This week, SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges and jeopardized higher educational opportunities for the tens of thousands of Californians they serve, has apparently been substantially amended to remove such questionable provisions. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities lead the effort to revise and improve the bill and the California Catholic Conference will now be evaluating the changes. Here’s some background:
Faith in the Public Square
We affirm our religious liberty, which is guaranteed in both the U.S. Constitution and the California state constitution.
WASHINGTON (from USCCB) - Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, offered the following joint statement in response to the creation of a new Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights and other related administrative actions:
Now is the time to contact your members of Congress and advocate for the protection of life and freedom of conscience.
The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644) has been included in appropriations legislation that must pass this year to keep the government operating. The Conscience Protection Act is common-sense legislation that will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children.
In the ceaseless crusade to eliminate any conceivable barrier to abortion and reproductive rights and make life difficult for religious employers, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) is inventing “problems” that need “solutions.”
The latest is AB 569 by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) which imagines a widespread threat to reproductive rights despite the fact that they cite only one such case in California – and that was back in 2012.
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.
Statement by Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference on the issuance today of an Executive Order on religious liberty by President Trump:
“The President’s Executive Order reflects the pressing need to conduct a serious, non-partisan dialogue on the issues facing people of faith in this nation. California’s political dynamics have presented challenges on this front for many years.
The Alliance for Conscience Rights applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Conscience Protection Act. Today’s bill passage is a critical step forward to ensuring religious health care entities are adequately protected against governmental discrimination with a private right of action, which would allow them to defend their civil rights in federal court. The Alliance for Conscience Rights thanks House leadership, bill authors Congresswoman Diane Black and Congressman John Fleming, M.D., and the over 100 cosponsors of the measure for their attention to this critical issue.
Each year dioceses around the country arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom is from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day. In this analysis, we take a look at how trends in society are impacting Catholic health care ministries in the United States: