Today is a memorable day for abortion policy in the State of Michigan," Michigan Catholic Conference stated today as Governor Snyder signed into law abortion clinic licensing policies while legislation to restructure Blue Cross Blue Shield was vetoed due to abortion provisions. The Conference is applauding the Governor's position that House Bill 5711 will work to better protect the health and safety of women in Michigan.
"Allowing for an indeterminable number of permit holders to carry concealed in a place of worship was not good public policy to begin with," MCC stated after Governor Snyder vetoed Senate Bill 59. The legislation would have allowed for a greater number of concealed weapon permit holders to carry concealed in current gun-free zones, including churches.
Today, Michigan Catholic Conference recognized the State Senate for approving legislation that places the dignity of women above the interests of the abortion industry. House Bill 5711, which passed the House of Representatives in June with bipartisan support, would license and allow for state health officials to inspect all of the 32 abortion clinics in Michigan, 28 of which are currently not licensed and most have rarely, if ever been inspected. The legislation must be concurred by the House before going to Governor Snyder for his signature.
Today the Michigan Senate passed 26-12 Senate Bill 975, which creates a statewide act that protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of health care providers and payers. Under the legislation, a health care worker who has a policy in place with their employer could assert conscience rights pertaining to an objectionable service, but not in an emergency situation or based on the patient's status. The bill would also protect faith-based employers from being forced to provide or pay for a benefit that violates that organization's religious principles.
This morning the House Families, Children and Seniors committee passed House Bills 5763 and 5764, and Michigan Catholic Conference is now urging the full House of Representatives to pass the bills. The legislation would provide conscience protections to faith based adoption and foster care child placement agencies that have come under attack nationwide due to their religious teachings.
A legislative measure that would allow state health officials to license and inspect every abortion clinic in the state has received overwhelming statewide support according to a poll recently commissioned by Michigan Catholic Conference. Currently, only four of 32 abortion clinics in Michigan are licensed, which means 28 of those facilities remain unlicensed and thereby rarely, if ever inspected by state officials for basic health and safety requirements. The policy is included in House Bill 5711 which could soon be addressed by the full Senate during the legislative “lame-duck” session.
Individuals and providers in the health care profession must not be forced to pay for or provide services that violate their religious beliefs, Michigan Catholic Conference stated today in support of Senate Bill 975, the “Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act.” Sponsored by Senator John Moolenaar (R-Midland), SB 975, which passed the Senate Health Policy Committee this afternoon 6–1, protects the religious liberty rights of health care institutions and individuals while at the same time provides flexibility for employers to meet their health care needs.
Faith based adoption and foster care agencies must be able to operate according to their faith tradition without administrative, judicial or legislative interference, Michigan Catholic Conference testified before the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee today in support of House Bills 5763 and 5764. The legislation has become increasingly important as across the country numerous Catholic Charities agencies, which for decades have provided social services for poor and neglected children, are being forced to close their doors following judicial ruling or discriminatory legislation that mandates the agency to operate outside its religious tenets.
Michigan Catholic Conference President and C.E.O. Paul A. Long today made the following statement regarding the death of the Most Reverend Patrick R. Cooney, bishop emeritus of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.
As President Obama and Governor Romney prepare for their first debate this evening, Michigan Catholic Conference is releasing polling data that indicates overwhelming support for religious organizations to provide public services in accordance with their faith and without government interference. According to 600 likely Michigan voters, 80 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative to the following question: “Do you believe religious organizations in the U.S. should or should not have the freedom to provide educational and charitable assistance to the general public that is in accordance with their own religious beliefs and teachings, without government interference?”