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Insights: Governor Seals Fate of All Bills; Conference Elects New Officers

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October 18, 2019

Governor Seals Fate of Several Key Bills

The Governor’s deadline to sign any bills presented to him by the Legislature this year officially ended at midnight last Sunday.

While we are disappointed to report that the Governor signed some bills that will have detrimental consequences – such as SB 24 that will now allow for taxpayer-funded chemical abortions on public college campuses – the CCC is also celebrating some victories that will prove integral in the lives of many Californians.

We are pleased to report that AB 624 (Gabriel – D, Encino) was vetoed by Governor Newsom. This bill would have required that each California student identification card have the name of a “sexual or reproductive health hotline” printed on them.

In his veto message, Governor Newsom used some of the Conference’s talking points when he wrote “burdening schools with the job of investigating local reproductive health agencies as the bill would require. There are many agencies across this state that refuse to give women information about all of their reproductive health care options, and I am not persuaded that schools have the appropriate expertise to decide which of these organizations they should direct their students to.”

A huge congrats and thank you to those in the Catholic Legislative Network who sent letters to the Governor asking for a veto on this bill.  

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California Mandates Abortion Pill at College Health Centers

With his signature last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 24, a bill that now mandates that all public college campus health centers in California provide chemical abortion pills at taxpayer expense.

Andy Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on the signing of SB 24:

“Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 24 (Leyva), a bill the California Catholic Conference had urged him to veto.  This bill will require all University of California and California State University campus health care clinics to make abortion-by-medication available to students by state paid campus staff; not because such a mandate will advance the welfare of college women and children but rather to promote a political ideology.

“The life and dignity of every person is due respect and protection at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights. Human life is sacred.  The life of a child in the womb of the mother is both sacred and innocent.  This is why both mother and child need our support and encouragement so that their shared dignity and the sacredness of their bond is promoted and protected. Any legislation that defies these basic truths should be rejected.  

“College-age women, especially those who face life-changing decisions, such as pregnancy, deserve a safe and supportive environment where they can receive appropriate health care and assistance, including pregnancy counseling and/or options regarding on-going health care, childcare, housing assistance, moral support and adoption.

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October is Respect Life MonthVisit USCCB for information and Resources


California Re-opens Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse

On Monday, October 14, Andy Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on the signing of AB 218:

 “Today Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego), a bill that opens a window for three years to allow decades-old lawsuits to be brought against public and private institutions.  

“The Catholic Church has confronted this issue of child sexual abuse for more than two decades now. It is a legacy of shame for all of us in the Church, and we are aware that nothing can undo the violence done to victim-survivors or restore the innocence and trust that was taken from them.

“Out of our past failures, the Church has made important reforms and put in place effective systems for the protection of children. As a result, new cases of abuse are rare today in the Church in California. In addition, dioceses throughout the state have devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to providing therapy and other services to those abused by members of the Church.

“The Church cooperated with then-Governor Gray Davis and the legislature during the opening of the statute of limitations in 2003. The Church paid more than $1.2 billion to settle claims filed by hundreds of victim-survivors. Since then, dioceses in the state continue to provide pastoral care and financial support for victim-survivors, no matter when that abuse occurred.

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California Catholic Conference Elects New Officers

His brother Bishops have elected Bishop Robert McElroy from the Diocese of San Diego as the new president of the California Catholic Conference.  He succeeds Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, who completed two terms as president.

Bishop McElroy, the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, is a native of San Francisco and became an auxiliary bishop of that Archdiocese in July 2010.  He was installed as the sixth bishop of San Diego in April 2015.  He previously served as vice president of the Conference.

The new vice president is Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange who previously served as the secretary/treasurer of the Conference.  Bishop Vann is on the Board of the Pontifical North American College and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, among other service work.

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Bishops Comment on Study Pointing to Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws for Persons with Disabilities

Last week, the National Council on Disabilities (NCD) released a federal study revealing that assisted suicide laws are dangerous to people with disabilities. In its report, “The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws,” NCD provides several policy recommendations including urging states to not legalize any form of assisted suicide or active euthanasia. The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the president, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:

“We applaud the National Council on Disabilities for its critical research and report exposing serious risks of abuse, coercion and discrimination posed by assisted suicide laws, specifically for people with disabilities. Every suicide is a human tragedy, regardless of the age, incapacity, or social/economic status of the individual. 

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October 18, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 27