In Pennsylvania's

Friday, February 28, 2014

Christie Should Veto A-1259/S-873

NJ's A-1259/S-873

Yesterday, A-1259/S-873 passed the two houses of the Jersey legislature. "Both supporters and opponents...say they support giving more access to medical histories.... [Opponents] want to allow birth parents to have their names redacted from the adoptees’ birth certificates and to let them provide medical histories through an intermediary, without identifying information"(NJSpotlight, 2/11/14).

New Jersey Catholic Conference Executive Director Patrick R. Brannigan said the conference supports giving full access to medical histories, as well as cultural and social histories, as long as identifying information is not included" (NJSpotlight, 2/11/14 ).

Pro-Life Pennsylvanians should be very concerned about this legislation and the precedent it sets for our own HB 162. New Jersey Right to Life has a link to ask Gov Christie to veto A1259/S873. You may want to point out some bizarre inconsistencies....

While A1259/S873 is supposedly just about getting info to young adults about their biological parents, the anonymity of so-called egg donors or so-called sperm donors would remain intact! Yet commitments of anonymity to birth parents who gave children up for adoption would be disregarded!  Those daring to compete with the Author of Life get a free pass, while the birth parents of adopters are treated with callous disregard.

Ultrasound Legislation Needed in Pa

 Pennsylvania: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

"There are about a dozen states that require that ultrasound images be offered to women seeking abortions, before the procedure is performed.

"Here in Pennsylvania, we do not currently have such a requirement. Here, an ultrasound bill was introduced last session by Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, and other key members of the House pro-life caucus and quickly gained more than 100 co-sponsors. But the abortion lobby and its allies on the political left – many even from out-of-state – went on the attack and intimidated otherwise well-meaning legislators from moving ahead, for now" (Pennsylvania: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Citizen Link, 12/19/13).

Children of God for Life's product boycotts

Debra Vinnedge is the founder of Children of God For Life: World Leaders of The Campaign For Ethical Vaccines, Medicines and Consumer Products.  She was the recipient of a 2005 letter from the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life: Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses - a letter which seems reflected in 2008's Dignitas Personae

You can click here for an update Children of God for Life's product boycotts.
 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille

Though he had courageously stood alone in defense of marriage, it is now reported that Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille "will 'take no position' on the issue of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and could assume a limited role in an ongoing lawsuit that’s playing out in federal court" (Courier Times, 2/25/14).

This blogger left a message for Mr. Petrille, to apologize for not showing more solidarity, when he was making his courageous stand, in defense of marriage:
215-348-6265


From: Faithful InThe8th <faithfulinthe8th@gmail.com>
To:
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:32 AM
Subject: Attacks Zero in on Bucks County....



Marriage/Family are absolutely under attack, and our Faith calls us to raise our voices!  Each parish in Bucks County should be regularly reminding its parishioners to email our state representatives and state senators, asking them to Support Pa's DOMA and HB 1349, as well as to Oppose HB1647 / SB719,  Oppose HB 300 / SB 300, and Oppose SB 872....

"A federal court challenge to Pennsylvania's 17-year-old law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages took an important step toward a trial Friday when a judge rejected two different attempts to block the lawsuit and said high court treatment of cases involving sex and sexual identity have undergone a 'sea change.'  U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III denied the motions to dismiss the lawsuit by Pennsylvania's secretaries of the departments of Health and Revenue and Bucks County's register of wills [Emphasis added.].  It is a strong sign the case is headed to trial and, potentially, the U.S. Supreme Court.... Lawyers for the plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union...said they were delighted with the decision....A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett said administration lawyers were reviewing the decision and he could not immediately say whether they will seek an appeal to Jones' decision" (Associated Press, 11/15/13).
On the editorial page of today's paper, the Courier Times takes a disingenuous, ostensibly objective position, advocating that we abandon efforts to seriously support the Bucks County register of wills: "we support Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia’s suggestion the county should refuse to mount a serious and costly defense against a federal lawsuit targeting Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille....the county commissioners should seriously consider Marseglia’s suggestion to unlace the boxing gloves. The commissioners have to approve paying those bills, and so they are within their rights to instruct county attorneys to stand down."

