Planned Parenthood and its Favored Treatment under California Law
This ongoing series has examined public funding for Planned Parenthood at the federal, state and local levels. In this installment, we analyze other “special” legislative treatment Planned Parenthood has received in California (Part 1 – Federal Funding; Part 2 – State Funding.)
Abortion services have repeatedly been expanded and protected in California, including allowing lower-qualified medical professionals to perform abortions and lowering standards for the places abortions are performed, in addition to other important medical safeguards. Why is this? Why is California strongly embracing the abortion industry while the majority of the country retreats?
At the state level in just the past few years, Planned Parenthood has been extremely successful in both expanding abortion services and in enacting special treatment for abortion providers. In 2015, for example, the California Legislature passed three pro-abortion measures – more than any other state – and no pro-life measures. Moreover, California does not have any significant abortion restrictions, such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions, often found in other states. Indeed, a representative with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has said, “California is moving in a different direction than the rest of the country. So far this year  we have seen 68 abortion restrictions become law, and California is the only state to make real progress to protect abortion rights.”
Expansion of Who Can Perform Abortions
The issue of who can perform abortions was taken up in 2013. AB 154 by Assembly Member Toni Atkins was introduced in the Legislature to permit a nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant to perform first trimester abortions. Despite objections that this bill lowered the standard of care for women by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions by aspiration, an invasive procedure in which medical instruments are inserted into the uterus, Governor Brown signed the bill into law.
CCC Statement Reacting to Governor’s State of the State
Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued this statement today following California Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State speech on Tuesday:
“Solidarity with our immigrant neighbors, compassion for the less fortunate, respect for one another and care for “Our Common Home,” as Pope Francis calls it, are values all of us as Christians are called to uphold. Gov. Brown’s State of the State speech this morning reflected those sentiments, as he cited his commitment to environmental protection, health care, criminal justice reform, education and promoting the common good through investment in water and transportation infrastructure.
“We agree with him when he points out the role immigrants have played in California’s success, the recognition of health care as a human right and the need, in these uncertain times, to promote civility and unity among all Californians, regardless of their political beliefs. His unfortunate nod to Planned Parenthood, however, sadly illustrates that not all vulnerable people in our beautiful State of California are deemed worthy of protection, particularly the unborn.
“As he indicated, these are uncertain times and we stand ready to help Gov. Brown and our elected officials where we can to protect the vulnerable, enhance the common good and promote respectful engagement amongst all Californians.”
Big Week for Pro-Life Movements
Much has transpired on the pro-life front this past week. Pro-life walks took place in San Francisco and LA, and House Resolution 7 (H.R. 7), which bans the use of federal funding for abortion services, passed the House and is heading to the Senate. This eliminates insurance funding for abortions, as well as organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Also this week, President Trump signed legislation reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which denies federal funding to all foreign non-government organizations that perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.
Officially titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, the bill would make the Hyde Amendment permanent. The Hyde Amendment already prevents Medicaid funding for abortion. H.R. 7 needs approval of the Senate before moving forward to President Trump for his signature.
Earned Income Tax Awareness
Today is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day in California, aimed at ensuring that lower income working Californians to claim the new state tax credit (CalETIC) as well as the available federal ETIC.
Projections show 600,000 households are eligible for the CalETIC and Federal ETIC, with the majority of those as single, women, and working part-time status.
EITC’s economic impact is profound. In its first year, CalEITC cash-back refunds to low-income working Californians totaled nearly $200 million. Add to that the billions of federal EITC available to working Californians, $1.8 billion of which goes unclaimed each year. The economic impact of the state ETIC alone is profound, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy in income, business sales, new jobs and tax revenue. This means more extra income for families who need it most. For more information on the ETIC, please visit www.CalETIC4me.org.
The EITC – passed with a bi-partisan consensus during the Reagan Administration – has consistently been cited by both sides of the aisle as one of the most effective anti-poverty program available.
Support BRIDGE Act to Relieve Threat of Deportations NOW
The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, S.128/H.R. 496, was recently 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.
Click here now to support.
Bishops Speak Out for Immigrants
Immigration-focused executive orders signed Jan. 25 by President Trump “greatly challenge and weaken the United States’ history and core value of offering refuge to the persecuted,” said Bishop Kevin W. Vann, chairman of the board of directors of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., the nation’s largest network of nonprofit immigration services agencies. Read the entire statement here.
Adopt the religion meaning of ‘sanctuary’ – This op-ed that appeared in the Sacramento Bee by Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto urges lawmakers to consider comprehensive immigration reform that “should not be an impulsive reaction to fearful uncertainty,” but instead look to expand the notion of sanctuary to create “common human endeavors for creating a good society.”
The Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vasquez, has issue a statement strongly opposing the new Administration’s announcement of a wall on the Mexican border and the increase in detention and deportation forces. Read the statement here.
January 27, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 4