Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio


The right to life, from conception to its natural end, is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, # 155).

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.Catechism of the Catholic Church(#2270).

The Catholic Conference of Ohio encourages the enactment of effective laws that will provide maximum protection for unborn persons.

Legislation often involves prudential judgments as to the most effective and timely means for advancing the protection of unborn children. The Catholic Conference of Ohio remains committed to carefully reviewing such legislation, and assisting in efforts aimed at resolving differences related to specific language and strategies.  In the end, the Catholic Conference of Ohio desires passage of legislation that can withstand constitutional challenge and be implemented in order to save lives.


USCCB Chairmen Call On Congress To Consider Moral Criteria During Debates On Health Care Policy

The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions.

In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable.

“A repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing."

Any modification of the Medicaid system as part of health care reform should prioritize improvement and access to quality care over cost savings."


Bishops Urge Support for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

HR 7 to be considered this week in Congress

Please urge your federal Representative to support this important pro-life legislation which will place in permanent law a consistent federal policy restricting the funding and promotion of abortion. 

Contact Form

131st Ohio General Assembly Ends

Governor Vetoes regarding Heartbeat Legislation and Alternative Energy Standards Stand

The 131st Ohio General Assembly passed numerous bills helpful to all the citizens of Ohio, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Governor signs legislation to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks; vetoes legislation to prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected

Governor questions the legality of the heartbeat bill

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supported the 20 week ban (SB 127), while was neutral on the heartbeat legislation (HB 69 / HB 493).

Governor's veto message

Ohio General Assembly Passes Pro-Life Legislation

Restrictions on abortion, efforts to decrease infant mortality and drug dependency, adoption assistance, summer food assistance, further help for victims of human trafficking among issues being sent to the Governor for signature

The Ohio General Assembly has passed and sent to the Governor various bills that protect and enhance human life.

Abortions Decline Again in Ohio

Ohio Department of Health Reports a 1% Reduction

A total of 20,976 induced pregnancy terminations were reported in Ohio for 2015, including 19,765 obtained by Ohio resident women (94.2%). This represents a 1% reduction in induced pregnancy terminations from 2014 to 2015. Overall,since 2001 there has been a steady decline in terminations. When examined from 2001 to 2015, the annual decline averaged approximately 930 per year.

Full report

Supreme Court Rejects Health and Safety Standards for Abortion Facilities

Pro life leaders lament decision

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling in the abortion facility medical standards case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the loss.

"The Court has rejected a common-sense law protecting women from abortion facilities that put profits above patient safety," McQuade said. "The law simply required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers – standards like adequate staffing, soap dispensers, and basic sanitary conditions. It required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that hallways be wide enough to allow emergency personnel through with stretchers, should a life-threatening emergency arise."


Ohio Senate Passes MOLST (Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) Legislation

Catholic Conference takes a neutral position

The MOLST is a medical order form that documents important decisions regarding a person's health care.  The MOLST (or POLST in some states) is based on conversations between patients, their loved ones, and health care professionals.  It is intended to ensure that the wishes of a seriously ill patient or that person's legal representative are documented and honored. 

The MOLST form varies considerably from state to state. Our Conference has worked conscientiously with drafters of SB 165 to assure that Ohio's legislation is consistent with Church teaching, does not change existing Ohio law regarding end-of-life care, and addresses weaknesses found in MOLSTs passed in other states.

Senator Peggy Lehner, the pro-life sponsor of Ohio's SB 165, accepted recommendations from our Conference and Ohio Right to Life. These recommendations included strict anti-euthanasia/assisted suicide protections. While our Conference remains neutral, we believe the current version of SB 165 prudentially addresses these matters.

New FDA Abortion Drug Guidelines Called Irresponsible

USCCB Issues Statement of Concern regarding RU-486

"The FDA has irresponsibly loosened its guidelines for the dangerous abortion drug RU-486 expanding its use an additional three weeks into pregnancy, and allowing provision by non-physicians. The unofficial, off-label use of RU-486 is now the new normal, paving the way for the destruction of even more innocent lives, and putting women and girls at risk for all the life-changing effects of abortion."

Read the Statement

Life Issues

June 2016

Updates on Pending Legislation regarding Life Issues