Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 6, 2022

DOBBS DRAFT OPINION LEAKED


A draft opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case of “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization” has been leaked.


In response, there are again efforts in Congress to pass a federal law making sure that abortions are legal. The great majority of Americans, however, and 85% of Iowans, support at least some protections for the unborn. Before Wednesday, we encourage you to contact Senators Ernst and Grassley in opposition to the proposal.


No matter how the Dobbs case turns out, we have a responsibility and opportunity to take action to support the dignity of the human person and the common good. We encourage you to make your voice heard to legislators in support of the “Iowa MOMS” bill by sending a message.


The bill, Senate File 2381, has passed the Senate and been heard by a House subcommittee. Whether the bill continues through the process will depend on budget negotiations between the chambers. SF 2381 includes $1 million for crisis pregnancy centers and other nonprofit agencies to be reimbursed for services such as:


  • Baby essentials, including cribs, clothing, formula, diapers, and safety devices like car seats.

  • Counseling, referral, and care coordination services.

  • Housing and employment assistance during pregnancy and for up to one year after birth.

  • Classes to prepare for pregnancy, birth, parenting, adoption, nutrition, life skills, and employment readiness.


SF 2381 also includes a Medicaid expansion for new mothers that will cost about $9 million a year.


Pregnant women and new moms deserve more access to meaningful assistance and support when they need it most.


There’s been no further action on Gov. Reynolds’ Students First proposal. Thanks to the many of you who have contacted your legislators in support. We believe, as a matter of distributive justice, that public funds should be available to parents so they truly free to choose the school they want for their children.


House File 2355 has become law following a compromise in the Legislature. Unfortunately, it reduces the maximum number of weeks to receive unemployment insurance benefits for laid-off workers from 26 to 16 weeks and requires workers to take lower-paying jobs sooner. However, the good news is that the House rejected the Senate’s amendment to add a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits. The final bill did not include that part of the proposal.


PRIMARY ELECTIONS COMING UP


Primary elections are coming up on Tuesday, June 7. In Iowa, you must be a member of the party to participate.


If you’ve read this far in our news update, you know what the ICC has been working on this year and we encourage you to ask candidates where they stand on these issues. You can find contact information for candidates here.



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PARTICIPATING IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS As you can tell from all the ads, election season is well underway. Voting begins next month and continues through Election Day, Nov. 8. The Iowa Catholic Confer