Staff of the Iowa Catholic Conference is meeting with key legislators to get ready for the 2022 legislative session, which begins on Monday, Jan. 10.
Among the issues we are working on:
- a support program for pregnant mothers and children
- expanded financial options for parents to be able to choose a nonpublic school
- encouraging new teachers and retaining current public and nonpublic school teachers
- protecting programs that support the poor and vulnerable
We’ve also posted a new video as a part of our campaign to encourage vaccination. It features comments by Alondra Melendez, a college student from Storm Lake.
SUPPORT THE CHILD TAX CREDIT
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ as a vulnerable child and are reminded of the importance of prioritizing the needs of those who are poor and vulnerable. While it appears the federal “Build Back Better” bill is dead, at least for now, Congress is still looking at extending the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit.
You can encourage our members of Congress to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit so families have continued access to needed monthly support.
This month, an estimated 35 million families will receive a payment to help make ends meet. This will be the last monthly payment unless Congress acts to maintain the expanded Child Tax Credit. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the expanded credit has been an extremely effective anti-poverty program, lifting 3.8 million children above the poverty line.
We encourage you to add your own personal story about how 2021’s expanded Child Tax Credit has helped your family or community. Click here to work on a message to members of Congress.
FDA DECISION DENOUNCED
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced recently they will eliminate the safety requirement of in-person dispensing in the Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for the chemical abortion drug mifepristone. The FDA’s action clears a path for the drug to be dispensed by clinics, medical offices, and hospitals through the use of online pharmacies or drug delivery services in the mail.
In response, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, noted:
“One of the essential tasks of governments is to safeguard the health and well-being of citizens. As such, the FDA ought to act to protect the lives and health of mothers and children, rather than merely succumbing to the abortion industry’s pressure to loosen safety standards.”
Here in Iowa in 2013, we were able to convince the Board of Medicine to have a rule requiring in-person dispensation of the medication. However, the Iowa Supreme Court struck that down in 2015.
U.S. SUPREME COURT HEARS ‘DOBBS’ CASE
On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, on the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. The question before the Court is whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are unconstitutional. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said:
“In the United States, abortion takes the lives of over 600,000 babies every year. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health could change that. We pray that the Court will do the right thing and allow states to once again limit or prohibit abortion, and in doing so protect millions of unborn children and their mothers from this painful, life-destroying act. We invite all people of good will to uphold the dignity of human life by joining us in prayer and fasting for this important case.”
Prayers and resources for community engagement and action as we await the Court’s decision may be found at www.prayfordobbs.com.
CONCERN OVER REIMPLEMENTATION OF MIGRANT PROTECTION PROTOCOLS
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” would restart the week of Dec. 6.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has opposed MPP since it was first introduced in 2019. Reaffirming that position, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“On the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis prayed for migrants and renewed his appeal for leaders to find solutions that respect their humanity. In solidarity with the Holy Father, we strongly urge the Administration to take all necessary action to end MPP and replace it with an approach that respects human dignity, exemplifies our national values, upholds the rule of law, and embraces Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer.”
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