Past Action Alerts 2011

CAN ACTION ALERT - NATIONAL
September 12, 2011
 
Conscience Rights Violated by Sweeping
HHS Contraceptive and Sterilization Mandate

 

The U.S. Bishops have issued a nationwide action alert regarding the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to mandate that almost all private health plans cover contraception and sterilization as "preventative services" for women.This is a sweeping rule that violates the conscience rights and moral and religious convictions of not only Catholics, but many others of faith and good will. This action is unprecedented. Never before has the federal government required private plans to include such coverage, which includes drugs that can cause an abortion.

 

Please read through a short summary of the proposed HHS rule and the issues surrounding it HERE. Then contact HHS through the NCHLA's action center by CLICKING HERE. HHS will be receiving public comment on their decision through September 30th, so please act quickly. Tell HHS to stop this unprecedented threat to religious freedom and moral conviction, and to protect the conscience rights of all Americans.

 

In addition, please contact our U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to help defeat the HHS mandate, and to pass legislation, such as the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, that will protect our rights of conscience against this and future acts. You can do this using the links found on the Contact Public Officials page of the CAN website.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Travis or me. Thank you!

 

CAN ACTION ALERT - NATIONAL
 March 2, 2011

 

Since early January, our focus with the Catholic Advocate Network (CAN) has been the 2011 South Dakota Legislative Session.  However, much has been happening in our nation’s Capitol the past few weeks as well. 

 

The information in this alert primarily comes from Action Alerts we’ve receive from the NCHLA.  We encourage you to contact our national public officials on the following important measures.  Contact information can be found on the Contact Public Officials Pageof the CAN Website.

 

1. SUPPORT the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R.3):

 

For many years, Congress has supported the policy that federal tax dollars should not be used for elective abortions. Each year many provisions must be renewed in law as part of annual appropriations bills to maintain this policy. The time is overdue to establish this policy in permanent law in all federal programs. On January 20th, Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3)”. This measure was first introduced in 2010 and enjoys bipartisan support.  On February 8, the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R. 3.  On March 3, at 10:00 a.m. ET, the full Judiciary Committee is scheduled to markup the bill.  Please contact Representative Noem and request her support of this measure.  More information can be found on the NCHLA Website.

 

2. SUPPORT the Appropriations CR (H.R.1) with the Pence Amendment: 

 

In the early hours of February 19, the House passed the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1), a measure to appropriate funding for the remainder of the current fiscal year. A short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) authorizing government funding is set to expire on March 4.  A number of amendments to H.R. 1 affecting abortion funding policies were proposed for floor consideration. Most were withdrawn. However, on February 18, an amendment (#11) offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to deny funding to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, along with 102 other named affiliates, passed by a vote of 240 to 185. (This is referred to as the Pence Amendment.)                                 

 

As introduced, H.R. 1 contains several notable provisions that remained in the bill when passed:

·         A ban on the use of all appropriated monies, federal and local, to pay for abortion on request in the District of Columbia (Sec. 1590);

·         A ban on all funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the deletion of an existing $55 million earmark for UNFPA (Sec. 2122(e)(1));  

·         The Mexico City Policy as appropriations law (no funding for foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions as a method of family planning) (Sec. 2122(e)(2));

·         The elimination of all funding for Title X family planning programs (the fiscal year 2010 funding level was $317,391,000) (Sec. 1809(a)(2));

·         $440 million for international family planning, a figure lower than the $648 million for fiscal year 2010 (Sec. 2122(e)(1)).                          

 

The Senate has yet to act on this matter. H.R. 1, or another CR, must be signed into law no later than March 4, for the government to have the required funding authority.  Please contact Senators Thune and Johnson and request their support of these provisions.

 

3.   SUPPORT the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358):

 

The health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was signed into law in 2010. While long supporting health care reform, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized the final law as profoundly flawed in its treatment of abortion, conscience rights, and fairness to immigrants. On January 20, 2011, the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358) was introduced to bring PPACA into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights existing in other federal health programs. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged Members of Congress to support the Protect Life Act. On February 11 and 15, H.R. 358 was marked up in the Subcommittee on Health of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the full committee, respectively. All weakening amendments were rejected and the measure was approved. H.R. 358 next goes on the House floor, though a schedule for consideration has not yet been set. Now is the time to contact Representative Noem and request her support of this measure. More information can be found on the NCHLA website.

 

And let us always remember our public officials in our prayers:

 

A Pro-Life Prayer for Our President and Public Officials

 

Lord God, Author of Life and Source of Eternal Life, move the hearts of all our public officials and especially our President, to fulfill their responsibilities worthily and well to all those entrusted to their care.

 

Help them in their special leadership roles, to extend the mantle of protection to the most vulnerable, especially the defenseless unborn, whose lives are threatened with extermination by an indifferent society.