All of Bucks County's Catholic clergy and Catholic faithful should email Register of Wills Don Petrille and the Bucks County Commissioners (and the Courier Times), thanking him for doing his job and upholding the law!

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pennsylvania's DOMA (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/32995/Respond):


"Marriage is a personal relationship with great public significance-not a private affair-that affects all in society. Marriage is not just about adult relationships; it is the foundation of the family. Every child has a mother and a father. And every child has a basic right to a mother and a father united in marriage. While circumstances may prevent a child being raised by his or her own mother and father, marriage is the way society provides for children's needs in ordinary circumstances.
"There are many ways to protect the basic human rights of all, but redefining marriage serves no one's rights, least of all those of children. Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination.
"Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act that statutorily upholds this important building block of society is under attack, but I wanted to let you know that this Pennsylvanian supports marriage."

"A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference)

  • Support HB 1349: 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." 
  • Oppose HB1647/SB719: 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! 

 

HB/SB 300: "Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference)

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, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age" - Pa's Version of NJ's S2278

As reported in Jewish World Review (11/18/13), "A couple who wants to send their 15-year-old son to counseling to curb his attraction to other males is suing New Jersey over the state's ban on so-called gay conversion therapies for minors.  In August, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill in that outlaws the therapies....In the court complaint, the family alleges that the law violates their freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, as well as the parents' fundamental rights....His 'unwanted same-sex attraction' was confusing and conflicted with his Roman Catholic religious beliefs, the complaint said.  He tried to kill himself multiple times, the court documents say, and eventually asked to go to counseling for help. After he began therapy to change his sexual orientation in 2011 in New York, the strength of his same-sex attractions dropped, according to court documents....'Because no licensed mental health professional in New Jersey can provide him with SOCE counseling, John Doe will substantially regress in the significant progress he has made with his current counselor,' the court complaint states.....Demetrios Stratis, the plaintiffs' attorney..., said that the new case deals with the family's ability to exercise freedom of religion and the fundamental rights of parents" 

In contrast to SB 872 and S 2278, 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). 



--
Posted to Faithful Citizenship in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District at 11/19/2013 07:37:00 AM

Pa's HB 162 & NJ's S873/A1259

Pennsylvania

"State Rep. Kerry A. Benninghoff (R., Centre) introduced HB 162 over the summer to give adoptees who are at least 19 who were born in Pennsylvania access to their original birth record without redactions....The Pennsylvania House passed it, 197-0, in October. It has a hearing before the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R., Montgomery) on March 18, and, if approved, it could get a full Senate vote and head to Gov. Corbett's desk by summer" (Bills in Pa., N.J. would open adoption records, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/24/14).

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special web page to contact your state senator and object to HB 162: "Because it will violate confidentiality agreements made with birth parents long ago, this legislation is unfair and could dissuade birth parents today from choosing adoption for their babies and opting instead for life-ending choices.  You can also email all four of Bucks County's state senators (i.e., Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. McIlhinney, Sen. Mensch, and Sen. Tomlinson), asking that they oppose HB 162.

New Jersey

"Both supporters and opponents of the measure, (A-1259/S-873), say they support giving more access to medical histories....Opponents of the measure want to allow birth parents to have their names redacted from the adoptees’ birth certificates and to let them provide medical histories through an intermediary, without identifying information"(NJSpotlight, 2/11/14).

New Jersey Catholic Conference Executive Director Patrick R. Brannigan said the conference supports giving full access to medical histories, as well as cultural and social histories, as long as identifying information is not included" (NJSpotlight, 2/11/14).  New Jersey Right to Life has a link for our friends and relatives in the Garden State to object to S873/A1259.

Though these Bills are Obstensibly about Young Adults Gaining Info about their Biological Parents, they do NOT Apply to Young Adults Whose Biological Parents were So-Called Egg Donors or So-Called Sperm Donors!

