Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Sept. 30, 2021

LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER REDISTRICTING PLAN


The Iowa General Assembly is scheduled to hold a special session next Tuesday, Oct. 5 to consider the first redistricting plan created by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.


Congressional and statehouse district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years following the completion of the U.S. Census. The purpose is to redraw the districts so they are nearly equal in population while being reasonably compact in form.


If the Legislature rejects the first plan, another plan is created. If the second one is rejected, a third plan is submitted which can be amended by the Legislature.


There is also sentiment among some legislators to discuss various issues related to masks and vaccine mandates, although it is unknown if legislative leadership will allow any issues other than redistricting to be addressed.


For more information on the redistricting process, go to www.legis.iowa.gov.


RADICAL ABORTION BILL PASSED BY U.S. HOUSE


Last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the most radical abortion bill seen to date. The so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 3755, would:

• Allow abortion on demand nationwide throughout pregnancy

• Ban pro-life laws in state and local government

• Force Americans to support abortions with their tax dollars

• Likely eliminate conscience protections for doctors, among other extreme actions


Of those present, all but one House Democrat, from Texas, voted for the bill and all House Republicans voted against. You can see how your representative voted here.


Here is an action alert with an updated sample message about the bill: https://www.votervoice.net/USCCB/Campaigns/88618/Respond. The action alert is targeted towards our Senators and your House member depending on your address (either thanking them or expressing your disappointment for their vote).


Most observers do not believe the measure can get the necessary 60 votes in the Senate, but it is still important to let lawmakers know how you feel about the bill.


Interestingly, a Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows that only 20% of Iowans think abortion should be legal in all cases.


SUPPORT FUNDING FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION IN AFGHANISTAN


At the start of 2021, half the population of Afghanistan - including more than 4 million women and nearly 10 million children - already needed humanitarian assistance. More than 500,000 people have been displaced since the end of May, and those numbers continue to rise. Thousands of people who have worked as interpreters, translators, and in other capacities alongside the United States military, government personnel, and contractors over the past twenty years, including Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, find themselves and their families in danger.


Staff from the Catholic bishops’ conference, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, and others are working to ensure safe passage for as many evacuees as possible, including assisting up to 30,000 people with resettlement in the United States.


The U.S. bishops are encouraging you to contact Congress and ask that robust and flexible funding be provided through respected and credible organizations with experience in Afghanistan. We must help people who remain in Afghanistan and Afghans being resettled. Click here to review a sample message.


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