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 marriage between one man and one 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 to monitor legislation pending before the California Legislature. Catholics/Californians are urged to join the Catholic Legislative Network (CLN) to receive and take action on current legislation pending before the California Legislature. http://www.cacatholic.org/
Getting Acquainted with the legislative procedure:
Author of the proposed legislation introduces the bill in his/her House (Assembly/Senate) The Bill is assigned a number according to the House of origin, i.e. "AB" bills begin in the Assembly; "SB" bills begin in the State Senate. Each bill is assigned to a specific committee(s) for review and vote. If approved the bill is sent to the full body for final vote. If approved, the bill moves to the opposite Body following a similar procedure for review by and vote by committees. Status of a bill appears below in red. Bills passing both Houses proceed to the Governor for approval/no action or veto.
Sending a message to Representatives
- Determine your Assembly and State Senate Representatives by visiting http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/. Then go to your representatives' websites and enter your message on their CONTACT page. Send a separate message for each Bill. Direct your comments to your Assemblyman or State Senator according to the House where the bill currently resides.
- Before the final vote of the Assembly or State Senate, contact Committee members to express your opinion -- especially if your representative is on the Committee. Find Committee members as follows:
The best way to contact a Member of the Legislature that is NOT your representative is to send your message via FAX. FAX numbers are on the representatives' website.
2017 PROPOSED LEGISLATION
The following bills effecting respect life/freedom of worship issues are currently being considered by your elected representatives during the 2017 Session of the California Legislature.
The California Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCC) opposes six of the seven bills and CLN has provided comments for each bill. Bishop Edward Clark adds his support and urges that we request our Assemblyman and State Senator to vote NOE on these bills. Use the CCC "comments" to help develop brief messages to your representative.
❖ AB-569 (Gonzalez Fletcher D) Discrimination: reproductive health.
5-31 Assembly vote: Aye 54 NOE 17 NVR 0
6-1 Senate Rules Committee for Assignment
6-14 Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee
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.
✓ This bill targets religious employers who expect faithful public and workplace conduct by their employees, including those who teach at religious schools and are reasonably expected to model the principles of that faith.
✓Although supporters of the bill try to suggest that this bill is necessary to address some type of widespread problem, there are actually NO substantiated claims of discrimination in the secular workforce against women who are pregnant or exercise “reproductive choices.” And over the last decade only one California case implicating a religious employer is referenced, but that matter was settled out of court.
✓ On the surface, the bill claims to seek legal protections from discrimination or retaliation for the “reproductive decisions” of employees. However, the bill does not allow employers to enforce codes of conduct, even those negotiated with employees as part of union contracts. Those “codes of conduct” – which are actually just standards and expectations set by an employer for the individuals it employs -- bind religious employers and their employees in pursuit of a good society.
✓This bill 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
5-31 Assembly vote: Aye 66 Noe 6 NVR 8
6-1 Senate Rules Committee for assignment
6-14 Senate Judiciary Committee
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.
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)
For more information on the Church's position on Surrogacy read the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: DONUM VITAE" http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/donumvitae.htm
❖ SB-179 (Atkins D) Gender identity: female, male, or non-binary.
5-31 Senate vote: 26 Noe 12 NVR 2
6-1 Assembly held for Committee assignment
6-15 Assembly Judiciary and Transportation Committees
Summary: Existing law authorizes a person who was born in this state and who has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition to obtain a new birth certificate from the State Registrar.
✓ This bill would 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. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
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.
5-31 Senate vote: Aye 26 Noe NVR 2
6-1 Assembly held for Committee assignment
Summary: Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation by the State Department of Public Health of health facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities. A violation of these provisions is a crime. Existing law, the Long-Term Care, Health, Safety, and Security Act of 1973, imposes various requirements on long-term health care facilities, as defined, and prescribes the civil penalties assessed for a violation of those requirements.
✓ This 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, refusing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun and 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.
✓ The bill would define long-term care facility for purposes of these provisions to include skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and residential care facilities for the elderly.
✓ The bill would also, among other things, require each facility to post a specified notice regarding discrimination alongside its current nondiscrimination policy in all places and on all materials where the nondiscrimination policy is posted.
✓ The bill would require a violation of these provisions to be treated as a violation under the Long-Term Care, Health, Safety, and Security Act of 1973, the California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act, or specified provisions providing for the licensure and regulation of health facilities. By expanding the definition of existing crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
-- This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws
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.
5-30 Senate Vote: Aye 28 Noe 12 NVR 0
6-26 Hearing: Assembly Transportation Committee
Summary: Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue special license plates, including environmental license plates and specified special environmental design license plates. Under existing law, a state agency is authorized to apply to the DMV to sponsor a special license plate program, and the DMV is required to issue those license plates if the agency meets certain requirements. The DMV is required to charge specified fees for certain services related to the issuance of those plates.
