ADVOCACY--Life and dignity
Chairmen: Louise Meehan, email@example.com
Jackie Carr, firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the objectives of the USCCB Pro-Life Activities Pastoral Plan is to foster public awareness of the need for state and federal laws, and public policies to restore/maintain legal protection to the lives of the unborn children, the elderly and other vulnerable members of society which includes preventing legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide by legislation or referendum; human cloning, and research that destroys human embryos; and support of natural marriage between a man and a woman. http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/pastoral-plan-prolife-activities.cfm
Advocacy—Life and Dignity is the legislative program developed by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCC) to monitor legislation pending before the California Legislature. Catholics/Californians are urged to join the Catholic Legislative Network (CLN) to receive information and take action on current legislation pending before the California Legislature. http://cqrcengage.com/cacatholic/app/register?0&m=13540
Proposed legislation is introduced by an Assemblyman or State Senator and numbered accordingly, i.e. bills introduced in the Assembly are designated "AB", Senate bills are "SB" -- numbers are added in chronological number. Each bill proceeds through a review/vote by committees of the house of origin and then voted on by the full body. If approved, the bill is forwarded to the opposite body and proceeds through a similar review to a final vote. If both the State Senate and Assembly approve the bill, it is forwarded to the Governor for action. The Governor has three choices of action: Sign, Veto, or take no action and the bill automatically becomes law. The Governor must take action within 12 days following receipt of the bill. Status of each bill is shown below in red.
Who are my State Representatives?
Click on http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ to find the names of your State Senator and Assemblyman, etc. Go to the respective website and locate the CONTACT page to enter a separate message for each bill. The only way to contact an elected official that doesn't represent your district is by telephone or FAX numbers on their website. Contact the Governor @ https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
2017 Legislative Calendar
-- July 22 through August 21 - Summer Recess -- good time to contact your representative at his/her home office
-- September 15 - Last day for each house to pass bills
-- October 15 - Last day for Governor to sign odr veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before September 15
-- January 1 2018 - Statutes take effect
-- January 3, 2018 - Legislature reconvenes
2017 Legislation - Life and Dignity
The California Conference of Catholic Bishops has identified six of the seven following bills currently before the California State Legislature as having a negative effect on respect life/freedom of worship issues.
Bishop Edward Clark adds his support and urges St. Jerome parishioners to contact their State Senator and Assemblyman to express their opposition. The Catholic Legislative Network (CLN) has explained its position on each bill in the CCC COMMENTS below, and recommends using these comments to prepare a message to your State Senator or Assemblyman as appropriate.
AB 569 (Gonzalez Fletcher D) Discrimination: reproductive health
Summary: Would amend provisions of labor law relating to the obligations of an employer to prohibit an employer from taking any adverse employment action, as defined, against an employee based on the use of any drug, device, or medical service related to reproductive health by an employee or employee’s dependent or requiring an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny any employee the right to make his or her own reproductive health care decisions, including the use of a particular drug, device, or medical service.
Approved by the Assembly; ordered to the State Senate
7/18/2017 - Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on Appropriations.
Comment: On the surface, AB 569 claims to seek legal protections from discrimination or retaliation for the "reproductive decisions" of employees. However, there are actually NO substantiated claims of discrimination in the secular workforce against women who are pregnant or exercise "reproductive choices." This bill targets religious employers and is a direct violation of religious liberty and First Amendments rights. AB 569 makes all employers vulnerable to nuisance lawsuits from not only employees, but also, by adding a new provision that is unprecedented in California law, from the dependents of employees as well. This bill is sponsored by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
AB 1396 (Burke) (D) Surrogacy
Summary: The Uniform Parentage Act defines the parent and child relationship as the legal relationship existing between a child and the child’s parents, governs proceedings to establish that relationship, and establishes the jurisdiction of the courts under the act. Current law provides that the parent and child relationship may be established between a child and the natural parent by proof of having given birth to the child or as authorized under the act. This bill would clarify that the parent and child relationship cannot be established between a child and a surrogate, as defined, by proof of having given birth.
Approved by the Assembly; ordered to the State Senate
07/18/2017 SEN. Judiciary. Vote: (Y: 7 N: 0 A: 0)
07/20/2017 - Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
Comment: This bill would further diminish the time-honored framework for the birth and formation of children - making motherhood a fungible commodity that is merely a matter of will or whim, available to those who possess the financial means to enter into a "contracted pregnancy." Sadly, AB 1396 could result in the creation of yet more motherless or fatherless children as our self-absorbed society ignores the needs of children and instead attempts to fulfill adult desires, disregarding the unique, precious and innate bonds between children and their biological parents. (Children as Commodities - USCCB)
Note: More on surrogacy at Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: DONUM VITAE: Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation, February 22, 1987 http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/donumvitae.htm
SB 179 (Atkins D) Gender identity: female, male, or nonbinary.
