Federal Court Blocks Down Syndrome Abortion Ban
Further Appeals Expected
Ohio's new Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black over questions of constitutionality. The law would prohibit abortions after prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome in a fetus, or if there's "any other reason to believe" the fetus has the genetic condition. A person performing an abortion in such a case could face a fourth-degree felony charge, and physicians could lose their licenses. The woman seeking the abortion would not be held accountable.
Larry Keough, an Associate Director with the Catholic Conference of Ohio, and his wife Jackie testified in favor of this legislation. The Conference is disappointed in this ruling.
Further Court Appeals are expected.
Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions
Two Cases Receive Rulings
In one case, the Court ruled the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) rightfully revoked the license of Toledo’s last abortion clinic -- Capital Care Network of Toledo -- because it violated a rule requiring written hospital transfer agreements. In the other, the Court ruled Preterm-Cleveland lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of abortion restrictions in budget bill 130-HB59. Both rulings were 5-2, with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and former Justice Bill O’Neill dissenting.
Capital Care Opinion
Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Praises House for Passing Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked and praised the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today with a bi-partisan vote of 241-183.
"As Chairman of the United States Bishops' Committee, I offer gratitude and praise to the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712). This common-sense legislation offers a simple and widely supported proposition: a child born alive following an abortion should receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. I call on the Senate to pass this bill as well and ensure that the lethal mentality of Roe does not claim new victims – vulnerable human beings struggling for their lives outside the womb."
Chairmen Applaud New HHS Initiatives on Conscience and Religious Freedom
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty applaud HHS for its significant actions to protect conscience rights and religious freedom.
Ohio Senate Committee Passes the Unborn Child Dignity Act
Full Senate Vote Pending
This legislation, SB 28, requires the humane burial or cremation of unborn children following an abortion. The legislation also increases informed consent for women seeking abortions. The Conference supports passage. The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit. Catechism of the Catholic Church #2300.
SB 164 passes 20-12
SB164 would prohibit a doctor from performing the medical procedure if they know the woman is seeking an abortion because of a test result indicating Down syndrome in the fetus, a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other reason the woman believes the fetus has Down syndrome. Doctors who violate the prohibition would face a fourth-degree felony, revocation of their medical license and possible civil penalties.
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.
Respect Life Month Toolkit
2017 Respect Life Program Brochures on Abortion
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.