While the anonymity of so-called egg donors or so-called sperm donors would remain intact, commitments of anonymity made to birth parents who gave children up for adoption would be disregarded.  Those daring to compete with the Author of Life get a free pass!
Kudos to the Pa Catholic Conference for opposing HB 162 and to the New Jersey Catholic Conference for opposing S873/A1259.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

URGENT - Pa's HB 162 and NJ's S873/A1259

Were We Sleeping?

"State Rep. Kerry A. Benninghoff (R., Centre) introduced HB 162 over the summer to give adoptees who are at least 19 who were born in Pennsylvania access to their original birth record without redactions - the same access all other Pennsylvanians have....The Pennsylvania House passed it, 197-0, in October [emphasis added]. It has a hearing before the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R., Montgomery) on March 18, and, if approved, it could get a full Senate vote and head to Gov. Corbett's desk by summer" (Bills in Pa., N.J. would open adoption records, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/24/14).

 The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special web page to contact your state senator on HB 162:
"Adoption is a deeply personal and emotional decision for birth parents. It is a loving and life affirming choice; but each adoption decision may be grounded in very different circumstances.

"Open adoption that allows continued communication between adoptees and birth parents is the right choice for some; but others may wish to keep their identities private, rape victims for example.

"House Bill 162 would require the Pennsylvania Department of Health to provide a summary of an adoptee's birth record without the consent of the birth parents. It would open all adoption records, even if there had been a promise of anonymity provided long ago. Because it will violate confidentiality agreements made with birth parents long ago, this legislation is unfair and could dissuade birth parents today from choosing adoption for their babies and opting instead for life-ending choices.

"Please respect the concerns of all parties involved in adoption proceedings and vote no on HB 162."

You can also email all four of Bucks County's state senators (i.e., Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. McIlhinney, Sen. Mensch, and Sen. Tomlinson), asking that they oppose HB 162.

On the Other Side of the Delaware

New Jersey Right to Life is asking our pro life families and friends in the Garden State to: "Contact your State Legislators and Governor Christie Now! Tell them to Reject Bills S873/A1259."  That legislation could come to a vote, as early as today!  The NJRTL link allows for emails to be sent to Governor Christie, Lt. Governor Guadagno, and members of the Jersey legislature:
"I am writing to ask you to please oppose Bills S873/A1259. The bills ignore the rights of birth parents who wish to retain their privacy and will remove the option of privacy in future adoptions.

"These bills are very similar to legislation that was conditionally vetoed by Governor Christie in 2011. The Governor's conditional veto provided a fair compromise that protected the rights of all parties in adoption. Unfortunately, a vocal minority of organized advocates have rejected the Governor's recommendations and any attempts at compromise whatsoever to protect the rights of birth parents who still do desire privacy. This was made apparent in advocates' testimonies during recent legislative hearings and in a 2/11/14 article in NJSpotlight.com which quotes their spokesperson saying, 'they won't accept the changes suggested and are prepared to fight on for more years to see their preferred version - with access to the birth parent's names on the birth certificates - enacted.'

"S873/A1259 does not contain adequate protections for birth parents who placed children for adoption in the past and want continued anonymity. It also takes away the option of anonymity in future adoptions for women in crisis pregnancies who may only consider adoption if they can be guaranteed confidentiality. The bill has a non-binding contact preference option which is meaningless because it still allows the long form copy of the birth certificate to be provided which contains all the identifying information of the birth parent(s). Since 1979, NJ law requires the provision of medical history information by the birth parent at the time of adoption. Proponents of these bills are misrepresenting and manipulating abortion statistics to cause confusion and garner support for this legislation.

"A common sense approach leads to the conclusion that if you take away the right to privacy in adoption, those who desire privacy in this most personal decision will reject adoption and may choose abortion. The state should be encouraging more adoptions, not placing obstacles in the way to make it more difficult for women to choose adoption.

"The 2011 conditional veto of the bill to open adoption records sought to preserve the spirit and goals of current bills, S873/A1259, while also protecting privacy that had been assured to birth parents by law at the time they placed a child for adoption.

"The Governor's recommendations would help the vast majority of adult adoptees obtain the information they seek. The Governor's recommendations would allow an adoptee to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement of the courts. This would be a significant achievement.

