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Fighting for Life

Posted by Eve Gleason & Vincent Dicaro on Feb 23, 2017 10:30:00 AM

It’s that time of year: a new Congress has been seated, a new President sworn in, and state legislatures are in session. To keep you updated, we’ve compiled some of the most important activity on life issues.

FEDERAL

Advocating for pregnancy centers and a pro-abundant life perspective is crucial to the work that we do. Here is a sample of some of the ways we are advocating for parents, their unborn children, and the centers that offer them compassion, hope, and help.

  • The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7)
    January 2017: Care Net notified members of Congress of our support for this bill. Current status: U.S. House - passed; U.S. Senate - pending.
  • Redirect funds away from Planned Parenthood
    January 2016: Care Net joined other life-affirming organizations urging Congress to use the budget reconciliation process to repeal specific Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) provisions and redirect funds from Planned Parenthood to Federally Qualified Health Centers that do not perform abortions. RW_Pence-955808-edited.jpg
  • Conscience Protection Act of 2017
    Janauary 2017: This act, H.R. 644, strengthens current legislation to not discriminate against any pro-life health care entities. Afflicted parties, who previously could only file a complaint, could take their case straight to court. Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry explained that the act would “enable health care professionals and organizations to serve by their core convictions without coercion.” 
  • Charitable Tax Deduction
    Over the past five years, Care Net has joined with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and other non-profit organizations to oppose capping or eliminating the charitable tax deduction. While these efforts have been successful so far, continued vigilance will be necessary as some legislators see this as an easy way to boost tax revenues. 

In addition to supporting or opposing legislation directly related to building a culture of life, Care Net represents you in the places where decisions are made. We participate in the Values Action Team, a bipartisan coalition where congressional staff discuss pro-family policies, by attending meetings on Capitol Hill. We also visit key members of Congress and their staff to update them on the ways pregnancy centers help their communities flourish and participate in important coalition meetings that help set the agenda for life-affirming advocacy nationwide.

STATE and LOCAL

Every year, legislation in states, counties, and cities either helps protect vulnerable women and babies from forced, coerced, and unwanted abortion or puts barriers between these women and the compassionate help they need to make their best decision.  

  • California
    October 2016: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a state law passed last year which requires life-affirming medical centers to inform clients that MediCal may pay for their abortion. The law also imposed severe advertising restrictions on centers that offer supportive services. Centers found in violation of the law face severe fines. The bill also fines centers that do not comply with the law. Pro-life advocates are challenging the constitutionality of this law.
  • Connecticut
    A lot is going in in this northeastern state.
  • Hawaii
    February 2017: The Hawaii senate passed Senate Bill 501 which would require all pregnancy centers to share information about abortions with their clients.
  • Illinois
    December 2016: A state court issued a preliminary injunction stopping the state from enforcing Senate Bill 1564, which requires life-affirming medical professionals and medical practices/agencies to refer patients for abortion. 
  • Missouri
    February 2017: The Missourri legislature is considering HB 236 which threatens to take away funding from centers that give “medically inaccurate” information to their clients 
  • New York
    March 2016: A court case was settled regarding a law that forced pro-life centers to post signage and share messages that were not required of abortion facilities. While the centers still must post whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff, the other messages were considered unconstitutional. 
  • Ohio
    December 2016: Governor Kasich weighed in on two bills passed by the legislature.
    • He vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions after detecting the baby’s heartbeat.
    • He signed legislation restricting abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy, except when the mother’s health is at serious risk.
  • Pennsylvania
    February 2017: This state’s senate is considering a bill that would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks.  This bill has been repeatedly considered, yet has never been passed.

 

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Everyone can be an Advocate for Life!

Your compassionate advocacy for every human life is always under attack. But there is hope: when you speak up, it really makes a difference.

  • Stay current on what is happening in your state through your local pregnancy center or family policy council.
  • Let your representatives in Congress and the state legislature know what you think.
  • Learn how to be an effective advocate for life with the ADVOCATE! Manual.  
  • Never stop praying for parents to choose life for their children and abundant life in Christ Jesus for their families.

Are you following a state or federal law we didn’t mention? Share in the comments!


Becca Samelson, a Patrick Henry College junior interning at Care Net for the 2017 spring semester, contributed to this report.

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