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
June 1, 2018

  In This Update:  
  • USCCB: Separating Abortion from Title X Family Planning Program "Deeply Appreciated"
  • Driver's License Bills to be Sent to Governor's Desk
  • The Word from Lansing Column: Why Michigan Needs to Raise the Age
  • MCC Receives Four Bronze Tellys for Freedom to Serve Videos
  USCCB: Separating Abortion from Title X Family Planning Program "Deeply Appreciated"  
Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced a proposed rule change to separate abortion from the Title X family planning program, which provides low-income women with pre-pregnancy services. The program's original design includes a specific prohibition on abortion-related activities. However, more recently, interpretations of the program have required grantees to refer for abortion, thus both overtly excluding health centers who object to such referrals from applying for Title X grants and also ensuring a direct link between family planning services and the promotion of abortion. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, made the following statement in response to the news:

"The news that the Trump Administration will be issuing new regulations to separate abortion from the federal Title X family planning program is greatly needed and deeply appreciated. Abortion always takes the life of a child and often harms the mother, her surviving children, and other family and friends as well. Most Americans recognize that abortion is distinct from family planning and has no place in a taxpayer-funded family planning program. For too long, Title X has been used to subsidize the abortion industry. We need to draw a bright line between what happens before a pregnancy begins and what happens after a child has been created. We will provide more detailed comments during the anticipated comment period and urge other Americans who want to draw that bright line between abortion and family planning to do the same."
  Driver's License Bills to be Sent to Governor's Desk  
This week, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved two bills to address state ID cards and driver's licenses for individuals who reside in the United States on a temporary basis. House Bills 5686-5687, sponsored by Representatives Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Township) and Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), prohibit the Secretary of State from issuing a state ID or driver's license for a term that extends beyond the duration of the person's legal presence in the United States. The legislation also ensures the issuance of any card or license would be consistent with federal regulations. With the Senate vote completed, the two measures go to the governor for his final consideration. Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) had a few concerns with the bills as originally introduced but revised its position to neutral after language changes were adopted. To read more on MCC's work with the bill sponsors to improve the legislation, click here.
  The Word from Lansing Column: Why Michigan Needs to Raise the Age  
Current law requires seventeen-year-olds in Michigan to be charged as adults if arrested, even for minor, non-violent crimes. Recognizing this policy does little to divert youth from crime and keep communities safe, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are seeking to transform the way juveniles are treated in the criminal justice system. The May edition of The Word from Lansing explains why Michigan Catholic Conference is advocating for these "Raise the Age" measures to become law during the 2017-2018 legislative session.
  MCC Receives Four Bronze Tellys for Freedom to Serve Videos  
During 2017, MCC and the seven arch/dioceses of Michigan launched a statewide advertising campaign to highlight the Catholic Church's positive impact upon and service to those in need. Through short films and television commercials, the Freedom to Serve campaign focused on individuals of faith serving in Catholic schools, hospitals and health centers, and charitable agencies. 

This month, the Freedom to Serve campaign was recognized with a bronze award by the Telly Awards, which honors excellence in video and television across all screens. Additionally, three one-minute commercials from the campaign-A Better Place, Hands of Service and Healing, and Person-Centered Care-also each received a bronze award. This year, judges received over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, choosing winners based on how their work inspires, connects, and pushes society to improve. Michigan Catholic Conference is grateful to the Telly Awards for this recognition and the opportunity to highlight the incredible stories of Catholics serving the vulnerable across 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,