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1. Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
You are invited to call, email or visit your Federal Representatives in the United States Congress to wholeheartedly support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179) introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dan Boren (D-OK).
The Bill has not been introduced in to the Senate. Our Catholic Senators Casey and Toomey should be strongly encouraged to do so.
2. Pro Life Legislation
PA Senate Bill 3
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires states to operate and maintain “health insurance exchanges” to provide a menu of low cost, government subsidized insurance plans to help otherwise uninsured people get access to necessary health care.
The PPACA specifically permits a state to prohibit insurance providers that participate in the state exchange from covering elective abortion services. To assure that elective abortion is not included in the Pennsylvania exchange, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law.
Senate Bill 3 is a proposal that will clearly prohibit the taxpayer supported insurance plans from covering abortion.
House Bill 574
House Bill 574 would hold abortion facilities to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements, and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities.
3. Advocacy Alerts From the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
As Catholics, we believe that “prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God, or the requesting of good things from God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2559).
Catholics strive to make prayer an integral part of their daily lives so that this intimacy with God can lead us to charitable action. Our actions in the public square must always be rooted in prayer, discerning God’s will for our lives as well as for the common good of society. It is indeed a great challenge to discern and to speak the truth and to work to protect the lives and fundamental dignity of all human beings. Therefore, we also encourage prayer for our legislators.
We are called to be conscientious citizens. And so, when we consider Catholic advocacy in Pennsylvania, we must always begin with prayer, which leads to action.
Send a message to elected officials about hot topics. The PCC has numerous action alerts on a variety of topics. Every citizen is encouraged to let his or her legislators know they care about these important issues. Be sure to add email@example.com to your contact list or white list so that our emails reach your inbox!
Receive a heads up when action alerts are issued by becoming part of the network. Sign up to receive alerts for one, two or all of PCC’s important public policy issues: catholic education, religious liberty, life + dignity of person, marriage + family, social justice, health care, and faith + politics.
4. Pro-Life Legislation Federal Legislation
The USCCB advocates for policies that protect and respect human life and dignity, with special concern for those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill; seeks to eliminate legalized abortion; opposes legalization of assisted suicide or euthanasia; opposes domestic and foreign abortion funding and efforts to force states and health plans to fund abortion; and supports medical research that respects human life, while opposing human cloning and harmful experiments on human embryos. We encourage you to visit the web site of the USCCB department of Pro-Life Activities for more information.
Legislative Issues in the 111th Congress:
Support rescinding Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for RU-486.
Abortion Funding Bans (Appropriations Riders):
Oppose federal support of abortion in domestic and international health programs, military hospitals, District of Columbia, and federal prisons.
Support informed consent for women and safety regulations and reporting requirements for abortion clinics.
Abortion Rights (Freedom of Choice Act):
Oppose the establishment of abortion as a fundamental right and efforts to strike down existing abortion restrictions and regulations.
Maintain dedicated funding for abstinence education programs.
Alternatives to Abortion (Pregnant Women Support Act):
Support efforts for pregnant women who may otherwise resort to abortion and for their children.
Oppose discrimination against health care providers that do not participate in abortion, and work to incorporate this policy into permanent law.
Contraceptive Abortifacient Mandates Protection:
Oppose the creation of new mandates for contraceptive or potentially abortifacient drugs; support conscience protection for those who may be affected.
Cord Blood Funding:
Increase funding for public cord blood banking.
Euthanasia Medical Neglect:
Oppose the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide or the weakening of protections for the lives of handicapped newborns.
Family Planning Funding (Title X):
Oppose increased funding for Title X programs and support needed reforms (more effective exclusion of abortion from the program; respect for parental rights)
Oppose U.S. funding for organizations that promote abortion overseas or support coercive population programs; support morally appropriate international aid.
Health Care Reform:
Support the unborn child rule in the Children's Health Insurance Program; oppose abortion as a mandated benefit in any health care reform proposal.
Support a ban on human cloning for any purpose, and the patenting of human embryos.
Oppose the transport of minors across state lines to evade parental involvement laws on abortion.
Stem Cell Research :
Oppose research that uses stem cells obtained by destroying unborn human life; support funding for morally acceptable alternatives.
5. Domestic Issues Raised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person.
Pope Benedict XVI writes in Caritas in Veritate. . . that "The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.'" (no. 15).
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death.
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
The bishops pledged to affirm the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity of every human being in a way that transforms the culture by implementing “The Life and Dignity of the Human Person” priority plan for 2010-2012.
To achieve this goal, the priority plan includes ongoing education, prayer, policy, and advocacy efforts to mobilize the Catholic community on issues of life, justice, and peace. In this way, the Catholic community celebrates the gift of human life and witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
7. Global Issues Peace
8. Be One in a Million – Join Us to Confront Global Poverty
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) call on one million Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty. Advocate with us to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
9. Join the United States Catholic Conference Legislative Advocacy Network: