 has already passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital to tell Mike Fitzpatrick to oppose HR 1755. While Casey was actually a co-sponsor of S 815, the Pennsylvania Family Council notes that "It is deeply disappointing and troubling that U.S. Senator Pat Toomey broke his promise to Pennsylvania voters that he would oppose the 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA) should it come before the Senate."  The Pa Family Council has set up a special web site to facilitate contacts to Toomey (https://www.votervoice.net/PAFI/Campaigns/33809/Respond).  As per the USCCB's 10/31/13 letter to the U.S. Senate, "the USCCB continues to promote the dignity of both work and marriage and to oppose unjust discrimination on any grounds, including those related to homosexual inclination or sexual identity. But we cannot support a bill, like ENDA, that does not justly advance the dignity of all workers and authentic non-discrimination, but instead:


  • Lacks a BFOQ exemption. ENDA does not include an exemption for a 'bona fide occupational qualification' (BFOQ)....
  • Lacks a status/conduct distinction. ENDA’s vague definition of 'sexual orientation' would encompass sexual conduct outside of marriage, thus legally affirming and specially protecting that conduct.
  • Supports marriage redefinition....
  • Rejects the biological basis of gender. ENDA’s definition of 'gender identity' lends force of law to a tendency to view 'gender' as nothing more than a social construct or psychosocial reality, which a person may choose at variance from his or her biological sex. This provision also fails to account for the privacy interests of others....
  • Threatens religious liberty. ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct. Moreover, the bill’s religious freedom protection, which is derived from Title VII, covers only a subset of religious employers, and as a result of recent litigation, is uncertain in scope. Recent experience also shows that even exempted employers may face government retaliation for relying on such exemptions."


  •    

    Federal Marriage Amendment - Support HJ Res 51

    On 6/28/13, Representative Tim Huelskamp introduced H.J. RES. 51, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. As per the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, "We offer general support for a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as we continue to work to protect marriage in state legislatures, the courts, the Congress and other appropriate forums" (Reaffirmed on 3/14/06).  Mike Fitzpatrick has not joined the 56 co-sponsors of H.J. RES. 51 (including Representative Chris Smith). The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HJ Res 51: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.

    Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204

    As per the USCCB, "members of Congress of both parties are sponsoring the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204). The Act would improve federal law in three ways:
    1. Correcting loopholes and other deficiencies in the major federal law preventing governmental discrimination against health care providers that do not help provide or pay for abortions.
    2. Inserting a conscience clause into the health care reform law, so its mandates for particular “benefits” in private health plans will not be used to force insurers, employers and individuals to violate their consciences or give up their health insurance.
    3. Adding a “private right of action” to existing federal conscience laws, so those whose consciences are being violated can go to court to defend their rights. (Current enforcement is chiefly at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is itself sponsoring some attacks on conscience rights.)
    "All House and Senate members should be urged to support and co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, so our First Freedom can regain its proper place as a fundamental right protected in our health care system."

    While kudos go to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 188 co-sponsors of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S 1204.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/campaigns/30694/respond), to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204.  


    Immigration Reform

    The USCCB has a web site to facilitate this message to Senators Casey and Toomey and Representative Fitzpatrick (http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=62312721&type=CO):
    "I agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops that now is the time to pass just and compassionate immigration reform. I ask that in the 113th Congress you support immigration reform that
    - Provides a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
    - Preserves family unity as a corner-stone of our national immigration system;
    - Provides legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States;
    - Restores due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies;
    - Addresses the root causes (push factors) of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.
    I look forward to monitoring your public position on this vital issue to our nation. Our nation can no longer wait."


    Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133


    The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, but Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 91 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133.  The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HR 3133: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.
      

    No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946

    In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, CardinalO'Malley notes the USCCB's support for HR 7 (introduced by Representative Chris Smith).  There are now 138 co-sponsors of HR 7, but Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT among them.  Neither Casey NOR Toomey are among the 23 co-sponsors of senate version S 946.  While Casey is the sponsor of S 142 (without any co-sponsors), it strikes this blogger as inferior to S 946.


    Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Support HR 1797/ S 1670 / S 886

    As per a 6/14/03 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "As chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, I am writing today to urge your support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797).....the proposed ban on abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization is a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as 'pro-life' and as 'pro-choice.'On behalf of our country and the children whose lives are at stake, I urge you to support the common-sense reform offered by H.R. 1797." Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on 6/18/13.  NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey are co-sponsors of senate version, S. 1670.  However, kudos go to Pat Toomey for being one of the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886 (Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.). 

    To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia - Support HR 301 / S 653

    As per Bishop Pates' 5/20/13 letter to Senators Roy Blunt and Carl Levin, "As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I commend your tireless efforts to advance religious freedom as evidenced by your sponsorship of S. 653, a bill to establish a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia." On 9/18/13, Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301 - Bravo.  Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 19 co-sponsors of S.653

    Life at Conception Act - Support HR 1091 / S 583

    As per CatholicVote.org, "'The Life at Conception Act'... aims to employ the protections afforded by the 14th amendment in defense of the unborn." Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT among the 103 co-sponsors of H.R.1091.  NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey are among the 17 co-sponsors of S.583.

    The Sanctity of Human Life Act - Support HR 23

    As per Priests for Life, "The Sanctity of Human Life Act would declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution vests in each human being at 'fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency.'  Further, the measure states that 'the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.'"  Fitzpatrick is NOT among the 40 co-sponsors of HR 23.






    HARRISBURG

    Support Admitting Privileges legislation 

    As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "The Republican and Democrat leaders of the Pa. House Pro-Life Caucus...are preparing to re-introduce 'Admitting Privileges' legislation....The lead sponsors of this legislation are seeking to gather additional co-sponsors before introducing it....[It] has the same language as H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term....Please urge your State House members to co-sponsor Admitting Privileges legislation in the 2013-2014 term." Bucks County's own Paul Clymer is already on board as a co-sponsor. 

    Support Marriage / Family and HB 1349 - Oppose HB1647/SB719 

    The Pa Pro Life Coalition asks us to urge our representatives to have their leaders intervene on behalf of Pa's own DOMA, in the ACLU lawsuit. 

    On 5/8/13, Bucks County's own Paul Clymer joined Daryl Metcalfe and 25 others, in introducing HB 1349, which seeks to strengthen Pennsylvania's Constitution, by adding this: "Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." 

    In a 7/12/13 memo, Representative Mark Cohen announced that he was "introducing a bill to repeal the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act and to recognize all same sex marriages made in other states and other countries" [HB 1647]. HB 1647 and its companion SB 719 would negate the fundamental right of children to both a mom and a dad! 

    Quoting the U.S. Bishops, the Pa Catholic Conference reminds us that, “The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth.”

    Oppose HB300/SB300 

    The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and senator to oppose HB300/SB300: https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/33451/Respond

    Oppose SB 872 

    In contrast to SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age," Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons maintains that "Youth have the right to be provided informed consent about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses, and risks, of the homosexual lifestyle. Pediatricians, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal responsibility to do so, and parents, family members, educators, and clergy a grave moral responsibility" (Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and Their Right to Informed Consent, 5/21/12). 

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    Our representation in D.C....

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    Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
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