✓ This bill 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). (Based on text date 2/13/2017)
Comment: Because we know each person is created in the image of God, we hold each one’s life to be sacred from conception to natural death. We believe that we are stewards of this gift of life from a loving God. We oppose abortion and public taxpayer funding of abortion and, while this practice is legal, support limitations and restrictions on its practice. We support policies and services that assist pregnant women to make life-affirming choices. We advocate for programs which offer medical, economic and emotional support for pregnant women and children. There should be no incentives to abort a child, only support for bringing life into the world.
❖SB-481, as amended, Pan. Long-term health facilities: informed consent.
6-8 Assigned to Assembly Health and Judiciary Committees
Summary: Existing law requires the attending physician of a resident in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility that who prescribes or orders a medical intervention of a resident that requires the informed consent of a patient who lacks the capacity to provide that consent, as specified, to inform the skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility. Existing law requires the facility to conduct an interdisciplinary team review of the prescribed medical intervention prior to the administration of the medical intervention, subject to specified proceedings. Existing law authorizes a medical intervention prior to the facility convening an interdisciplinary team review in the case of an emergency, under specified circumstances. Existing law imposes civil penalties for a violation of these provisions.
This bill would, before implementing a medical intervention that requires informed consent for a resident that who lacks capacity to make health care decisions and there is no person with legal authority able and willing to make those decisions, require the physician, skilled nursing facility, or intermediate care facility, to promptly notify the resident, orally and in writing, that it has been determined that the resident lacks capacity. capacity, and other information, as specified.
The California ProLife Council continues to oppose SB 481, Pan. This measure authorizes a nursing home administrator or physician to simply declare a patient is competent and hand them a note to that effect. There is no other person appointed to look after that individuals best interests in spite of the fact that the law has several protective agencies established for precisely that purpose.
This is a very serious and ominous avoidance of oversight and protection for the medically vulnerable. Senator Pan made minor amendments but the recent amendments in no way address the immediate concerns we have raised concerning the duty of the law to protect the vulnerable lives of the medically dependent.
There should be a clear prohibition on interpreting ‘medical intervention’ to preclude any deleterious or harmful procedure. This should be required for the explicit reason that California has now changed its position regarding the involvement of physicians in approving of and overseeing the intentional killing of patients.
This prohibition on medical killing, reflecting medical ethics historic mandate to ‘do no harm,’ is absolutely necessary if the medical provider is to assume the role as ‘guardian ad litem’. If the physician is in fact intent on using this role of ‘guardian’ to dispatch the patient, then the term ‘guardian’ will take on the most sinister of implications.
Secondly, the language still does not reflect – and seems to intentionally avoid – the role of existing state programs for patient protections – The Long.-Term Care Ombudsman program and the existing county Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies.
Failure to notify these existing offices of such declarations in the absence of a known DPA leaves the patient without any disinterested advocate, even though existing law has provided these agencies for exactly that purpose.
This new law would greatly increase the pressures on both the facility’s management and attending physicians to ‘take the pressure off’ by substituting their judgment that said patient really should be done with living. This law frees them to ‘eliminate’ the patient without any agencies or Individuals being informed. Most importantly, the individual patient in question has lost all protections and is denied due process under the law.
❖ SB-597 (Leyva D) Human trafficking: victim confidentiality.
5-31 Senate vote: Aye 40 Noe 0 NVR 0
6-1 Assembly - held for Committee assignment
6-15 Assembly Health and Judiciary Committees
Summary: Existing 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. Any person who makes a false statement in an application is guilty of a misdemeanor.
✓ This bill would make this program available to a victim of human trafficking, as defined.
This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
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.
5-30 Approved by Senate - Ayes 27 - Noes 12 NVR 0
6-12 Assigned to Assembly Health and Appropriations Committees
Summary: Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services through fee-for-service or managed care delivery systems. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed by, and funded pursuant to, federal Medicaid program provisions. Existing law provides that family planning services are a covered Medi-Cal benefit, subject to utilization controls, as specified.
✓ 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.
Comment: Because we believe each person is created in the image of God, we hold each one’s life to be sacred from conception to natural death. We believe that we are stewards of this gift of life from a loving God. We oppose abortion and public taxpayer funding of abortion and, while this practice is legal, we support limitations and restrictions on its practice. We support policies and services that assist pregnant women to make life-affirming choices. We advocate for programs which offer medical, economic and emotional support for pregnant women and children, so that there would not be an incentive to abort a child.
Websites for other pro-life, pro-family organizations monitoring legislation can be found on the St. Jerome Respect Life page.
Find your representative:
United States Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
House of Representatives : http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep
Local Representative: http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/OnlineDistrictmapApp/