On a party-line vote the Iowa Senate on Oct. 5 rejected the first redistricting plan created by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. All Republicans voted against the proposal.
Another plan is being drawn up by the LSA and will be made public on Oct. 21. Another session will be held on Oct. 28 to consider the plan. If this second one is rejected, a third plan will be submitted which can be amended by the Legislature.
The floor manager of the bill, Sen. Roby Smith (R-Davenport), stated his objections to the plan for including districts in the shapes of "a triangle, a pyramid, a figure eight …”.
Congressional and statehouse district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years following the completion of the U.S. Census. The purpose is to redraw districts so they are nearly equal in population while being reasonably compact in form.
‘PROTECT LIFE’ RULE RESCINDED
The Biden Administration has published a new rule rescinding the “Protect Life Rule” governing the Title X family planning program. That rule had the commendable effect of ensuring compliance with federal law by stipulating that Title X projects may not share office space or financing with abortion facilities and are not required to refer for abortion. The rescission becomes effective on Nov. 8.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:
“The Catholic bishops have grave concerns about government promotion of contraceptives. At the same time, we have long supported efforts to ensure that abortion is kept physically and financially separate from family planning under Title X … Abortion is not family planning.”
PRAY FOR DOBBS
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The case addresses the constitutionality of a 15-week abortion ban passed into law in Mississippi, and it has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade. Oral arguments will be held Dec. 1, and a decision is expected in June 2022.
After the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, and Christians from other organizations, are putting together a “Pray for Dobbs” ecumenical prayer campaign to unite in prayer and fasting. A national prayer event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.
You are invited to participate in a webinar on Thursday at 1 p.m. to learn more about the initiative. Go to prayfordobbs.com for more information.
MIGRATION CHAIR WELCOMES REFUGEE ADMISSIONS TARGET
On Oct. 8, the Biden Administration announced a Fiscal Year 2022 Presidential Determination (PD) of 125,000 refugees for resettlement through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). This is the highest PD since 1993 and follows four consecutive years of historic lows.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is one of nine national resettlement agencies that partners with the U.S. government in this effort. A local partner is Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Des Moines. The Catholic Church’s involvement in refugee resettlement stems from the Church’s social teaching on the common good and is consistent with its longstanding role in welcoming newcomers and supporting integration.
Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, said, “The last few years have had a devastating impact on refugee resettlement, all while we witness the greatest forced migration crises in decades. We commend the Administration for seeking to reassert American leadership in this area, and we look forward to continued action in support of this goal.”