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
October 8, 2021

  In This Update:  
  • Action Alert! U.S. Senate to Consider Most Radical Pro-Abortion Bill Ever
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Pro-Life/Pro-Woman Funding from State Budget
  • Afghanistan Refugee Resolution Considered in House of Representatives
  • Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Organ Donation Bill
  • Sexual Abuse Prevention Bills Clear House Judiciary Committee
  • Saint Joseph Features Throughout October, Respect Life Month
  ACTION ALERT! U.S. Senate to Consider Most Radical Pro-Abortion Bill Ever  

On September 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called Women's Health Protection Act, H.R. 3755 by a 218-211 vote for the most radical pro-abortion bill ever. Michigan's Congressional delegation split along party lines, with Democrats supporting the measure. The deceptively named bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy, eliminate widely supported pro-life laws at the federal, state, and local level, and force all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars. It is anticipated that the U.S. Senate will also vote on the bill in the very near future. Please act now -- contact your U.S. Representative to comment on their vote and urge Senators Peters and Stabenow to oppose this extreme legislation.

  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Pro-Life/Pro-Woman Funding from State Budget  

As previously reported, the Legislature approved a Fiscal Year 2022 budget on September 22, containing approximately $72 billion in spending for state departments, programs, and higher education. This bipartisan effort contained a number of items supported by MCC. Unfortunately, on September 29, Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed pro-life measures that provide alternatives to abortion and assist women in need, including:

  • $10 million for marketing programs and materials to promote infant adoption.
  • $3 million to create a maternal navigator pilot program to refer pregnant women for counseling, substance use disorder services, and pregnancy and parenting resources.
  • $1.5 million for grants for pregnancy resource centers. 
  • $1 million to provide pregnant and parenting services for students at Michigan's colleges and universities. 
  • $700,000 to reinstate the pregnancy and parenting support services program, which provided counseling, education, and material assistance to pregnant women and their babies through twelve months after birth.  
  • $50,000 to inform the public that the state does not use taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions.

MCC issued a statement regarding the budget and vetoes, praising many items while noting that "the pro-life community and all persons of goodwill should be strengthened both in spirit and in heart to pray and work harder than before to protect life from the time of conception all the way through every child's adult and elderly years."  Detroit Catholic also wrote a news story regarding Whitmer's vetoes.

  Afghanistan Refugee Resolution Considered in House of Representatives  

This week the House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security Committee considered a Resolution offered by Representative Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) that would welcome Afghan refugees to Michigan. House Resolution 160 stated that, "Michigan's elected leaders have a moral obligation to support the authorized admittance of Afghan refugees to our state," and that "thousands of Afghans put their lives on the line to support American servicemembers, including 70,000 Michiganders, in their fight against the Taliban." MCC supported the Resolution and issued a statement highlighting:

Catholic Charities agencies in this state and across the country have risen to the challenge to receive Afghans, as welcoming the immigrant and upholding and amplifying their dignity as persons... It is common practice for Catholic Charities to be present at the airport, to welcome families and transport them to a furnished home. Thereafter the parents are offered English-language lessons, job training, assistance with paperwork, medical care, and schooling and clothing for their children. 

No vote was taken on the Resolution, which may see action next week.

  Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Organ Donation Bill  

The Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services this week voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 4521, which provides additional opportunities for organ donation. The measure, introduced by Representative Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Twp.), would allow for individuals who are HIV-positive to receive an organ donation from another individual who is HIV-positive. The parties must be informed that the organ tests positive for HIV and agree in writing to the use of the organ. MCC supports the measure, which now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

  Sexual Abuse Prevention Bills Clear House Judiciary Committee  

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved House Bills 4851, 4852, 4854, and 4856. These measures will prohibit an individual from intentionally using his or her professional authority over another person to prevent or attempt to prevent that other person from reporting child abuse and sexual assault  crimes. The bills also require the Department of Health and Human Services to create comprehensive training materials for individuals required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Finally, they would create an exemption from disclosure for any information that would reveal the identity of a party who proceeds anonymously in a civil action in which a party alleges they were a victim of sexual misconduct. The bills, sponsored by Representatives Julie Alexander (R-Hanover), Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), and Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield), are now before the full House for further consideration. MCC supports the legislation.

  Saint Joseph Features Throughout October, Respect Life Month  

Each year, the Catholic Church in the U.S. celebrates Respect Life Month throughout October. During the current Year of St. Joseph, we are especially called to follow the Saint's example to recognize the value of every individual, as we seek to build a culture that cherishes and protects all human life. We can be encouraged through this excerpt from Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Statement on Respect Life Month:

... Like St. Joseph, we are also called to care for those God has entrusted to us-especially vulnerable mothers and children. We can follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph as protector by advocating against taxpayer-funded abortion, which targets the lives of millions of poor children and their mothers here in the United States. We can imitate his care and provision by helping to start Walking with Moms in Need at our parishes, "walking in the shoes" of mothers experiencing a difficult pregnancy, especially low-income mothers in our communities.

At times, we may feel uncertain of our ability to answer the Lord's call. But He invites us to faithfully respond, despite our own fears or weaknesses: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).

May we imitate St. Joseph's faithful trust and courage as we work to uphold the dignity of every human life. St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!

Here are just a few ways to take action this month:


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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,