"Also, under the Governor's recommendations an adoptee could enlist the services of a confidential intermediary to conduct a diligent search for the adoptee birth parents and through the intermediary an adoptee could obtain the birth parents' consent for additional contact.

"Moreover, if an approved intermediary was unable to locate a birth parent following twelve months of diligent investigation, the State would then release the original birth certificate to the adoptee if so requested.

"Clearly, these changes would transform adoption law in New Jersey - a transformation to the benefit of adoptees, but advocates of opening sealed birth certificates have publicly stated they refuse any compromise that would protect those birth parents who continue to desire privacy. We believe the law should protect all parties in adoption, not just the vocal minority of organized individuals who have lobbied to change the law.

"Please Vote No on Bills S873/A1259. Thank you."
"Both supporters and opponents of the measure, (A-1259/S-873), say they support giving more access to medical histories....Opponents of the measure want to allow birth parents to have their names redacted from the adoptees’ birth certificates and to let them provide medical histories through an intermediary, without identifying information....New Jersey Catholic Conference Executive Director Patrick R. Brannigan said the conference supports giving full access to medical histories, as well as cultural and social histories, as long as identifying information is not included [emphasis added]" (NJSpotlight, 2/11/14).


Saturday, February 22, 2014

2/22/14 Update

Harrisburg



HB 587

As reported by the Pa Catholic Conference: "Among the many atrocities revealed at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s 'House of Horrors' abortion clinic in West Philadelphia was that several of his staff provided medical services without the proper training or license to do so....[the] House of Representatives passed House Bill 587 to increase the penalty for those who commit the crime of impersonating a doctor of medicine."  HB 587 is now with the Senate judiciary committee, of which Bucks/Montgomery Counties' Senator Stewart Greenleaf is chair.  Please urge Greenleaf (sgreenleaf@pasen.gov) to move forward with this legislation, so that it can ultimately receive a favorable vote by the full senate and a signature by the governor.

HB 1762

As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, HB 1762requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where they are committing abortions….If your State House member is pro-life, please write to him or her with a request to co-sponsor H.B. 1762….Please write Rep. Ron Marsico, the Chairman of the Pa. House Judiciary Committee, and ask him to run H.B. 1762, as soon as reasonably possible….Please write Rep. Mike Turzai, the Pa. House Majority Leader, and ask him to run H.B. 1762, as soon as reasonably possible….Pa. Senator Stewart Greenleaf, the Chairman of the Pa. Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated that he is open to running H.B. 1762 in this Committee, which has a pro-life majority."  Kudos to Bucks County's Rep Paul Clymer, who joined in introducing this legislation! (Note: In addition to Clymer, Bucks County's Rep John Galloway was among those who introduced the comparable H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term.).

Admitting Privileges at Catholic Hospitals: If Push Comes to Shove, "Stand on Principle and Let the Chips Fall Where They May"

Some are concerned that legislation such as HB 1762 would "force" Catholic hospitals to provide admitting privileges to abortionists.  Yet, HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE physicians already have admitting privileges in many places (See Catholic Hospital Crisis.).  Did Catholic hospitals open themselves up to such situations by accepting federal funding
"In a similar vein to the way many churches have let the government buy their silence with tax-exempt status, federal statute makes hospitals’ compliance the price of receiving cash....religious hospitals will have to make a choice: take the money and admit the abortionists, or stand on principle and let the chips fall where they may" (In Admitting Privileges Fight, Wisconsin Churches Discover the Flip Side of Federal Funding, Live Action News, 8/15/13.).
Currently, there do not appear to be acknowledged abortionists with privileges at any hospital in the Archdiocese.  Yet even without acknowledged abortionists, it is scandalous as to who gets privileges at our hospitals:
    1) among OBGYNs with privileges, only one is on One More Soul's list of NFP only OBGYNs!


To recapture and retain Catholic identity, don't hospitals need to push themselves away from any funding trough that puts their ethics into compromising positions?  While supporting HB 1762, we should also demand that our Catholic hospitals disassociate themselves from those who market in abortifacients/ contraceptives, IVF specialists, and specialists in "selective reduction."  