 

Guide all public officials by your wisdom and grace to cease supporting any law that fails to protect the fundamental good that is human life itself, which is a gift from God and parents.

 

You are the Protector and Defender of the lives of the innocent unborn. Change the hearts of those who compromise the call to protect and defend life. Bring our nation to the values that have made us a great nation, a society that upholds the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

 

Mary, the Mother of the living, help us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life with our lives and our laws, through Christ, Our Lord.

 

Amen.

CAN ACTION ALERT - SUPPORT HB 1217
Changes to Informed Consent for Abortions
February 25, 2011
 

HB 1217 is a bill that requires, prior to a pregnant mother consenting to an abortion, that a licensed physician personally meet with her and conduct an assessment to determine whether she is being coerced into the abortion and whether she is at risk for harm from the abortion.  It also requires the mother to have a consultation with a registered pregnancy help center. Click here to read additional Talking Points on this bill.

 

This bill is scheduled for committee hearing in Senate Health and Human Services on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.  Please contact the following members of this committee and urge them to SUPPORT HB 1217:

 

Bradford, Jim
Holien, Ried
Hunhoff, Jean 
Kraus, Elizabeth
Krebs, Shantel
Rave, Timothy
Schlekeway, Todd

 

With only a couple weeks left in the legislative session, bills will move quickly to the floor of the Senate, so if you have time, please contact all the other Senators as well, and especially the Senator from your District.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Travis or me.  Thank you!

CAN UPDATE
February 15, 2011
 
It has been a busy couple of days at the Capitol.  Following is an update on some of the bills.  Please remember to check the CAN Website for ongoing updates as well. 
 
1.  HB 1217, the informed consent and screening for abortion bill, passed the House Judiciary 9-4 with a friendly amendment.  HB 1217 is now scheduled for debate on the floor of the House tomorrow, but it is near the bottom of the calendar and it is likely that they will not get to it until Thursday.  The preliminary count of support for this bill in the House is looking favorable right now.  However, if you would like to contact the full House members and urge their support, you can do so using the Email Your Legislator tool.
 
2.  HB 1218, the bill regarding surrogacy contracts was defeated in House Judiciary 9-3.  It was clear from testimony that surrogacy contracts are occurring in our state.  Both proponents and opponents of the bill agreed that the issue of surrogacy needs more attention and discussion.  You will notice the phrase used is that the committee "Deferred to the 41st legislative day".  There are only 40 legislative days, so deferring to the 41st day is a way of "killing" a bill in committee.  The full body of the House could "smoke the bill out of committee" to be heard on the floor of the House, be we are fairly certain that this procedure will not be used.
 
3.  HB 1198, one of the immigration bills, was defeated in House State Affairs 11-2.  Please be sure to read Bishop Paul J. Swain's Statement on Immigration, if you have not had the opportunity to do so yet.  An attempted "smoke-out" of this bill (as described above) failed by a vote of 19-48 this afternoon.  To be successful, 1/3 of the Representatives needed to vote in favor of the action.
 
4.  SB 156, the other immigration bill, was heard in Senate Judiciary this morning.  Both proponent and opponent testimony was received, but due to time restraints, action on the bill was deferred until Thursday, February 17th.  So there is still time to contact the members of the committee if you haven't already done so.
 
5.  SB 176, the bill on human trafficking, passed the Senate Judiciary 7-0.  The testimony on this bill was very compelling and frightening.  We are fairly certain that this bill will pass quickly through the legislative process an become the law of our State. 
 
With the recent news reports on the civil unrest in other parts of our world, let us be thankful for, and not take for granted, the freedom we have to exercise our voice in the democratic process.
ACTION ALERT - OPPOSE HB 1198 & SB 156
February 13, 2011
 
There are two bills on immigration in committee hearing tomorrow and Tuesday.  Bishop Paul J. Swain has issued a statement regarding this important issue.  Please click here to read his statement.
 
House Bill 1198, an act to provide for the state and local enforcement of certain federal immigration laws, to criminalize the knowing transportation, concealment, or solicitation of illegal aliens, and to provide penalties therefor, is in House State Affairs on Monday, February 14th at 7:45 a.m.  Please contact the following committee members and urge them to OPPOSE HB 1198.
 
 
Senate Bill 156, an act to prohibit the employment of unauthorized aliens, to criminalize the knowing transportation, concealment, or solicitation of unauthorized aliens, and to provide penalties therefor, is in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday, February 15th at 7:45 a.m.  Please contact the following committee members and urge them to OPPOSE SB 156.
 
 
If you are interested in listening to testimony live, CLICK HERE for a listing of the live broadcasts, and save this page in your bookmarks.  When it's time for the hearing to begin, go to this page, find the committee or session you wish to listen to, and click on the SD Public Broadcasting icon.
 
