October is Respect Life Month, and we have both good news and a big challenge
The Good News:
The HHS contraceptive mandate has been radically revised in favor of religious liberty. This is the mandate that, beginning more than six years ago as part of Obamacare, sought to force everyone from nuns to business owners to pay for contraceptives, including Plan B abortion-inducing drugs. With this new ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), any nonprofit or private employer will be able to decide, for religious or moral reasons, not to cover contraceptives in its insurance plan.
But there is more. The HHS has just released a draft of its new strategic plan, in which it declares that human life begins “at conception,” and that protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” is one of its top priorities. What a stunning and welcome reversal from the previous administration!
This good news comes on the heels of passage by the House of Representatives of a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks because of the pain felt by the unborn child at that stage of development. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act faces a much tougher battle in the Senate, but President Trump has promised to sign it into law if it reaches his desk. Please use the contact information below to voice your support for this legislation.
The Big Challenge:
Let’s work to finally end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, which has been receiving half a billion dollars of our money each year. This was a central campaign promise of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress, but so far it has not advanced.
Congress needs to feel the urgency of this step. It would have not only a practical, financial effect, but arguably an even greater symbolic one. We would be saying to Planned Parenthood and to each other that we are not willing to see another dime of our money going to an organization whose main business is the killing of unborn children.
Again, please use the contact information to make your voice heard. To assist you, here are key points from pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List (www.sba-list.org):
- Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses do not deserve taxpayer funding. They should divest themselves of abortion or self-fund.
- Undercover videos show that Planned Parenthood has been engaged in unethical and possibly illegal medical and financial practices connected to the trafficking of unborn children’s organs.
- Planned Parenthood affiliates have been referred to the FBI and the Attorney General for criminal investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Panel on Infant Lives; Planned Parenthood is unworthy of receiving taxpayer money.
- Planned Parenthood affiliates have been identified by auditors and investigators as the source of at least $12.8 million in waste, abuse, and potentially fraudulent Medicaid overbilling and penalties.
- Taxpayer funding accounts for 43% of Planned Parenthood’s overall revenue.
- Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions annually.
- There are approximately 20 times more community health centers (13,540) nationwide than there are Planned Parenthood centers (about 700).
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) alone served 24.3 million individuals last year, nearly 10 times more individuals than were served by Planned Parenthood centers (2.5 million).
Contact your Senators and Representative about Defunding Planned Parenthood
Here is a sample message for a letter (most effective), phone call (second most effective) or email.
"I, the undersigned, call on you to advance legislation ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize America's largest abortion business with their tax dollars. Abortion is not healthcare. I call for these funds to instead be directed to life-affirming community health centers."
Writing your U.S. Senators:
· Senator Tammy Baldwin: The Honorable Tammy Baldwin 717 Hart Building Washington DC, 20510:
o Dear Senator Baldwin:
· Senator Ron Johnson: The Honorable Ron Johnson 328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
o Dear Senator Johnson:
Writing your U.S. Representative:
· (To find contact information for House members, visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/)
· Address format:
The Honorable (full name) __
(Rm.#)__(name of)House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
§ Dear Representative LAST NAME
Calling on the Phone:
· Senator Tammy Baldwin: Washington, D.C. Office: (202) 224-5653 Madison Office: (608) 264-5338
· Senator Ron Johnson: Washington, D.C. Office: (202) 224-5323 Milwaukee Office: (414) 276-7282
· Your U.S. Representative: Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office.
Most likely your phone call will not be passed along to the Senator or Representative. In that case:
· Ask to speak to the aide who handles the issue about which you are calling.
· Identify yourself, and leave a brief message clearly stating what you would like the legislator to do. Be brief, but give basic reasons to back up your position on the issue.
Sending an email:
· Senator Tammy Baldwin: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/feedback
· Senator Ron Johnson: https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator
· Representative: For name and email, visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Catholic Life Articles
We March for Life
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” ~ It’s a Wonderful Life How many holes have been left in our world due to the lack of respect for life? Countless. Each year, in January, the March for Life is held […]
A New Day: Hope for a Culture of Life
A new day has dawned in the effort to rebuild a Culture of Life in America. With a pro-life President and pro-life majorities in both houses of Congress, the opportunity exists for a level of progress not seen since the dark day in 1973 when the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court.
This is clear to everyone engaged in the battle. It explains the strident "Women's March" taking place in Washington, D.C. today as I write this piece, in protest especially against President Donald Trump's pro-life agenda. It is worth noting that several pro-life women's groups sought to participate in that march, but were refused admittance.
This new day also explains the enthusiasm and good cheer of several hundred thousand pro-lifers who are descending on Washington for the January 27 March for Life. This year, a record 220 pilgrims from the Diocese of La Crosse, led by Chris Rogers of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, are making the long trek on 5 coach buses.
Most of those who come to the annual March for Life are young people, and a clear majority of them are young women. Joyful chants and fervent prayers fill the air. This year Kellyanne Conway, President Trump's former campaign chair and now a top adviser, will address the huge crowd. She is one of a series of staunchly pro-life appointees to his administration.
Each year at the March we have a speakers' night for the pilgrims from the Diocese of La Crosse at the hotel ballroom. This year's speaker is Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs for arguably the most influential pro-life organization in the nation, Susan B. Anthony List, whose President is Marjorie Dannenfelser. In a letter to Pro-life Movement leaders in September of 2016, then-candidate Trump enlisted Dannenfelser to serve as National Chairwoman of his campaign's Pro-life Coalition and outlined four pro-life policy commitments:
· Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court
· Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide
· Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women
· Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions
SBA List focuses on the election of pro-life candidates, especially pro-life women, to national office. It has an army of volunteers across the U.S. who knock on doors especially in closely contested races, and it has a formidable track record of success.
What follows are links to pro-life organizations and media celebrating this "new day" of opportunity for a Culture of Life, and laying out their hopes and expectations.