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Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, June 21, 2024

State immigration law blocked


A federal judge has blocked enforcement of Iowa’s "illegal reentry" law, saying that the federal government holds exclusive authority over immigration law. The state of Iowa is appealing the ruling. The law would make it a crime for a person who has been previously denied admission or deported from the U.S. to be present in the state, even if they subsequently have received legal status.


At the federal level, the U.S. bishops welcomed the announcement by the Biden Administration of a new program for the undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens. The program allows select individuals who have resided in the country for at least ten years to apply for parole in place, which offers access to legal work authorization and protection from removal if granted, as well as the potential to apply for permanent legal status in certain cases. A similar program has been available to military service members and their families for several years.


U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to abortion drug


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on procedural grounds against health professionals who brought a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s actions that have now made the abortion drug, mifepristone (previously known as RU-486), widely available.


That ruling does not change the facts about the abortion pills. “(T)he U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] repeatedly and unlawfully cut corners to put chemical abortion pills on the market and then to reduce the safety protocols around them – putting the health of women and girls at risk,” Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities.


For more information on chemical abortion (sometimes called “medical abortion” or “medication abortion” by its proponents), the USCCB has multiple fact sheets available online.


A decision from the Iowa Supreme Court on the “heartbeat” abortion law is expected to be made public on Friday, June 28.


Catholic leaders urge Congress to support critical food programs


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have joined leaders from Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Rural Life in urging Congress to protect the critical programs and efforts supporting the basic right to food.


Food insecurity is on the rise around the world, including in the United States where 12.8% of households reported difficulty providing food for their families over the course of the year and 3.3 million households reported they were not able to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children at some point during the year.


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