In This Week’s Lansing Update:
- Senate Passes “Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act”
- Abortion Facility Licensing Bill Awaits Senate Vote
- Conscience Rights for Faith Based Adoption Agencies Passes Committee
- Legislation Prohibiting Abortion in Health Care Plans Passes Senate
- End of 2011-2012 Legislative Session Approaching
Earlier this week Michigan Catholic Conference sent an action alert encouraging Legislative Advocacy Network members to contact their state Senator in support of Senate Bill 975, the “Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act.” With thanks for your advocacy, Senators received several hundred messages urging their support, and yesterday the Michigan Senate passed SB 975 with a 27-11 vote! The bill has been referred to the House for consideration and needs your continued support. Please take a moment to contact your State Representative [Link no longer available —Ed.] and urge his or her support for this important legislation.
Legislation that would require all abortion facilities in Michigan to be licensed and inspected by state health officials is expected to be voted on next week in the State Senate. House Bill 5711 is a significant pro-life bill that also bans abortion coercion, requires the remains of aborted children to be disposed of in a humane manner, and bans distribution of the abortion pill from a physician via internet camera. If you have yet to contact your Senator in support of this bill, please take a moment to click here and urge support [Link no longer available —Ed.] for HB 5711. Thanks to those who attended the rally at the State Capitol this week in support of the bill – approximately 800 pro-life citizens came to Lansing!
An action alert [Link no longer available —Ed.] has been created for Catholic Legislative Advocacy Network members to contact their state representative in support of House Bills 5763 and 5764. The legislation, which passed the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors this week, would allow faith based adoption and foster care agencies to operate according to their religious beliefs. Faith based child placement agencies help to facilitate loving and compassionate homes for neglected and poor children. This legislation will ensure that no government mandate can require such an agency to act contrary to their religious teachings. Please take a moment to contact your House member [Link no longer available —Ed.] in support of this bill today.
Yesterday the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bills 612-614, which would prohibit abortion from being covered in health plans offered through any state or federal health care exchange. The legislation would also require abortion policies in any health care plan to be offered as a separate insurance rider. The federal Affordable Care Act (heath care reform) allows for states to opt-out of abortion coverage in any exchange created by the law. Many states have already passed such legislation and pro-life citizens in Michigan are excited similar legislation will soon be enacted in this state.
Next week is expected to be the last week of the legislative lame duck session, meaning the 2011-2012 Michigan Legislature is soon to end. The past two weeks have been rather busy for Catholic Conference staff as the issues mentioned above, along with others, have been making their way through the legislative process. If you have yet to email your State Representative or Senator in support of pro-life policies and those that promote religious liberty please click on the links above. Your voice has been extremely helpful and will continue to help promote sound public policy in this state.
MCC staff knows the Catholic voice is strengthening when hearing from elected officials that “we got a bunch of emails from people who support the bill.” So, thank you, and please keep speaking out in support of the common good!