Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
January 27, 2017

  In This Update:  
  • 44th Annual March for Life Held in Washington, D.C. 
  • Detroit Students Celebrate School Choice; Catholic Schools Week Begins Sunday
  • REGISTER NOW for February Human Trafficking Conference in Lansing
  • President's Immigration Executive Orders Draw Catholic Rebuke
  • U.S. House Passes No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
  • President Reestablishes Mexico City Policy
  • MCC Celebrates Ordination of Detroit's Two New Bishops
  • Criminal Justice Package Continues to Full Senate
  • House Legislative Committees Chosen for 2017-2018
  44th Annual March for Life Held in Washington, D.C.  

Over fifty-eight million lives have been lost to abortion in this country since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which made abortion-on-demand legal in the United States. On Friday, January 27, pro-life Michiganders participated in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. which is an annual remembrance of these decisions. For the first time in its history, the nation's vice president will speak at the march. This year's theme is "the Power of One." To follow along with updates on the March or to add your own pro-life posts to social media, use #WhyWeMarch, #MarchforLife, and #PowerofOne. MCC wishes all the participants a safe and exciting journey. (Photo by Mark Mann, Diocese of Grand Rapids).

  Detroit Students Celebrate School Choice; Catholic Schools Week Begins Sunday  
On Friday, January 27, four hundred metro-Detroit students from charter and nonpublic schools gathered at the Charles Wright Museum of African-American History. The students celebrated School Choice Week and the impact of school choice in Detroit. The guest speaker was Dr. Steve Perry, the founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, best-selling author, and education contributor for CNN and MSNBC. The event was sponsored by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and other organizations that support school choice, including the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS). An additional speaker included Landon Borrego, a junior at Detroit Cristo Rey High School, who shared his experience of attending a Catholic school. Also this week, the superintendent for the Archdiocese of Detroit, Dr. Brian Dougherty, and the superintendent of the Missouri Lutheran Synod Schools of Michigan, Dr. Bruce Braun, wrote a column for The Detroit News emphasizing the important role of school choice in providing quality options for Detroit students.
As School Choice Week draws to a close, Catholic Schools Week begins this Sunday, January 29th and will continue through Saturday, February 4, 2017. The theme of this annual celebration of Catholic education is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service." Earlier in the week, the Michigan House and Senate adopted resolutions recognizing Catholic Schools Week and the many benefits Catholic schools provide for Michigan students and communities. Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw) sponsored House Resolution 9, and Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) sponsored Senate Resolution 6. We wish all the Catholic schools in the state a very happy Catholic Schools Week!
  REGISTER NOW for February Human Trafficking Conference in Lansing  
There is still time to register for our February 11 conference-From Darkness to Light: Human Trafficking and Our Response. This day-long event sheds light on the issue of human trafficking, highlights organizations that work to combat the crime, and provides ways for individuals to get involved in awareness efforts. Breakfast and lunch are included with the $25 cost. Learn more at
  President's Immigration Executive Orders Draw Catholic Rebuke  

On January 25, President Trump issued two executive orders on immigration policy. In them, he called for the construction of a wall at the U.S./Mexico border, a significant increase in the number of immigrant detentions and deportations, and the denial of federal funding to "sanctuary cities." The Committee Chair of Migration from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Most Reverend Joe Vasquez of Austin, issued a statement opposing the measures and expressing support for immigrant families.

  U.S. House Passes No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act  

This week, the U.S. House voted in favor of legislation that codifies a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage by a 238-183 vote. The measure, sponsored in a bipartisan fashion by U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois), also requires health plans under the Affordable Care Act to disclose the extent of their coverage for abortion and the amount of any surcharge for that coverage to consumers. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the action, calling it a "decisive step toward respect for unborn human life," and hopes that the U.S. Senate will soon take up consideration of the legislation.

  President Reestablishes Mexico City Policy  

President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on January 23 to restore the Mexico City Policy, which was created in 1984 at the United Nations Conference on Population. This policy requires foreign-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. financial assistance to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in developing nations. After the president's action this week, the policy's requirements will apply to all global assistance from the United States. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops applauded the action in a statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

  MCC Celebrates Ordination of Detroit's Two New Bishops  

Michigan Catholic Conference would like to wish a warm welcome to Detroit's newest auxiliary bishops, Most Reverend Gerard Battersby and Most Reverend Robert Fisher.

The two were ordained this week at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, and several representatives from MCC had the honor to be present for the ceremony.
Read more about these two bishops here.

  Criminal Justice Package Continues to Full Senate  

The Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee considered a bipartisan package of bills this week-Senate Bills 7-24-aimed at encouraging rehabilitation for parolees and probationers, which is the ultimate goal of the criminal justice system. These measures are similar to those introduced in the previous legislative session. Among other aspects, the bills modify penalties for probationers who commit technical probation violations, encourage parole and probation officers to implement supervision practices that reduce recidivism, and expand participation in the "Swift and Sure Probation" supervision program. Michigan Catholic Conference is supportive of the legislative package, which is one aspect of improving the criminal justice system in Michigan. The bills continue now to the full Senate.

  House Legislative Committees Chosen for 2017-2018  

This week, the Michigan House announced its legislative committees for the 2017-2018 session. These committees consider the bills that are introduced, providing opportunities for testimony and debate before the bills are brought before the full House. Michigan Catholic Conference is looking forward to working with the committee chairs, vice-chairs, and committee members on legislation that will promote the common good of the state.

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940,