Human Trafficking

As per the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, only "a mere fraction of the more than 26 million men, women, and children who are estimated to suffer in modern slavery have been recognized by governments as such and are eligible to receive the protection and support they are owed."  "The solemn proclamation of human rights is contradicted by a painful reality of violations,

Sen Stewart Greenleaf "introduced SB75, a law to fight human trafficking in Pennsylvania that was unanimously approved Dec. 10 in the Senate” (Linda Finarelli, Human trafficking bill pending in PA House, 1/24/14).  As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "Legislation was already passed unanimously by the Pennsylvania Senate in December and hopefully it will be considered by the House of Representatives in the near future....we must demand legislative action that supports the dignity of the person and prevents victims from even getting involved in human trafficking. Please send a message in support of legislation that ends human trafficking by clicking here"  (Note: The Pa Catholic Conference has not specifically said if it supports SB75.).

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

 "A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pa Catholic Conference). The Pa Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pa's DOMA (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/32995/Respond).  Our legislators should support Sen. Clymer's HB1349, and oppose  SB719/HB1647.

Oppose SB 872

Proposed legislation in Pennsylvania, SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age," would join California’s Senate Bill 1172 and New Jersey's S2278  in running counter to common sense:
"In 2013 California and New Jersey passed laws that ban licensed mental health providers from offering sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) to minors....To be clear, the present debate concerns banning voluntary (not coerced) SOCE by professionals for minors who are distressed by their unwanted homosexual feelings. Support for this ban is based upon four claims. First, that sexual orientation is a fixed, inborn trait. Secondly, that homosexual attractions experienced during adolescence are enduring. Thirdly, that homosexual behavior carries no increased health risks as compared to heterosexual behavior, and finally, that scientific research proves SOCE is universally harmful. None of these claims, however, is based in science....the American College of Pediatricians and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality insist that adolescents retain their right to choose SOCE with full informed consent under the care of experts in the field" (Adolescents, Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, American College of Pediatricians, 2/13/14).

Oppose HB300/SB300

"House Bill 300/Senate Bill 300 would add 'gender identity or expression' and 'sexual orientation' to Pennsylvania's non-discrimination law. Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to protect people based on sexual attraction and behavior will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach.  In other states, this law has shuttered Catholic adoption agencies and trampled religious liberty. HB/SB 300 could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs. The law has also caused conflicts for private business owners with legitimate religious and moral concerns....In reality, HB/SB 300 exposes even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith. Send a message to the legislature urging them to vote 'no' on HB/SB 300" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).
From Bucks County, HB300/SB300 is being co-sponsored by Rep. Tina DavisRep. John Galloway, Sen. Chuck McIlhinneyRep. Marguerite Quinn, Rep. Steve Santarsiero, Rep. Scott Petri, and Rep. Katherine Watson (cf. http://legiscan.com/PA/bill/HB300/2013 and http://legiscan.com/PA/bill/sB300/2013).  While the Pa Catholic Conference calls HB/SB 300 "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith," as many as 28 original co-sponsors are "Catholic" (i.e., Reps Brendan Boyle, Thomas Caltagirone, Mike Carroll, Dominic Costa, Paul Costa, Tina Davis (???), Frank Dermody, John Galloway, Patrick Harkins, Joseph MarkosekMichael McGeehan, Thomas Murt, Eddie Day Pashinski, John Sabatina, Mario Scavello, Thomas Killion, Robert Matzie, and Catherine Harper. Sens Patrick Browne, Jay Costa, Chuck McIlhinney, Lisa Boscola, Wayne Fontana, John Blake, Mike Stack, Sean Wiley, John Yudichak, and Richard Kasunic).  Though he also identifies himself as "Catholic," Governor Tom Corbett has indicated that he would sign this legislation.


Email Gov. Corbett and all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg (i.e., Rep. Clymer, Rep. Davis, Rep. DiGirolomo, Rep. Farry, Rep. Galloway, Rep. O'Neill, Rep. Petri, Rep. Quinn, Rep. Santarsiero, Rep. Watson, Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. McIlhinney, Sen. Mensch, and Sen. Tomlinson), asking that they OPPOSE HB 300 / SB 300 (as well as SB 872) and SUPPORT Pa's DOMA, as well as HB 587.


