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Insights: Religious Employers Targeted, Again; Marijuana Protections for Children

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June 9, 2017

NARAL Bill Takes Aim at Religious Employers (Again)

Claiming widespread problems despite a complete lack of evidence, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is once again targeting religious employers with a bill in the California legislature.

The latest effort is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego).  She and NARAL are claiming that religious employers are consistently discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices.

Despite supporters’ claims, only one such case has been discovered in a California religious organization in the last ten years and that was settled out of court, obscuring the facts of the case.  None have been found in “secular” organizations.

The supporters also target “codes of conduct” – common to all employers – saying that they often include “morality clauses” that discriminate.  Again, the only case they cite involved a code that was actually approved by a vote of a teacher’s union.

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Controversial Stem Cell Institute Will Need More State Funding

With questionable accountability and therapy records, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will likely soon be coming back to California coffers for another bankroll.  One California lawmaker thinks the taxpayers should have a say in that.

John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) proposed that refunding CIRM, which sponsors research on embryonic and other stem cell research, be put before the voters next year.  The Senate Health Committee, however, disagreed and rejected his proposal this week.  (You can watch the hearing on The California Channel.)

CIRM was approved via a ballot proposition in 2004 and financed with $3 billion of state bonds.  It was sold as the way to bring stem cell therapies to the healing arts faster and, at first, was devoted exclusively to embryonic stem cells.  That has been expanded, however, to other types of stem cells when those were shown to be more likely to lead to successful therapies.

Catholic teaching strongly objects to the use of embryonic stems cells because they are obtained from aborted fetuses.  Other types of stem cells, depending on their origin, can be morally acceptable.

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Stop Abortion Funding

A California Supreme Court case requires your tax dollars to pay for abortion. You have no "choice." Lawmakers repeatedly gloss over the opportunity to debate the issue or, at the least, look for ways to reduce the number of abortions.

 

Email your legislator to make this year, the year they stop ignoring the millions of taxpayers who do not want to pay for abortions.

 

California Home to Large Human Trafficking Industry

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise.  An estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry, it constitutes one of the gravest offenses against human dignity - preying upon the most vulnerable women, children, and men who are frequently tricked or coerced into preforming uncompensated work or degrading and dangerous activities. 

As Pope Francis has written, “We must unite our efforts to free the victims and stop this increasingly aggressive crime.”

California is particularly vulnerable to this atrocity because of its proximity to international borders, its number of ports and airports, its significant immigrant population, and its large economy that includes industries that attract forced labor. It serves both as an entry point for slaves imported from outside the U.S. as well as a destination for slaves.

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Legislature Seeking Marijuana Protections for Children

Following the passage of Prop. 64 that legalized marijuana last November, there is now a bi-partisan effort in the California State Legislature to pass new laws to protect children from the drug’s potentially harmful effects.

Assembly Bill 350 by Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) would prohibit the sale of marijuana that resembles candy or other characteristics that are attractive to children. Senate Bill 663 by Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) has a bill moving through the Legislature that would prohibit marijuana packaging from resembling other commonly sold products or featuring cartoon characters. And Senate Bill 794 by Senator Harry Stern (D-Los Angeles) would require all marijuana products to be marked by a universal symbol signifying its presence.

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June 2, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 19