Catholic Conference of Ohio
Wednesday, August 23, 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


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."

 

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

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."

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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.

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