As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "If your State House member is pro-life, please write to him or her with a request to co-sponsor H.B. 1762….Please write Rep. Ron Marsico, the Chairman of the Pa. House Judiciary Committee, and ask him to run H.B. 1762, as soon as reasonably possible….Please write Rep. Mike Turzai, the Pa. House Majority Leader, and ask him to run H.B. 1762, as soon as reasonably possible….Pa. Senator Stewart Greenleaf, the Chairman of the Pa. Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated that he is open to running H.B. 1762 in this Committee, which has a pro-life majority."  


WASHINGTON

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279/S1848
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)."  As of 2/22/14, our “pro life” congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 125 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279.  Neither of our "pro life" senators - NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey - are among the 24 co-sponsors of S1848.


Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369
Human Trafficking indeed!  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.... '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 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 among the 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 chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood.  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  As they each identify themselves as “pro life,” we need Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.


Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815
As S 815 passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital that Fitzpatrick oppose HR 1755. 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" Mike Fitzpatrick, are you committed to voting AGAINST HR 1755?




Federal Marriage Amendment - Support HJ Res 51
On 6/28/13, Rep Tim Huelskamp introduced H.J. RES. 51, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. As per a 2/19/14 letter, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chair of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage: "I am...very pleased to support the Marriage Protection Amendment and urge your colleagues to join H. J. Res. 51 as cosponsors."  To be noted, Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined the 58 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/issues/alert/?alertid=62920816.


Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204
As per the USCCB, "All House and Senate members should be urged to support and co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act"  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the co-sponsors of HR 940.  Kudos to Toomey for being among the co-sponsors of S 1204; Casey is NOT among the 19 co-sponsors.  


Immigration Reform
The USCCB has a web site to contact Casey, Toomey and  Fitzpatrick (http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=62312721&type=CO), in support of "just and compassionate immigration reform."

Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133/S1808
"Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, expressed strong support for the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (S. 1808)....Both archbishops previously endorsed the companion Marriage and Religious Freedom Act...in the U.S. House of Representatives" [i.e., HR 3133] (USCCB Chairmen Praise Introduction of the ‘Marriage and Religious Freedom Act’ in the Senate, 12/12/13). Fitzpatrick has NOT joined the 100 co-sponsors of HR 3133. NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey are among the 16 co-sponsors of S.1808The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site (http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/issues/alert/?alertid=63028046&PROCESS=Take+Action), to contact Casey, Toomey, and Fitzpatrick.


No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946
In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives - as chair of the USCCB's committee on pro-life activities - Cardinal O'Malley notes "legislation we support such as the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act( H.R. 7 )"(introduced by Rep Chris Smith).  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on HR 7.  Kudos to Toomey for being among the 26 co-sponsors of S 946; Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.  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 6/14/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "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.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being among the 40 co-sponsors of S. 1670 and the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886.  Our “pro life” senator Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 1670 and is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.


State Marriage Defense Act - Support HR3829 / S2024

As reported by the Pa Catholic Conference, "Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, applauded the January 9 introduction of the bipartisan State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (H.R. 3829)....'The State Marriage Defense Act is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage,'....He went on to say, '....State marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman deserve respect by the federal government.'"  Heretofore, Mike Fitzpatrick has claimed marriage to be a "state" issue.  Yet, he is NOT one of the 57 co-sponsors of HR 3829. As per the National Organization for Marriage, senate version S 2024 "is substantively similar" to HR 3829. Neither Casey nor Toomey are cosponsoring S 2024.

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.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 22 co-sponsors of S.653; Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.


Please copy/paste the following into a message for Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/30688/Respond):
 
"It is deeply troubling that Senators Casey and Toomey voted for S 815, which the USCCB says "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches."  We need Mike Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house version, HR 1755.

"In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - please CO-SPONSOR/ SUPPORT HR 3279/S1848 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act), HR732/S32/S369 (the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR940/S1204 (the Health Care Conscience Rights Act), HR3133/S1808 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), HR7/S946 (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act), HR1797/S1670/S 886 (the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), HR 3829/S2024 (the State Marriage Defense Act), and HR301/S653 (To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia).

"Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve what the USCCB has called 'compassionate immigration reform.'" 
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Co-Sponsor HJ Res 51

In a letter to Rep Tim Huelskamp, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chair of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage is urging co-sponsorship of Huelskamp's HJ Res 51, which proposes a federal marriage protection amendment. To be noted, Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT a co-sponsor.



http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Huelskamp-re-MPA.pdf

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Washington and Harrisburg


WASHINGTON

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279/S1848
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)."  As of 2/13/18, our “pro life” congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 125 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279.  Neither of our "pro life" senators - NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey - are among the 24 co-sponsors of S1848.


Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369
Human Trafficking indeed!  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.... '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 114 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 chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood.  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  As they each identify themselves as “pro life,” we need Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.


Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815
As S 815 passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital that Fitzpatrick oppose HR 1755. As per the USCCB's 10/31/13 letter to the U.S. Senate, "the USCCB continues to promote the dignity of both work & marriage & 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 &authentic non-discrimination" Mike Fitzpatrick, are you committed to voting AGAINST HR 1755?




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 58 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/issues/alert/?alertid=62920816.


Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204
As per the USCCB, "All House and Senate members should be urged to support & co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act"  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 194 co-sponsors of HR 940.  Kudos to Toomey for being among the 19 co-sponsors of S 1204; Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.  


Immigration Reform
The USCCB has a web site to contact Casey, Toomey and  Fitzpatrick (http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=62312721&type=CO), in support of "just and compassionate immigration reform."




Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133/S1808
"Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, & Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, expressed strong support for the Marriage & Religious Freedom Act (S. 1808)....Both archbishops previously endorsed the companion Marriage and Religious Freedom Act...in the U.S. House of Representatives" [i.e., HR 3133] (USCCB Chairmen Praise Introduction of the ‘Marriage and Religious Freedom Act’ in the Senate, 12/12/13). Fitzpatrick has NOT joined the 100 co-sponsors of HR 3133. NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey are among the 16 co-sponsors of S.1808The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site (http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/issues/alert/?alertid=63028046&PROCESS=Take+Action), to contact Casey, Toomey, and Fitzpatrick.


No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946
In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal O'Malley notes the USCCB's support for HR 7 (introduced by Rep Chris Smith).  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on HR 7.  Kudos to Toomey for being among the 26 co-sponsors of S 946; Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.  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 6/14/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "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.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being among the 40 co-sponsors of S. 1670 and the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886.  Our “pro life” senator Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 1670 and is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.


State Marriage Defense Act - Support HR3829 / S2024

As reported by the Pa Catholic Conference, "Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, applauded the January 9 introduction of the bipartisan State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (H.R. 3829)....'The State Marriage Defense Act is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage,'....He went on to say, '....State marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman deserve respect by the federal government.'"  Heretofore, Mike Fitzpatrick has claimed marriage to be a "state" issue.  Yet, he is NOT one of the 57 co-sponsors of HR 3829. As per the National Organization for Marriage, senate version S 2024 "is substantively similar to HR 3829. Neither Casey nor Toomey are cosponsoring S 2024.

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.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 22 co-sponsors of S.653; Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.


Please copy/paste the following into a message for Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/30688/Respond):
 
"It is deeply troubling that Senators Casey and Toomey voted for S 815, which the USCCB says "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches."  We need Mike Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house version, HR 1755.

"In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - please CO-SPONSOR/ SUPPORT HR 3279/S1848 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act), HR732/S32/S369 (the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR940/S1204 (the Health Care Conscience Rights Act), HR3133/S1808 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), HR7/S946 (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act), HR1797/S1670/S 886 (the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), HR 3829/S2024 (the State Marriage Defense Act), and HR301/S653 (To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia).

"Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve what the USCCB has called 'compassionate immigration reform.'" 
  