Summary: Would enact the Gender Recognition Act, delete the requirement that an applicant have undergone any treatment, and instead would authorize a person to submit to the State Registrar an application to change gender on the birth certificate and an affidavit attesting, under penalty of perjury, that the request for a change of gender is to conform the person’s legal gender to the person’s gender identity and not for any fraudulent purpose. By requiring the affidavit to be attested to under penalty of perjury, the bill would create a crime, and thus impose a state-mandated local program. This bill would authorize the change of gender on the new birth certificate to be female, male, or nonbinary.
Approved by the State Senate; order to the Assembly
7/11/2017 - Coauthors revised. From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on Appropriations. (Ayes 11. Noes 3.) (July 10). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
Comment: Current law mandates that all persons should be free from discrimination on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. However, rather than addressing specific discrimination and purposefully building more gender-neutral environments where individuals of either gender, or those who cannot identify themselves with their nascent gender may feel equally welcome, SB 179 proposes to create a new gender category in public law, a third gender that is to be known as “non-binary.” Does the legislature have the power to create a new gender? This bill, as currently written, makes the existing designations of the two genders “male” and “female,” rather meaningless for purposes of public law and societal interaction. SB 179 proposes a rather expeditious, less researched, less discussed approach to various underlying public concerns.
SB 219 (Wiener D) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights.
Summary: Would enact the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights. Among other things, the bill would make it unlawful, except as specified, for any long-term care facility to take specified actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, including, among others, willfully and repeatedly failing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns, or denying admission to a long-term care facility, transferring or refusing to transfer a resident within a facility or to another facility, or discharging or evicting a resident from a facility.
Approved by the State Senate; ordered to the Assembly
07/07/2017 Assembly - assigned to Judiciary Committee
07/12/2017 - Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on Appropriations
Comment: Most long-term care facilities are doing the best they can in order to meet the individual requests and needs of their residents. Thus, it would seem rational that long-term care facilities may provide reasonable accommodations for residents whenever possible, but to require them to allow the rights of one person to supersede the rights of another person may be particularly challenging, may lead to expensive and unnecessary lawsuits, and would violate the religious liberty rights of an individual.
SB 309 (Jackson D) License plates: Reproductive Freedom Fund.
Summary: Would require the State Department of Health Care Services to apply to sponsor a reproductive freedom license plate program, and would require the DMV to issue the license plates if the State Department of Health Care Services meets certain requirements. The bill would authorize the State Department of Health Care Services to accept and use donated artwork from California artists for the license plate. The bill would require the revenue generated from the license plates, as specified, to be deposited in the California Reproductive Freedom Fund, created by the bill, and to be used, upon appropriation, for the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment program (Family PACT).
Approved by the State Senate; order to the Assembly
7/19/2017 - July 19 set for first hearing. Placed on Assembly APPR. suspense file.
Comment: Sadly, SB 309 further exemplifies the unfortunate tradition in our so-called “pro-choice” state to promote abortion as the only responsible alternative to a pregnancy. The bill puts the state in a one-sided role of promoting abortion and at the core of an issue of moral significance and continuing controversy. The state of California should have no role in encouraging abortions or other reproductive services. No government-funded agency or institution, medical or counseling center, should be forced to provide one-sided, politically-motivated advertisements for state- funded abortions as the only alternative to pregnancy.
SB 597 (Leyva D) Human trafficking: victim confidentiality.
Summary: Current law authorizes victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to complete an application to be approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of enabling state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant’s residence address contained in any public record and otherwise provide for confidentiality of identity for that person, subject to specified conditions. This bill would make this program available to a victim of human trafficking, as defined. The bill would also make the program available to household members, as defined, of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, excluding the perpetrator, if applicable.
5-31-17 Passed Senate. (Ayes 35. Noes 0.) Ordered to the Assembly.
6/28/2017 - June 28 set for first hearing-Assembly Appropriations. Placed on suspense file.
Comment: California current law allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to be protected under the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home Program, though victims and survivors of human trafficking do not receive those same important protections. As these human trafficking victims are rescued and begin transitioning into their new lives, they need to have the necessary protections to make sure that they cannot be found by their trafficker and pulled back into human trafficking.
SB 743 (Hernandez D) Medi-Cal: family planning providers.
Summary: This bill would prohibit a Medi-Cal managed care plan from restricting the choice of the qualified provider, as defined, from whom a Medi-Cal beneficiary enrolled in the plan may receive family planning services. The bill would require a Medi-Cal managed care plan to reimburse an out-of-plan or out-of-network qualified provider at the applicable fee-for-service rate. The bill would make related legislative findings and declarations.
Passed by the State Senate; ordered to the Assembly
7/19/2017 - set for first hearing Assembly Appropriations. Placed on APPR. suspense file.
Comment: SB 743 is but another example of the unfortunate tradition that exists in our so called “pro-choice” state to further promote abortion as a standard practice of women’s health care. We would argue that abortion is neither a trivial procedure nor a primary care service. Furthermore, the state of California should have no role in encouraging state-funded abortions, particularly within our poorest communities and amongst our most vulnerable populations, including Medi-Cal recipients. No government-funded institution, hospital, clinic, or medical center should be forced to provide deceitful, politically-motivated advertisements, such as expanding the ability for abortion providers to bill for their services “outside of network,” which further widens the scope and breadth of services provided by the growing abortion industry in our state