Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Abortion

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.


 Resources


U. S. Health & Human Services Expands Exemptions on Contraceptive Mandate

HHS Mandate Decision Represents "Good News"

The decision to expand the HHS mandate exemption is "good news for the Little Sisters of the Poor and others who are challenging the HHS mandate in court...[and] good news for all Americans,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

Full USCCB statement

The U. S. Attorney General issued a guidance memorandum to all administrative agencies and executive departments regarding religious liberty protections in federal law. This memorandum affirms religious liberty and the RFRA Act of 1993 (Religious Freedom Restoration Act). 

In conjunction with the memorandum, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued two companion rules that provide conscience protections to Americans who have a religious or moral objection to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services. Under the first rule, entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services would no longer be required to do so. The second rule applies the same protections to organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief. 

Featured Respect Life Brochures 2017

 What to Do When a Friend Is Considering Abortion

 PDF Version

 

 

 

 

 How to Build a Culture of Life

 PDF Version

Respect Life Program 2017

"Be Not Afraid" is this Year's Theme

Respect Life Sunday is observed every year on the first Sunday in October (Respect Life Month). This year's theme, "Be Not Afraid," is featured October 2017 - September 2018.

NEW materials are produced each year to help Catholics understand, value, and become engaged with supporting the God-given dignity of every person—which naturally leads to protecting the gift of every person's life.

Digital Resources

Catholic Conference of Ohio Staff Testifies in Support of HB 214

Bill will Prohibit Abortions based on Down Syndrome

HB 214, pending in House Health and SB 164, pending in Senate Health, prohibit a person from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because an unborn child has or may have Down Syndrome.

Conference testimony

Urge Congress to Pass the Conscience Protection Act of 2017

Defend Health Care Professionals Who Choose Not To Participate In Abortion.

Urge Congress to pass the CPA (H.R. 644) and S. 301) as part of must-pass appropriations legislation. The USCCB has joined with 32 other groups representing millions of Americans and tens of thousands of health care professionals with a profound concern about abortion, and particularly about the conscience rights of health care professionals and facilities who choose not to participate in the destruction of unborn lives.

Ohio Legislature Considering Further Protections for Unborn Children

Hearings Underway in Senate on Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act

The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (SB 164) seeks to prohibit abortions that are committed for the reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. A companion bill, HB 214, is pending in the House. 

Conference staff member, Larry Keough, with his wife Jackie, and daughters Mary Kate and Sara Beth will be testifying in support of this legislation.


Other bills include:

SB 145: Dismemberment Abortion Ban. The legislation would prohibit dilation and evacuation abortions. The D&E abortion procedure is usually performed between thirteen and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy. (Passed the Senate) Conference Testimony

SB 28: Unborn Child Dignity Act, requiring that aborted fetal remains be either given earthly burial or cremation following an abortion.

HB 149: Abortion Trafficking Prevention Act, prohibiting fetal tissue trafficking.

HB 258: Heartbeat bill. Passed the legislature in last session, but vetoed by the Governor.(Conference remains neutral)

Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Dismemberment Abortions

Senator Lehner issues powerful floor speech

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified that the proposed ban on dilation and evacuation abortions (SB 145)  is another important step in protecting unborn life. Dismemberment abortions are particularly gruesome.

The Catholic Church’s teaching concerning abortion is well known. We hold that every child, at every moment of existence, deserves love and the protection of the law. We do not believe any person or government has the right to take the life of an innocent human being – and we hold that the real problems that lead women to consider abortion should be addressed with solutions that support both mother and child. 

Full Testimony

Chairmen from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Raise Concerns over Proposed Federal Budget

The moral measure of the federal budget is how well it promotes the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable

President Trump's proposed budget calls for a sharp increase in military spending while making significant cuts across much of the rest of government, including reductions in many long-standing federal programs that assist the poor and vulnerable.

In letters to both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, the bishops reaffirmed the federal budget as a moral document containing profound implications for the common good of our nation and world. The letter states that the "budget requires difficult decisions that ought to be guided by moral criteria that protect human life and dignity, give central importance to 'the least of these' (Matthew 25), and promote the welfare of workers and families who struggle to live in dignity."

"Sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and international programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling.  Such deep cuts would pose a threat to the security of our nation and world, and would harm people facing dire circumstances. When the impact of other potential legislative proposals, including health care and tax policies, are taken into account, the prospects for vulnerable people become even bleaker." 

The letter was signed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Chairman, Committee on Catholic Education, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, of Burlington, Chairman, Committee on Communications, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman, Committee on Migration. 

The full text of the letter sent to the U.S. Senate/U.S. House of Representatives is available at:  

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/letter-to-congress-on-fy-2018-federal-budget-2017-05-19.cfm

U.S. Bishops Chairman Calls On Senate To Strip Harmful Proposals From House-Passed Health Care Bill

American Health Care Act still contains major defects

After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Senate to strip out the harmful provisions of the bill when the chamber takes it up for consideration.

"Even with efforts to improve the bill before passage, the American Health Care Act still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that risk coverage and affordability for millions; it is deeply disappointing that the voices of those who will be most severely impacted were not heeded," said Bishop Dewane. "The AHCA does offer critical life protections, and our health care system desperately needs these safeguards. But still, vulnerable people must not be left in poor and worsening circumstances as Congress attempts to fix the current and impending problems with the Affordable Care Act."

Full Statement
Statement of Concern by the Catholic Health Association
Statement of Concern by Catholic Charities USA

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."

 

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