Weekly Update from the Missouri Catholic Conference                                       March 12, 2021  
Inside this issue
  No MCC Weekly Update Next Week  

We will take a pause from MCC Weekly Update next week during the legislative spring break. We'll be back with the latest news from a Catholic perspective on Friday, March 26. Until then, please enjoy this edition of our newsletter!

Note: Please bear with us as we await changes to our newsletter generator; we will be back to normal formatting with photos soon.



  Senate Passes Resolution on "Dred Scott" Decision  

This week, the Missouri Senate passed SCR 3, sponsored by Sen. Steven Roberts (D-St. Louis City), by a vote of 33-0. SCR 3 is a resolution that condemns the 1852 Missouri Supreme Court decision denying Dred and Harriet Scott their freedom due to their race and status as slaves.  The court ruled that Dred and Harriet Scott did not have a legal right to their freedom, even though they had lived for several years with their owner in the free states of Illinois and Wisconsin before being brought back to Missouri.

The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the state court ruling was affirmed. The MCC testified in support of the resolution and hopes that recognizing the error of these court decisions in denying the equal dignity of the Scotts as human beings made in the image and likeness of God will help begin to heal the longstanding wounds from slavery that have plagued Missouri and the U.S. The Resolution now heads to the Missouri House for further consideration.



  Senate Committee Approves Four Pro-Life Bills  

The Senate Health and Pensions Committee this week voted to pass four pro-life bills that were heard in the committee last week. SB 168, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison (R - Battlefield), is known as the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act." It states that a child born alive during or after an abortion or attempted abortion shall have the same rights, privileges, and immunities as any other person. SB 101, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Koenig (R - Manchester), is known as the "Safeguarding All Children's Remains to Ensure Dignity (SACRED) Act". It would establish new procedures to ensure the respectful disposition of fetal remains after an abortion. SB 398, sponsored by Sen. Bill Eigel, (R - Weldon Spring), would prohibit public funding for abortion, human cloning, and prohibited human research. Finally, SB 458, sponsored by Sen. Rick Brattin (R - Harrisonville), would prohibit the performance of violent dismemberment abortions. 

The MCC testified in support of all four bills. These bills may now go to the full Senate for consideration.



  Committee Hears Work Requirements for Medicaid  

This week, the Senate Health and Pensions Committee heard a bill that would require Medicaid recipients to work in order to get health benefits. SB 224, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Charles), would require adult beneficiaries to work at least 80 hours each month, be engaged in job search or volunteer work, or be exempt because of medical frailty, pregnancy, or parenthood. Those who don't comply will lose Medicaid coverage. States wanting to impose work requirements must first seek a waiver from the federal government.

The MCC testified in opposition to the bill, citing that many Medicaid enrollees work in unstable jobs and would find it difficult to meet the 80-hour-per-month work requirement. Furthermore, coverage interruptions due to people losing Medicaid eligibility would be harmful to those with chronic health conditions who must take regular medications, and would likely lead to more emergency room visits. The committee took no action on the bill.



  Reflections on the Pope's Historic Apostolic Visit to Iraq  

After returning to the Vatican from his three-day apostolic visit to Iraq, Pope Francis shared his reflections on the journey, stating that "Charity, love and fraternity are the way forward." The Vatican released a short video of major highlights on its website; click here to watch. The people of Iraq are also reflecting on the visit, and the lasting impacts it promises to have on the country. Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, secretary general of the committee, said the papal visit shed light on Iraq's rich religious and cultural diversity, and showed how this diversity can "be a way for achieving peace and cohesion among communities." Read more from this Crux article today.



  Midwest March for Life 2021  

Like many other events, the Midwest March for Life will look a little different this year, but its purpose is still very much the same: to answer the call to protect human life. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 14th on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol. The lineup of speakers includes Jeanne Mancini, president of the National March for Life. Click here to visit the Midwest March for Life website to RSVP or learn more about the great day of activities planned.



  Signs of Spring in Sight  

The next couple of weeks bring a few sure signs of changing seasons. This Sunday, Daylight Saving Time begins; don't forget to set your clocks one hour ahead before you hit the hay on Saturday night. Then, on March 20, we welcome the first official day of Spring. Read this article from the Farmer's Almanac to learn more about what the change of season means for people around the globe, and ideas to celebrate Spring's commencement at home.