Bishops issue statements on Equality Act, ‘Born-Alive’ Act and the President’s immigration plan

By May 28, 2019No Comments

Leadership of the U.S. Catholic bishops have issued statements recently regarding several issues:

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Respond to U.S. House Vote on Equality Act

Five chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have responded to the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Equality Act (H.R. 5) on May 17. The Act would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” as well as “pregnancy […] or a related medical condition,” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws; expand the types of entities covered under those laws; and exempt itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Upon the bill’s passage by 236 to 173 in the House, the bishops said:

“Our faith calls us to uphold every individual’s dignity and rights against unjust discrimination – including in employment, housing, and services – regardless of characteristics or background. Rather than offering meaningful protections for individuals, the Equality Act would impose sweeping new norms that negatively impact the unborn, health care, charitable services, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and parental rights. The Act’s unsound definitions of ‘sex’ and ’gender identity’ would erase women’s distinct, hard-won recognition in federal laws. Its sex-based nondiscrimination terms would end women’s shelters and many single-sex schools. It would close faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that honor children’s rights to a mother and father. The bill would even act as an abortion mandate. We must pursue justice and equality for anyone denied it; but this is a regrettable approach. We are gravely disappointed with the Act’s passage in the U.S. House.”

USCCB Issues Action Alert on ‘Born-Alive’ Bill

You are asked to urge your U.S. Representative to sign the discharge petitionand vote to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962). Data from some states and the Centers for Disease Control, along with testimony of medical staff, reveal that some babies survive attempted late-term abortions and are born alive. But rather than receiving appropriate care, there is shocking evidence that some of these babies are then left alone to die, or even killed.

Current federal laws, and the laws in 21 states, are not enough to ensure these babies are protected. The specific protections in H.R. 962 are essential to ensure that babies who survive an attempted abortion receive the same care as any other newborn at the same gestational age. This bill does not affect abortion’s legality or access, or a woman’s life or health. Click here for some key reasons for supporting the Act. A short video about the bill is available here.

President of U.S. Bishops and Chairman of Migration Issue Statement on President’s Proposed Immigration Reform Plan

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Texas, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response to the President’s remarks on his proposed immigration reform plan. Full statement follows:

“While we appreciate that the President is looking to address problems in our immigration system, we oppose proposals that seek to curtail family-based immigration and create a largely “merit-based” immigration system. Families are the foundation of our faith, our society, our history, and our immigration system. As Pope Francis notes: “Family is the place in which we are formed as persons. Each family is a brick that builds society.

“We also are deeply troubled that this proposal does not seem to address Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status holders, nor provide them a path to citizenship to ensure their full integration into American life. Lastly, securing our borders and ensuring our safety is of the utmost importance, but this will not be achieved by heightening human misery and restricting access to lawful protection in an attempt to deter vulnerable asylum-seeking families and children. Instead, we must confront the root causes of migration and look to humane and pragmatic solutions, such as improving our immigration courts, expanding alternatives to detention, and eradicating criminal networks. We urge lawmakers to put aside differences and engage in meaningful action on humane and just comprehensive immigration reform.”