Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, July 23, 2018

ARE 529 PLANS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Federal and state “529” college savings plans have been expanded to provide a tax benefit to parents paying tuition at K-12 Catholic schools in Iowa. Our partners at Iowa ACE have put together an information sheet you can take to your tax professional to see if the new benefits will help you. Click here for more information.

ACTION ALERTS: TITLE X, SUPREME COURT

The Trump Administration has proposed new regulations to help ensure that abortion is separated from the federal Title X family planning program. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has called these new regulations “greatly needed and deeply appreciated.”

Most Americans recognize that abortion is distinct from family planning and has no place in a taxpayer-funded family planning program. Please send a message in support of these rules before the comment period closes next Tuesday, July 31. You can send your message here. The process is simple and can be completed in under one minute.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire has again put “Roe v. Wade” into the news. Pro-abortion groups are urging the U.S. Senate to reject a nominee who does not promise to publicly endorse Roe v. Wade.

Given this moment, Catholics are being encouraged to participate in a nine-week effort of prayer, fasting and education that this change in the Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

Starting on Friday, Aug. 3, participants will receive a weekly email or text reminder to pray and fast along with a fact about Roe to share with others including their two U.S. Senators (through the NCHLA/Human Life Action). You can sign up by clicking “Join” at www.usccb.org/pray. Let’s pray a change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. Thanks for your consideration.

Although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, the bishops have concerns about a confirmation process that would subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. You can contact our Senators to express your opinion on the matter.

Good news: A federal court of appeals has blocked a court order requiring the Texas Catholic Conference to reveal communications between its executive director and the Texas bishops. This was related to a lawsuit against a Texas law that requires aborted fetuses to be buried or cremated rather than disposed of in a landfill or the sewer. Pro-abortion groups apparently didn’t like the fact that the Church offered to bury aborted human remains in Catholic cemeteries.

Along with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Iowa Catholic Conference was one of several groups asking for the court order to be reversed because of its chilling effect on our First Amendment rights.

CHILD WELFARE PROVIDER INCLUSION ACT

One of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ legislative priorities has been supporting passage of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. The bill would protect the ability of faith-based adoption and foster agencies to operate. We were pleased to see that Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) voted for the Act as an amendment to a bill in the House Appropriations Committee.

Click here to lend your voice in support of the bill.

The states of Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and the District of Columbia have unjustly excluded credible, experienced groups from providing child welfare services. In those states, providers who wish to operate according to their religiously or morally informed conscience must check their convictions at the door if they wish to serve children.

IOWA ‘ANTI-SANCTUARY CITIES’ LAW TAKES EFFECT

An Iowa law which changed the relationship of local law enforcement with the federal Immigration Control Enforcement agency took effect on July 1.

The bishops of Iowa encourage Catholics throughout Iowa to learn more about their own Fourth Amendment rights and how they can make their communities safer and more welcoming to immigrants. Click here for more information about the law. The bishops again have called upon our Legislature and Congress to pursue solutions that help immigrants find a welcome.

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