Some Federal Issues of Particular Concern to Our Bishops
Pa Catholic Conference, Human Life Action)
On the USCCB web site, the reminder remains for us to
"Urge President Trump to Sign Executive Order Respecting Religious Freedom"
- "'That the American Health Care Act limits Medicaid funds to entities that don’t kill people is entirely appropriate, not to mention a step that’s long overdue,' said Father Frank Pavone, national president of Priests for Life. 'Sending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to an organization that dismembers 320,000 unborn babies a year adds up to a travesty of justice,' he added. 'The Senate should approve the defunding legislation as soon as possible and send it to the president’s desk. The scam of using public money to prop up abortion businesses needs to be terminated" (Catholic Herald, 5/6/17)
Catholic Social Teaching/International Issues
"The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, S.128/H.R. 496, was...introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort to sustain the temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility offered to youth through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the BRIDGE Act, young people who came to the United States as children would maintain their eligibility to work and live in the U.S. without the fear of deportation and family separation so long as they meet certain requirements, such as showing a commitment to education or honorable service in our military and having no history of serious crime."
- H.R. 920, the 'Protecting Our Border Communities Act of 2017'/ S. 668;
- H.R. 921, the 'Community Trust Act of 2017' / S. 415; and
- H.R. 1503, the 'Statute of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act 2.0 of 2017' / S. 608.
We can ensure safety for refugees, including those from Syria, as well as their host communities. As our noble efforts at assistance must not be hijacked, this blogger believes that communications MUST specifically state that contraceptives/abortifacients MUST be excluded from "assistance."
State Issues/Pa Catholic Conference
Prioritize Funding for Women's Primary Health Care
"Health care facilities that provide a wide range of women's services should have priority for receiving our limited federal and state tax dollars over those that offer limited services and focus on abortion....Please support Senate Bill 300."
Support Positive Reform for Sexual Abuse Statutes of Limitation
"The positive, prospective changes in SB 261 will hold more abusers accountable for their crimes and will require all organizations, public and private, to improve their vigilance for keeping the children in their care safe. The Senate determined that amendments to allow retroactive lawsuits to be filed would be unconstitutional in Pennsylvania. Regardless, it is definitely unfair to today's individual Catholics. Bankrupting my parish, Catholic school, or diocese today penalizes the wrong people for the crimes of the past."
Support a Better Life for Human Trafficking Victims
While the Pa Catholic Conference is supporting SB 554, the fact that Senator Daylin Leach is one of its prime sponsors suggests that there should be careful assessment of whether this legislation and its implications are truly consistent with Catholic teaching
Invest in Success: Expand EITC and OSTC Scholarships
End Brutal Dismemberment Abortions
"To the best of my knowledge, all the other pro-life organizations in Pa. also support running S.B.3 in the Pa. House instead of H.B.77. We wish to prevent another 'pride of authorship' stalemate in which the Senate will not run the pro-life House Bill and the House will not run the pro-life Senate Bill....Please contact the following Pa. House leaders and urge them to run S.B.3 in the House as soon as possible.
Speaker Mike Turzai
Majority Leader Dave Reed
Health Committee Chairman Matt Baker
717-772-5371" (Pro Life Coalition of Pa, 4/21/17)
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Religious Liberty
"proposals like these expose even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination based solely on their religious beliefs. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith."
State Issues / Pa Pro Life FederationLet your state Senator know you don't want your right to vote for judges to be taken away (2/16/17)
Oppose HB 111 (3/6/17)
"House Bill 643, sponsored by state Rep. Matthew Baker (R-Bradford, Potter, Tioga Counties), would ensure that there are no time limits for prosecuting infanticide. The measure would also expand the window of opportunity for prosecuting illegal late-term abortions to five years after the alleged crimes occurred. The legislation stems from recommendations made by the grand jury in abortionist Kermit Gosnell's 'House of Horrors' case....House Bill 643 is one additional legislative effort to ensure that the horrors of Gosnell are not repeated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (3/13/17)
State Issues / Pro Life Coalition of Pa (4/21/17)
"PP's evils include the routine and extensive cover-up of sexual assaults against minors by failing to make legally required reports on the abortions that they commit on minors....our Legislative Director, Ted Meehan, has been attempting to persuade Pa. DOH Secretary Karen Murphy to take the proper corrective actions....A response from an assistant to Sec. Murphy indicated that DOH would not be taking any actions against PP. So, Ted has led an effort to persuade members of the Pa. General Assembly to request certain records from the DOH that would indicate the extent of the failure of PP (and other abortion committers) to make legally required reports regarding suspected sexual assaults against minors. Ted's efforts have resulted in a letter from Rep. Matt Baker to Secretary Murphy that requests these reports....Please ask your State House member to add his or her name to this letter....
"Our organization has scheduled another Stand Up For Life Rally on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 11:00 AM-12:00 noon in our State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg."
- Boycott Target and boycotts/actions from America Needs Fatima and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation
- The Pa Catholic Conference rhetorically asks " Should Doctors Be Neutral on Suicide?", asking us to urge the AMA to "Remain Opposed to Doctor Prescribed Suicide."