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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
March 17, 2017
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Safe Delivery Law Update Passes Senate; Continues to Michigan House
  • Measure Introduced to Eliminate Prostitution Exemption
  • Share How Catholic Agencies Have Impacted Your Life
  • Happy St. Patrick's Day from MCC
 
  Safe Delivery Law Update Passes Senate; Continues to Michigan House  
 

Michigan's Safe Delivery Law protects newborns by allowing parents to safely, legally, and anonymously surrender an infant, from birth to 72 hours of age, to an emergency service provider. This law provides a safe alternative for those who might be frightened or panicked about being parents, without risk of being charged with abandonment. Employees at emergency service providers, like fire departments, hospitals, or police stations, ensure these newborns are cared for until they are accepted by a child placement agency. Since the measure took effect in 2001, the state Department of Health and Human Services has created educational materials on the law and has maintained a Safe Delivery hotline (866-733-7733). Over a hundred babies have been saved as a result.

The Michigan Legislature is currently considering
Senate Bill 215, sponsored by Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), which would provide anonymity for parents who use the law. Parents would be listed as "unknown" on the birth certificate, listing the baby as "Baby Doe." Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) has supported the measure, which will hopefully encourage parents in these situations to visit emergency providers, rather than put children at risk. The bill passed with unanimous support in the Senate on Thursday, March 16. MCC is hopeful Senate Bill 215 will continue to progress with bipartisan support.

 
  Measure Introduced to Eliminate Prostitution Exemption  
 

Under current law, on-duty police officers can be granted immunity from prosecution if they have had sex with a prostitute during an investigation. While law enforcement has indicated that the exemption is not used, Michigan is the only state in the country with a law that allows for such immunity. This week, Representative Gary Glenn (R-Larkin Township) introduced House Bill 4355 to eliminate the exemption and bring Michigan law in line with other states. Michigan Catholic Conference will advocate for the bill as it moves to the House Committee on Law and Justice.

 
  Share How Catholic Agencies Have Impacted Your Life  
 
For the past three weeks, TV commercials have highlighted the importance of the Catholic Church's freedom to serve, specifically through its charity work. You can learn more about this campaign at www.CatholicsServe.com. MCC asked members of the organization's Facebook Page how the Church's service in the areas of education, health care, and charity have made a difference in their lives. Here were some responses:
  • "Volunteering at Flint Catholic Charities Soup Kitchen has given me insight on all the poverty [and] homeless people we have in our area. My faith has been reassured that through all the good people supporting, volunteering, and contributing to Catholic Charities, the residents of Flint will continue to find support when needed with this agency. Thank you." -Brenda M.
  • "They allow us to give effectively." -Tom M.
  • "They educated my children, and taught them a giving heart. They cared for me when I was sick. And the Sisters of Mercy impressed me with their hard work and great loving attitudes. Above all, they respect life. If we do not hear about respect for life at Church, we would never hear about it." -LeeAnn K.
Share with us- how have Catholic schools, health care centers, and charitable agencies made an impact on your life? Email publicpolicy@micatholic.org or leave us a comment on Facebook
 
  Happy St. Patrick's Day from MCC  
 

This morning, Michigan Catholic Conference hosted "Michigan's Big Show," a statewide radio show, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The program highlighted the legacy of St. Patrick, who was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland as a teenager. He escaped, but later returned to Ireland as a missionary, preaching and converting thousands to Catholicism. Hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

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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, publicpolicy@micatholic.org