The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking for your help in urging Congress to protect the right of conscientious objection to abortion.

Can you imagine if you had spent years training to help the sick as a nurse – only to find that to keep your job, you must take part in the killing of a defenseless five-month-old unborn child? This happened to Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, RN, who was forced by her employer to participate in a late-term abortion against her deeply held pro-life beliefs. What’s worse, she found she had no right to go to court to keep this from happening to others. Check out this Youtube video to hear from Cathy about the situation.

The need for the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) has grown more urgent since last year, when the state of California started forcing almost all health plans in the state, including churches, to pay for elective abortions.

As we approach the Dec. 11 deadline for Congress to agree on a “must pass” year-end spending bill, we are working to include ANDA as a part of the package. To send a message to your members of Congress, go to www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=292.

Thanks for your help with this. We are fortunate that in Iowa, state law provides that health care personnel have the right not to participate in abortions based on religious or moral grounds.

ALSO IN THE NEWS …

Earlier this week, you received a statement from the bishops of Iowa on the refugee situation. The Catholic Church in Iowa has assisted with the resettlement of refugees in the state for many years. The bishops cautioned against rejecting refugees simply on the basis of nationality or religion. You can see a copy of the statement on our website at www.iowacatholicconference.org.

Click here for details on how refugees are vetted for possible resettlement.

Thanks to those who were able to attend the Vote to End Hunger Rally on Nov. 8. More than 200 people participated with a couple of dozen telling us they were interested in follow-up meetings. Check out some pictures at www.facebook.com/iowacatholicconference.

We are also promoting the Midwest March for Life sponsored by Iowa Right to Life. The event takes place in Des Moines on Jan. 16. Check out the flier here. There will be a Mass with the bishops of Iowa at St. Ambrose Cathedral beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by a rally on the west steps of the state capitol at 11 a.m. and a walk to the Iowa Supreme Court building.

The March continues with an educational and motivational event at 12:30 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines. A free lunch will be available. The keynote speaker will be Melissa Ohden, founder of the Abortion Survivors Network and a survivor of a failed abortion. For more information, or to RSVP, go to www.iowartl.org.

The U.S. bishops have approved an update of their “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document. Check it out here: https://t.co/rA3VKx8kKL.

The U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding some issues of interest. Earlier this month the Court said it would take up and consolidate several cases of Catholic and other religious nonprofits objecting to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate. The mandate, as you recall, requires most employers to provide employees with health insurance that includes access to birth control. The hearing is scheduled for late March with an announcement of a decision most likely in late June 2016.

The Court is also going to hear a challenge of a Texas abortion law that requires abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and for abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. Probably a best-case scenario would be the Supreme Court allowing states to put common sense regulations of abortion procedures in place.

Don’t forget to check out what we’re up to on Twitter @iacatholicconf.