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
May 8, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • ​​​​​​​Completing the 2020 Census is Easier Than Ever
  • Reminder: Demand an Ethically Made COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Michigan House Approves Minor DNR Bills
  • USCCB Condemns Increased Reports of Racism in Pandemic
  • Happy Mother's Day from Michigan Catholic Conference
  Completing the 2020 Census is Easier Than Ever  
The 2020 Census is currently underway. Did you know that by completing nine simple questions, you can help deliver ten years of benefits to your community? These benefits include funding for disease prevention, roads, education, and emergency services. With an online option for the first time, as well as mail and phone options, the survey has never been easier to fill out from home, and it only takes ten minutes to complete. Respond to the 2020 Census today. Your prompt response will not only provide vital support to services across Michigan, but it will also protect public health and safety by minimizing the need for census takers to follow up in-person during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  Reminder: Demand an Ethically Made COVID-19 Vaccine  
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and leaders of many healthcare, bioethics, and pro-life organizations have called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure any potential COVID-19 vaccines are developed in an effective, safe, and ethical manner. The FDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies, such as a vaccine currently in development from Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Other cell lines or processes that do not involve these cells from abortion are available, so there is NO REASON for a vaccine for COVID-19 to be connected to abortion. Thankfully, other potential COVID-19 vaccines such as those being developed by Sanofi Pasteur, Inovio, and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute utilize cell lines not connected to unethical procedures and methods.

If you have not yet done so, please take a few minutes to contact Secretary Alex Azar (DHHS),  and ask him to ensure all Americans will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine free from ethical concerns. 

NOTE: Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) has spoken out several times in favor of the protection of human life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, MCC has encouraged the State of Michigan to focus on truly life-sustaining efforts during this difficult time, rather than abortion:
  Michigan House Approves Minor DNR Bills  
This week, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move three measures forward to the full House of Representatives. House Bills 5417-5419 would allow a parent to execute a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order on behalf of his or her medically frail minor child. More specifically, the bills would allow a DNR for children under 18 who have been diagnosed with an advanced illness by a physician, and the DNR order must be signed by the parent(s), the minor's physician, and two witnesses over 18 years of age. Additionally, the legislation provides rules for school districts about receiving, filing, and storing a minor's DNR orders. Michigan Catholic Conference, in consultation with the National Catholic Bioethics Center, worked closely with the bill sponsors to ensure that necessary safeguards were in place to protect children and to prevent abuses. During the House Judiciary Committee, MCC indicated its support for the bill package.
  USCCB Condemns Increased Reports of Racism in Pandemic  
In the midst of fear and anxiety being fueled by COVID-19, there have been increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) expressed deep concern at these incidents:

"The pandemic resulting from the new coronavirus continues to sweep across the world, impacting our everyday behavior, practices, perceptions, and the way we interact with one another. While we have been heartened by the countless acts of charity and bravery that have been modeled by many, we are also alarmed to note the increase in reported incidents of bullying and verbal and physical assaults, particularly against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage...As Catholic bishops, we find these actions absolutely unacceptable. We call on Catholics, fellow Christians and all people of good will to help stop all racially motivated discriminatory actions and attitudes, for they are attacks against human life and dignity and are contrary to Gospel values...The reality of the times and all the suffering caused by this pandemic call for a stronger resolve towards unity, demonstrated through acts of solidarity, kindness and love toward one another, so that we can emerge from this crisis renewed and stronger as one American people; a people that places value in every human life, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender or religious affiliation."
  Happy Mother's Day from Michigan Catholic Conference  
In honor of this upcoming Mother's Day, Michigan Catholic Conference would like to offer a prayer for all mothers (physical and spiritual) and to express sincere gratitude for all the blessings they give to families, communities, and the wider Church:

"Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless our mother. Let the example of her faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, her family, may honor her always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition)."

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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,