Lansing Update: January 10, 2014

  1. Support for Federal Conscience Legislation Needed
  2. Poverty and Migration in the Spotlight This Month
  3. Visit MCC’s Re-Designed Advocacy Resource Pages

Support for Federal Conscience Legislation Needed

On January 1, MCC welcomed news of a temporary injunction granted by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which halted enforcement of the HHS mandate for entities included in the Michigan Catholic Conference health benefit plan. Enforcement has begun, however, for many other non-profit religious schools, charities and health care providers throughout the country. To address this matter in Congress, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is supporting legislation, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, that would protect individuals and institutions from being forced to purchase or provide health benefits that include morally objectionable services.

In 2013, thousands of messages were sent by Catholic Advocacy Network members in support of these bills, H.R. 940 and S. 1204. It is important to remind your member of Congress in the New Year to take action in support of this important legislation. Please send a message to your elected official today or call 202-224-3121 to urge your U.S. Representative and Senator to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.

Poverty and Migration in the Spotlight This Month

According to PovertyUSA, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, more than 46 million people in America, approximately 1 in 6, are living below the poverty line. During the month of January, take a look at the Poverty Awareness Month calendar and consider the issue of poverty in our nation. This past week was also designated National Migration Week as a time to highlight the obstacles faced by migrants, immigrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims, often related to the issue of poverty. During the week, Justice for Immigrants hosted an immigration call-in day to U.S. Congress, which drew attention to the need for immigration reform. As mentioned in last week’s Lansing Update, Saturday, January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Please note that the Saginaw Human Trafficking Awareness Event has been moved to May 13, 2014. The event was originally scheduled for January 11.

Visit MCC’s Re-Designed Advocacy Resource Pages

Michigan Catholic Conference has recently made changes to its Advocacy Issues pages on The pages have been re-designed to provide visitors with a resource center of news and materials on relevant policy issues and Church positions. Each page includes news related to MCC advocacy, foundational Church teaching, recent Lansing Updates on the topic, and videos or banners. Visit today and click on the Advocacy Issues tab to view each of these nine pages: religious liberty, human life and dignity, education, children and families, health care, economic justice and regulatory policies, restorative justice, immigration, and federal issues.

If you haven't done so already, please join the Catholic Advocacy Network to receive regular public policy updates—including Lansing Update—via email.