Thank you all in advance for answering your call to be a faithful citizen.  As always, please remember your legislators in your prayers.
 
CAN ACTION ALERT
SUPPORT Informed Consent & Surrogacy Bills
February 11, 2011
 
After a somewhat slow start to the legislative session, things are beginning to proceed ahead at a quicker pace.  You can view the full CAN Bill List on the SD Session 2011 Page of the CAN Website.  You will see from the list that there are many bills up in committee on Monday and Tuesday.  We will be sending out additional action alerts on some of the other bills over the weekend.

 

ACTION ALERT - SUPPORT HB 1217
Changes to Informed Consent for Abortions

HB 1217 is a bill that requires, prior to a pregnant mother consenting to an abortion, that a licensed physician personally meet with her and conduct an assessment to determine whether she is being coerced into the abortion and whether she is at risk for harm from the abortion.  It also requires the mother to have a consultation with a registered pregnancy help center. Click here to read additional Talking Points on this bill.

 

This bill is scheduled for committee hearing in House Judiciary on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

 

ACTION ALERT - SUPPORT HB 1218
Prohibitions on Surrogate Mother Contracts

HB 1218 is a bill that prohibits surrogate mother contracts in South Dakota and establishes standards to award custody of children born as a result of such arrangements.  Click here to read additional Talking Points on this bill.

This bill is also scheduled for committee hearing in House Judiciary on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Please contact the following committee members and urge them to SUPPORT these two bills:

 

Abdallah, Gene

Boomgarden, Jamie

Feinstein, Marc

Gibson, Peggy

Gosch, Brian

Hansen, Jon

Hunt, Roger

Killer, Kevin

Kopp, Don

Nelson, Stace

Russell, Lance

Tornow, R. Shawn

Turbiville, Charles

 

Remember, you can quickly email each of the following committee members using the LRC's AUTOMATED WEBMAIL feature. Click on the link I just provided, type your email address in the "From:" box, choose a legislator's name from the drop down list, fill in the other information, including your message, and then click "Send Message".  To email the next legislator on the committee, simply choose his or her name from the list and click "Send Message" again.  All of your other information will remain in the form. 

It may be helpful to read through the short list of Tips for Communicating with Legislators found on the CAN Website. If you have any questions about anything contained in this email, or have any difficulties with the links, please do not hesitate to contact Travis or me.

 


INFO ALERT - 2011 Legislative Session Is Underway

January 19, 2011

 

South Dakota's 2011 Legislative Session is underway, beginning Tuesday, January 11th. For those of you who have received our Catholic Advocate Network (CAN) correspondence in the past, you will find our approach similar to prior years.  However, we have moved the CAN Website onto the diocesan website at www.sfcatholic.org/can.  Using the old www.can4life.org address will automatically take you there.  As always, please email us with any problems you encounter in our emails or on the website, and with any suggestions for improvements, additions, etc. 

 

If you are new to the legislative process or need a refresher, the 2011 Legislative Brochure is a great resource.  For a more in-depth explanation, a comprehensive Guide to the Legislature is also available online.  Links to both of these documents can be found on the SD Session 2011 Page of the new CAN Website.

 

We will try to provide direct links to information discussed in our emails.  These links should appear in the typical blue link color, as you should notice in this email. (Some email programs may differ.)  In addition, whenever possible, attachments and documents available on the website will be in PDF form.  If you encounter problems with PDF files, you may need to update to the newest version of Adobe Reader(But please let me know if you experience problems.)

 

Most of the information related to session appears on the SD Session 2011 Page, including the CAN Bill List, which lists specific bills that the diocese is following closely, along with comments and information on where the bill is in the process. All email alerts will also be available online on the Action Alerts Page.  You will notice a separateContact Public Officials Page which contains the South Dakota and National contact information together. Finally, you will find that we link extensively to the Legislative Research Council's (LRC) Website. You might find it helpful to (re)familiarize yourself with that site in the next few days.

 

With more than 500 bills being considered in less than 40 days, things move very quickly. Oftentimes, we only have a couple days notice that a bill will be on the calendar for committee consideration or a vote by the full Senate or House. Therefore, we ask that you check your email often (especially our Legislative Liaisons), and especially in the evenings or early morning, as much of our email and website work is done after the close of session for the day.  And for our Legislative Liaisons, it's not too late to have a table at Mass and recruit some new parishioners to join your parish email list.

 

Thank you all, in advance, for your continued efforts to help ensure that the laws of our State are based on sound moral principles and promote the dignity and respect for all human life at all stages. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Travis or me. And please remember all our legislators in your prayers.

 

          

Past Alerts:

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