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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
May 3, 2019
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Catholics and Muslims Speak in Defense of Religious People and Devotions
  • Senate Clears Medically Frail Parole Measures
  • House Committee Passes Dismemberment Abortion Ban
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Approves State Budget Bills
  • MCC Supports Package re Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse 
  • USCCB Commends New Health Care Conscience Regulations
 
  Catholics and Muslims Speak in Defense of Religious People and Devotions  
 
On Tuesday, April 30, The Detroit News ran a joint op/ed from Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter (CAIR-MI), expressing concerns with comments made by Michigan's Attorney General about the rosary and people of faith. The issues mentioned in this op/ed are of concern to many faith affiliations "who seek a return to civility and renewed respect for what fellow citizens hold to be sacred."
 
  Senate Clears Medically Frail Parole Measures  
 
Members of the Michigan Senate widely supported four bills that would address medically frail inmates in the adult corrections system. House Bills 4129-4132, sponsored by Representatives Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit), Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), and Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield), would allow individuals who are "medically frail" and who qualify for medical parole to be moved to a nursing home for the remainder of their sentence, as long as certain criteria are met (read more in last week's Lansing Update). MCC supports these measures. Last week, HBs 4129-4132 passed the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Now that the Senate and House have both voted favorably on the legislation, it will soon be sent to Governor Whitmer for her final consideration. 
 
  House Committee Passes Dismemberment Abortion Ban  
 
Dismemberment abortion (also known as dilation and evacuation or D&E) is a later-term abortion procedure that involves the tearing apart and removing of a living baby, limb by limb, inside the womb. House Bills 4320 and 4321, sponsored by Representatives Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) and Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Twp.), would prohibit this brutal procedure in Michigan if passed. The bills also outline the punishment for violating the ban: a two-year felony, unless it was to save the life of the mother. MCC supported the legislation last week in the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee, pointing to its negative impacts on women and children. On Wednesday, May 1, that committee considered the measures further and voted 5-4 to refer them now to the House Judiciary Committee. (Graphic by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).
 
  Senate Appropriations Committee Approves State Budget Bills  
 
The full Senate Appropriations Committee has considered proposals submitted by its subcommittees for the October 2019-September 2020 state budget year. All items of interest to MCC remain at the same funding levels as the subcommittee proposals (read last week's Lansing Update to check out those items and levels). Note: The House Appropriations Subcommittees have not yet recommended their proposals, which will need to be approved by the full House Appropriations Committee to move forward. 
 
  MCC Supports Package re Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse  
 
MCC supported a bipartisan package of bills in the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee this week regarding elder (65+) and vulnerable adult abuse. House Bills 4254-4260 and 4265 would, among other things, expand current provisions related to embezzlement and crimes against vulnerable adults to also include elder adults. The House Committee did not hold a vote on the bill package this week, which are sponsored by Representatives Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp), Graham Filler (R-Ovid), Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield), Kathy Crawford (R-Novi), Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods), Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw), Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), and Diana Farrington (R-Utica).
 
  USCCB Commends New Health Care Conscience Regulations  
 
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted new regulations to ensure existing laws protecting conscience rights in healthcare are enforced and followed. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) applauded the announcement and encouraged the U.S. Congress to pass permanent legislative relief to uphold conscience protections:

"Though these laws were passed on a bipartisan basis and have been policy for years, the previous administration did not fully enforce them, and now they are increasingly being violated. Health care providers like New York nurse Cathy DeCarlo and medical trainees have been coerced into participating in the brutal act of abortion against their core beliefs, while churches and others who oppose abortion are being compelled by states like California to cover elective abortion-including late-term abortion-in their health plans. We are grateful that this Administration is taking seriously its duty to enforce these fundamental civil rights laws...It is essential that Congress provide permanent legislative relief through passage of the Conscience Protection Act in order to give victims of discrimination the ability to defend their rights in court. No one should be forced to violate their deeply held convictions about the sanctity of human life."

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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