Special Update on Real Alternatives and Hobby Lobby, July 1, 2014
It is only Tuesday, but it has already been an exciting week thus far! Two issues important to the Catholic Conference at the state and national level have received attention and approval this week.”
Nearly 1,000 emails were sent over the past week to Governor Snyder on behalf of increased funding for Michigan’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program. This program connects women in crisis pregnancies with existing pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, maternity homes, and social service organizations to provide them with counseling, prenatal health information, parenting support/education, and necessary care items like clothing, diapers, and formula.
Thank you to all those who contacted the governor and encouraged his support. Your voices were heard! Yesterday, Governor Snyder signed the Fiscal Year 2014–2015 budget, which included the $800,000 of funding for Michigan’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program. To take a moment and send him a letter of thanks, click here. [Link no longer available —Ed.] Staff would also like to extend its thanks to the leadership of Senator John Moolenaar (R-Midland) and Representative Matt Lori (R-Constantine) on this issue.
In addition to the good news of the state budget’s approval, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a favorable ruling to religious freedom in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby yesterday. According to the decision, closely-held corporations, like Hobby Lobby, can exercise their religious liberty and cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage in their employee health benefit plans.
- Read Michigan Catholic Conference’s statement on the decision.
- Read the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement on the decision.
While this ruling is a victory for conscience rights, further action is still needed to address the HHS mandate’s impact on many Catholic and other religious organizations who do not meet the government definition of a “religious employer.”
Thank you for your continued support of Catholic values in the public square. Michigan’s state lawmakers are still on break for their summer recess, but Michigan Catholic Conference will continue to inform Catholic Advocacy Network members of any important updates when necessary.
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