Harrisburg



HB 587

As reported by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference: "Among the many atrocities revealed at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s 'House of Horrors' abortion clinic in West Philadelphia was that several of his staff provided medical services without the proper training or license to do so....[the] House of Representatives passed House Bill 587 to increase the penalty for those who commit the crime of impersonating a doctor of medicine."  HB 587 is now with the Senate judiciary committee, of which Bucks/Montgomery Counties' Senator Stewart Greenleaf is chair.  Please urge Greenleaf (sgreenleaf@pasen.gov) to move forward with this legislation, so that it can ultimately receive a favorable vote by the full senate and a signature by the governor.

Human Trafficking

As per the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, only "a mere fraction of the more than 26 million men, women, and children who are estimated to suffer in modern slavery have been recognized by governments as such and are eligible to receive the protection and support they are owed."  "The solemn proclamation of human rights is contradicted by a painful reality of violations,

Sen Stewart Greenleaf "introduced SB75, a law to fight human trafficking in Pennsylvania that was unanimously approved Dec. 10 in the Senate” (Linda Finarelli, Human trafficking bill pending in PA House, 1/24/14).  As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "Legislation was already passed unanimously by the Pennsylvania Senate in December and hopefully it will be considered by the House of Representatives in the near future....we must demand legislative action that supports the dignity of the person and prevents victims from even getting involved in human trafficking. Please send a message in support of legislation that ends human trafficking by clicking here"  (Note: The Pa Catholic Conference has not specifically said if it supports SB75.).


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

 "A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pa Catholic Conference). The Pa Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pa's DOMA (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/32995/Respond).  Our legislators should support Sen. Clymer's HB1349, and oppose  SB719/HB1647.


Oppose SB 872

Oppose SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age" - Pa's Version of NJ's S2278.  In contrast to philosophies behind SB 872 and S2278, eminent psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County 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). 


Oppose HB300/SB300

"House Bill 300/Senate Bill 300 would add 'gender identity or expression' and 'sexual orientation' to Pennsylvania's non-discrimination law. Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to protect people based on sexual attraction and behavior will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach.  In other states, this law has shuttered Catholic adoption agencies and trampled religious liberty. HB/SB 300 could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs. The law has also caused conflicts for private business owners with legitimate religious and moral concerns....In reality, HB/SB 300 exposes even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith. Send a message to the legislature urging them to vote "no" on HB/SB 300 " (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).
From Bucks County, HB300/SB300 is being co-sponsored by Rep. Tina DavisRep. John Galloway, Sen. Chuck McIlhinneyRep. Marguerite Quinn, Rep. Steve Santarsiero, Rep. Scott Petri, and Rep. Katherine Watson (cf. http://legiscan.com/PA/bill/HB300/2013 and http://legiscan.com/PA/bill/sB300/2013).  While the Pa Catholic Conference calls HB/SB 300 "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith," as many as 28 original co-sponsors are "Catholic" (i.e., Reps Brendan Boyle, Thomas Caltagirone, Mike Carroll, Dominic Costa, Paul Costa, Tina Davis (???), Frank Dermody, John Galloway, Patrick Harkins, Joseph MarkosekMichael McGeehan, Thomas Murt, Eddie Day Pashinski, John Sabatina, Mario Scavello, Thomas Killion, Robert Matzie, and Catherine Harper. Sens Patrick Browne, Jay Costa, Chuck McIlhinney, Lisa Boscola, Wayne Fontana, John Blake, Mike Stack, Sean Wiley, John Yudichak, and Richard Kasunic).  Though he also identifies himself as "Catholic," Governor Tom Corbett has indicated that he would sign this legislation.

Email Gov. Corbett and all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg (i.e., Rep. Clymer, Rep. Davis, Rep. DiGirolomo, Rep. Farry, Rep. Galloway, Rep. O'Neill, Rep. Petri, Rep. Quinn, Rep. Santarsiero, Rep. Watson, Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. McIlhinney, Sen. Mensch, and Sen. Tomlinson), asking that they OPPOSE HB 300 / SB 300 (as well as SB 872) and SUPPORT Pa's DOMA, as well as HB 587.


The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Christifideles Laici

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Our representation in D.C....

Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
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):
https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

To check U.S. House votes:

To check U.S. Senate votes:

Contacts:

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

Contacting Our Governor

717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

Contacting Our Bishops