California Catholic Conference Urges Veto of Bill Requiring Abortion Medication at Student Health Centers
The end of session saw the passage of SB 24 (Levya, D-Chino), the bill that would require all UC and CSU campus health care clinics to make abortion medication available to students by state-paid campus staff. The Governor still has to sign the bill before it becomes law.
The CCC vehemently opposed the bill and is immensely grateful for the tens of thousands of opposition letters sent and phone calls members of the network sent and placed to legislators. The next step is to let the Governor know you oppose the bill here.
"The bill is now on Governor Newsom’s desk. We urge him to veto this unprecedented and unnecessary legislation because it purposely narrows a young woman’s choices and puts the state’s prestigious academic institutions in a position of actually promoting, facilitating and potentially funding only abortions,” said Andrew Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, in a statement.
“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 support, including pregnancy counseling and/or options regarding on-going health care, childcare, housing assistance, moral support and adoption. This bill will promote only abortion-inducing drugs on college campuses,” Rivas said.
Read the entire statement here.
In a released statement, California Catholic Conference President and Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto also weighed in on the pending proposed law, calling the bill and “ideological measure” without any definitive data:
“This has been the consistent pattern of the abortion industry because California chooses not to keep statistics on the use of abortion in the state. Other vital public health statistics, even euthanasia, are more thoroughly recorded and documented than abortion. This lack of information means that the Legislature is acting in the dark, being led by the hand by those fixated on hiding the consequences of abortion on women,” Bishop Soto said.
Read all of Bishop Soto’s statement in its entirety here.
Six Dioceses Announce New Compensation Program for Child Abuse Victims
Individuals who were abused as minors by diocesan priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Dioceses of Fresno, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego, may now begin the process for filing claims with the California Independent Compensation Program (ICP).
Individuals who have previously notified the Dioceses of allegations of abuse will be sent ICP Claim packets; individuals who have not previously notified the Dioceses of allegations of abuse will be able to register with the program for an initial eligibility review. Eligible victims may file claims, regardless of when the abuse might have occurred.
The ICP is independent from Church control. Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, nationally known compensation program administrators, have been working with the California Bishops since last November to design the program.
The program will be overseen by an Independent Oversight Committee (IOC) consisting of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former California Governor Gray Davis, and business leader and former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet.
Secretary Panetta said, “This important program is a necessary response to historic claims of child sexual abuse in the participating dioceses. Today, it is required that every new claim of abuse must be reported to law enforcement which will lead to the prosecution of those who have abused children.
World Migration Day and Protecting Refugee Resettlement
As September 30, 2019, (the end of the federal fiscal year) approaches, the Trump Administration will be announcing the Presidential Determination (PD) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, which establishes the number of refugees allowed to be admitted to the United States.
Last fiscal year’s PD was set at 30,000 refugees, the all-time-lowest number in the history of resettlement. Meanwhile, there are nearly 26 million refugees worldwide with 1.4 million needing resettlement.
Despite the continued global need, some in the Trump Administration are reportedly calling to “zero out” the program for FY 2020. Justice for Immigrants is asking people opposed to not accepting any refugees at all to the United States send a letter to the President and Congress asking them to refrain from making this drastic cut.
The USCCB has stated that zeroing out the refugee program “would be contrary to America values.” The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom registered “their alarm.” The Senate and House have both introduced the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement Act, GRACE Act, S. 1088, H.R. 2146, which would set 95,000 as the minimum PD.
As Catholics, we affirm the inherent dignity of every person and the ability of refugees to seek security and safety for themselves and family members. We continue to be deeply concerned that low admission numbers mean that refugees fleeing persecution are left in harms’ way and that refugee families are left separated across the continents. Express solidarity with refugees now in this moment of great need.
This proposal is particularly jarring given that the Vatican sponsored World Day of Migrants and Refugees is coming up on September 29. The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. Click here for more information on World Day of Immigrants and Refugees.
USCCB Poll: Americans Support Conscience Protection for Healthcare Professionals
Two new polls have revealed widespread discrimination against healthcare workers of faith, as well as broad public support for conscience rights laws and protections. The findings were released this week by several U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committees as well as the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), the largest faith-based association for healthcare professionals.
The findings come in the wake of enforcement actions taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) against the University of Vermont Medical Center, which is alleged to have coerced a nurse into participating in an abortion against her beliefs.
Gubernatorial Signing Period Started
As Governor Newsom considers signing the bills on his desk, the CCC will be asking The Legislative Network to send letters either urging a signature or a veto during the Governor’s signing period that ends on October 12.
In the meantime, available alerts are posted here, and you can always visit our legislation page for the current statuses of bills, background information and more.
September 20, 2019
Vol. 12, No. 26