JUDGE RULES ON MASK MANDATES

A federal court has stopped the enforcement of an Iowa law that forbid all schools from having mask requirements. However, the judge’s order seems to allow the enforcement of the “no-mask mandate” in nonpublic schools.

SPECIAL ELECTIONS

Michael Bousselot, a Republican, won the special election in Iowa House District 37 yesterday. He replaces John Landon, who died in July. The district encompasses a good portion of Ankeny.

Another special election will be held on Oct. 12 in Jasper County, Iowa House District 29. Democratic legislator Wes Breckenridge has resigned his seat after taking a position as the deputy director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

FIRST REDISTRICTING PLAN TO BE RELEASED TOMORROW

The Iowa Supreme Court has ordered that the current Iowa redistricting process be completed by Dec. 1. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States census. The Legislative Services Agency is working on Congressional and General Assembly redistricting plans for submission to the General Assembly for approval. The first proposed map will be available tomorrow on the Legislature’s website at www.legis.iowa.gov.

The Legislature is holding a special session on Oct. 5 to consider the map.

ADOPTION LAW UPDATES: ATTENTION BIRTH PARENTS

If you placed a child in an adoptive home and desire to remain anonymous, please read the following information carefully. A new Iowa law provides that adoptees may now receive a noncertified copy of the certificate of birth that was created prior to adoption. If you want to remain anonymous or register other contact preferences go to idph.iowa.gov/health-statistics/Open-Adoption.

CHURCH SUPPORTS PREGNANT AND NEW MOTHERS

Recently the Texas Legislature increased support for low-income mothers through its Alternatives to Abortion program, in addition to expanding Medicaid coverage for new mothers. Another new Texas law has elicited more controversy. It seeks to use civil rather than criminal law to protect the lives of vulnerable children in the womb.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, criticized some national leaders for responding with “radical pledges to mobilize the full force of the federal government to block all efforts to protect the life of the child in the womb.”

The bishop added, “We stand with Pope Francis, who reminds us that killing a child is never a solution to a problem. We advocate for surrounding both mother and her child with love and practical support as the humane response to a difficult pregnancy.”

CONGRESS WORKING ON RECONCILIATION BILL

As Congress begins consideration of a budget reconciliation bill, the bishops are encouraging Catholics to ask members of Congress to work toward policies that will help those on the margins of society, strengthen families, protect religious freedom, promote care for creation, and respect the rights and dignity of every human life.

Unfortunately, there’s another battle shaping up over taxpayer funding of abortion. Some health care proposals include funding for elective abortion. Click here to edit a sample message to your members of Congress asking them to keep the government from funding elective abortions.

The bishops also urge Congress to include legalization and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries, those covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), undocumented agricultural workers, and other undocumented essential workers in the bill. Contact your member of Congress in support by clicking here.

CIVILIZE IT!

Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics is a nonpartisan initiative from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that seeks to assist Catholics to counter polarization and division in Church and society by following the example of the Good Samaritan, who challenges us to “become neighbors to all” (Fratelli Tutti, no. 80).

Launched earlier this month, Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics invites participants to pledge charity, clarity, and creativity to promote the common good. Additional materials, including an examination of conscience, individual and communal reflection guides, action steps, and more, are available to empower individuals, families, and communities to be bridgebuilders across perspectives.

You can sign the pledge at www.civilizeit.org.