Lansing Update: MCC Opposes Effort to Repeal Abortion Limits that Protect Women
Posted September 1, 2023
MCC Stands for Health and Safety of Vulnerable Women
Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) this week announced its commitment to oppose the abortion lobby’s interest in overturning long-standing and widely supported limits on abortion during this fall’s legislative session.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a speech this week laying out her fall legislative priorities, urged the Legislature to pass the forthcoming “Reproductive Health Act,” which will likely include a repeal of the state’s informed consent requirement to obtain an abortion, including the 24-hour reflection period, as well as a repeal of health and safety standards for abortion clinics.
In the past week, abortion advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, the Governor in her speech, and several pro-abortion lawmakers after the Governor’s speech have indicated their support for the Reproductive Health Act, which has not been introduced yet.
MCC supports the informed consent law and the 24-hour reflection period because it requires pregnant women be provided factual information prior to an abortion with an opportunity to pause and consider all of the information. It also requires notices to be posted about coercive abortion, along with resources available for those feeling threatened, and provides screening protocols to ensure that women are not being coerced into an abortion. More than 60% of women who had abortions report feeling pressured to abort.
MCC supports requiring abortion clinics to be licensed and inspected by the state to protect the health and safety of women who choose to undergo abortion. Prior to a law in 2012 that required these locations to be licensed and inspected like any other outpatient surgical facility, most of the state’s abortion clinics were not licensed and rarely if ever inspected.
In a statement released in response to the Governor’s policy speech, MCC noted the Governor’s support of ending these abortion limitations appear to reflect the interests of the national abortion industry and not the people of Michigan.
MCC earlier this year issued polling results conducted by Marketing Resource Group that showed large majorities of Michigan voters support the 24-hour reflection period as well as keeping health and safety standards on abortion clinics, in addition to the parental consent requirement for minors’ abortions.
Interestingly, abortion advocates this week appear to be backtracking from including a repeal of the parental consent requirement, which is supported by 67% of Michigan voters.
Yet the other policies that abortion supporters want to repeal have similar, if not greater support: The required 24-hour reflection period for abortions is supported by 63% of Michigan voters, and 90% of Michigan voters support keeping the basic health and safety standards.
“Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature should focus their time and energy on public policies that benefit all people, especially the low-income and those who are in need, rather than pursuing divisive and controversial abortion policies that Michigan voters widely oppose,” said Rebecca Mastee, policy advocate for MCC, in the statement.
MCC will keep Lansing Update readers apprised of developments on this legislation and about any opportunities to directly advocate against it.
Catholic Conference Supportive of Paid Family Leave
On a more positive note from the policy speech this week, the Governor also announced her support of pursuing paid family leave policies this fall, a concept that MCC expressed interest in, pending specific details of the plan that have not been shared yet.
MCC, in its comments after the Governor’s speech, offered support for a “fair and just paid family leave policy in Michigan” and expressed interest in policies “that benefit parents and offer to mothers and fathers measures that make raising children easier in Michigan.”
The Legislature is set to return to its regular session schedule next week beginning Tuesday, Sept. 5. Except for a two-week break in November, the Legislature will largely be on its regular session schedule through December, unless the Legislature decides to adjourn for the year earlier than its set schedule.
Ahead of Labor Day, Bishops Encourage ‘Radical Solidarity’ With Working Families
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this week encouraged “radical solidarity” with working families and proposed Congress enact policies to achieve that goal, as part of a statement issued ahead of Labor Day.
The statement, issued by Archbishop Borys Gudziak, chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, noted that the purpose of the economy is to enable families to thrive, and added that the Church teaches that “businesses, professional organizations, labor unions and the State must promote policies that, from an employment point of view, do not penalize but rather support the family nucleus.”
With that in mind, the USCCB statement urged Congress to:
- Strengthen the Child Tax Credit.
- Consider national support for paid family leave.
- Improve access to affordable, quality childcare and pre-kindergarten, and also ensure just wages for childcare workers and teachers.
The Labor Day statement also offered Catholic perspective on the “essential role” of labor unions:
The essential role labor unions can and often do play in society must be acknowledged and affirmed. As Pope Francis stated when meeting delegates from Italian trade unions, “… one of the tasks of the trade union is to educate in the meaning of labor, promoting fraternity between workers… Trade unions… are required to be a voice for the voiceless. You must make a noise to give voice to the voiceless” Unions should continue to be supported in their work that supports healthy, thriving families, especially those who are most in need, and encouraged in maintaining and increasing their focus on performing that critical role. Indeed, as Pope Francis has suggested, “there are no free workers without trade unions.”
In observance of Labor Day, MCC offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 4 and will reopen Tuesday, Sept. 5.