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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
November 1, 2019
 

  In This Update  
 
  • Pro-Abortion Advocates Propose Eliminating All Restrictions in Michigan
  • Raise the Age Legislation Signed into Law
  • Michigan Catholic Conference Supports Driver's License Bills
 
  Pro-Abortion Advocates Propose Eliminating All Restrictions in Michigan  
 
This week, with support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, pro-abortion advocates announced legislation to eliminate all existing restrictions against the procedure in Michigan and to repeal the state's long-standing ban on abortion, which only remains unenforceable due to Roe v. Wade. The proposed legislation would allow for minors to obtain abortions without their parent's consent, eliminate waiting periods and the requirements for informed consent prior to an abortion, and abolish abortion clinic regulations that ensure facilities have been inspected by the state. In effect, the legislation would allow for unlimited abortion up to the point of birth. Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) strongly opposes this legislation and reaffirms the need for existing regulations to protect women and to defend the sanctity of human life. It is likely the package was introduced for political reasons as there is no indication that either chamber of the legislature has an interest in such extreme measures.

The package of legislation, referred to by advocates as the Reproductive Health Care Act, underscores the need for Michigan citizens to speak up now for life and do so by signing the petition to end dismemberment abortion. Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing was recently interviewed about the on-going petition drive to end dismemberment abortion. Signature gathering will continue throughout November. If you have not yet signed this petition, please check with your parish for opportunities to sign or visit the Michigan Values Life website to request a petition form to sign and circulate among family and friends in your county: https://michiganvalueslife.org/request-materials/. MCC and the Catholic bishops of Michigan are strongly supportive of this initiative and are thankful for the enthusiastic response of the Catholic community to end dismemberment abortion!
 
  Raise the Age Legislation Signed into Law  
 
This week, Governor Whitmer signed into law the "Raise the Age" package of bills, ensuring 17-year-old Michigan youth who commit a felony or misdemeanor will no longer be automatically tried as adults. MCC has long supported these bills and has been involved in promoting this policy with several other criminal justice organizations for the last three legislative sessions. MCC is particularly grateful for the leadership of Senators Pete Lucido and Sylvia Santana and Representatives Graham Filler and David LaGrand for addressing stakeholder concerns in a way that is both smart on crime and protective of Michigan's youth. Michigan joins 46 other states in the country that provide judges the discretion to charge a 17-year-old as an adult based on the severity of the crime. In a statement, MCC noted:

"Michigan has just enacted good policy that will allow youths who commit lesser crimes to receive necessary resources at the juvenile court level. Appropriate age-based sentencing will ideally result in a more effective means to reduce recidivism and provide youth with the opportunity to live a more productive and crime-free life."
 
  Michigan Catholic Conference Supports Driver's License Bills  
 
"Denying individuals the ability to drive impacts their ability to work, to take care of children, or to further an education," MCC staff said on Thursday during a press event at the State Capitol. The event highlighted newly introduced legislation making specially designated non-commercial Michigan driver's licenses and state identification cards available to applicants who do not have proof of immigration status. These documents would not entitle the holder to vote. The bills are sponsored by Senators Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) and Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), along with Representatives Alex Garza (D-Taylor) and Rachel Wood (D-Grand Rapids). A range of organizations, including the Michigan Farm Bureau, joined MCC and the above-mentioned lawmakers in supporting the bills. During the event, MCC staff further noted:
 
"While Congress wrestles with how to reform immigration laws in our country, the fact is that there are many undocumented people living in our state today. They have children in our schools, work in our communities and go to church, just like everyone else... this is one small step that is protective of our citizens, our roads and most of all treats people with the human dignity they need to survive and provide for their families."

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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