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Threats to human life and dignity

It’s time to ask your candidates where they stand on important issues. Here’s a list of candidates with contact information.

The bishops of Iowa and Catholic Rural Life are leading a novena each day in honor of St. Isidore, the farmer. The focus of this novena is to remember all who have suffered loss as a result of the storm and pray for the rebuilding of the communities and farms impacted by the story. You are invited to participate through Sept. 29. Go to


As October’s Respect Life Month approaches, several threats to human dignity are being addressed by the Church:

Temporary Protected Status terminated

Earlier this week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 200,000 individuals living legally in the United States.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision continues a heartbreaking path of uncertainty and fear for hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients needlessly put into motion by the Trump Administration. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), TPS countries such as El Salvador and Haiti cannot adequately handle the return of TPS recipients and their families. The spread of COVID-19 has only made conditions worse. The administration’s decision will fragment American families, leaving, for example, over 192,000 U.S. citizen children of Salvadoran TPS recipients without their parents and with uncertain futures.

The bishops also called on the U.S. Senate to take up the American Dream and Promise Act.

Immigrants as Essential Workers

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, submitted testimony to the House Judiciary Committee regarding “Immigrants as Essential Workers During COVID-19.” From the written testimony, Bishop Dorsonville states:

“The contributions of essential workers have become undoubtedly more important during COVID-19. While many essential workers are U.S. citizens, many are also immigrants and refugees. Immigrants comprise 31% of U.S. agricultural employees… [and] they risk their own safety to support their families and to ensure continuity in the nation’s food supply chains.

“In addition to being highly vulnerable to COVID-19, immigrant and refugee essential workers are less likely to have access to medical care and thus far have been completely left out of any federal COVID-19 relief or assistance. We urge Congress to include immigrant and refugee families in any future COVID-19 relief as well as be made eligible for past relief efforts. Additionally, we continue to advocate Congress for a path to citizenship for undocumented workers who have been living, working, and contributing to our country. As Pope Francis states: No one must be left behind.”

The U.S. bishops have an action alert asking for further relief actions on behalf of all immigrants here:

The Iowa bishops’ statement in support of legislative action is here:

Death Penalty

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement in response to the federal executions scheduled this week.

In part, the statement reads: “After the first murder recorded in the Bible, God did not end Cain’s life, but rather preserved it, warning others not to kill Cain (Gn. 4:15). As the Church, we must give concrete help to victims of violence, and we must encourage the rehabilitation and restoration of those who commit violence. Accountability and legitimate punishment are a part of this process. Responsibility for harm is necessary if healing is to occur and can be instrumental in protecting society, but executions are completely unnecessary and unacceptable, as Popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have all articulated.

“We say to President Trump and Attorney General Barr: Enough. Stop these executions.”

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

In response to efforts to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released a letter “Samaritanus Bonus” on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life. The letter re-proposes what has been consistent Church teaching in opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, as well as addresses palliative care and hospice. The document expresses opposition to “aggressive medical treatment” when imminent death is unavoidable. Here’s a link to the Vatican’s news release:


President Trump on Wednesday announced he would release an executive order that would require medical care be given to infants who are born alive after failed abortion attempts in facilities that receive federal funds.

Also, a rising threat to the lives of unborn babies is the chemical abortion pill. More than two-thirds of abortions in Iowa are through medication rather than surgery. According to Human Life Action, the abortion lobby views chemical abortion as the future of the abortion industry and it is working hard to make it easier to obtain, including through the mail, turning pharmacies and post offices into abortion dispensers.

The federal Support and Value Expectant (SAVE) Moms & Babies Act would codify current FDA (Food and Drug Administration) safety regulations requiring physicians to dispense the pills, prevent providers from dispensing these drugs remotely, by mail, or via tele-medicine, and prevent the (FDA) from approving new chemical abortion drugs or from making labeling changes to existing abortion drugs. An attempt failed Tuesday to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate for debate.

Alert readers with a good memory will recall that in 2013 the Iowa Board of Medicine established a standard of care that prohibited “telemed” chemical abortions. Unfortunately, in 2015 the Iowa Supreme Court decided that the rule violated women’s constitutional rights. It’s one of the reasons why the ICC is working in support of a constitutional amendment to clarify that the state Constitution does not contain a fundamental right to abortion.

An EWTN survey has found that more than 8 in 10 people favor restrictions on abortion.


The Global Child Thrive Act (H.R. 4864) passed the U.S. House this week and goes to the Senate. The USCCB and Catholic Relief Services support the bill, which would improve international programs by adding Early Childhood Development activities into programs. In the House, Rep. Cindy Axne is one of the co-sponsors and Sen. Joni Ernst is a co-sponsor of the Senate version.


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