Legislation Mandating CA Public Colleges Provide Medical Abortions Returns
A highly controversial bill that would mandate California public colleges provide abortion-inducing medication to students is returning to the Legislature in 2018.
SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) was introduced last year but stalled in the Senate Education Committee. As the Legislature operates on a two-year session schedule, SB 320 is eligible to be brought up again this year and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on January 10th at the State Capitol.
The proposal would tell student health centers on California State University (CSU) and University of California campuses to offer abortion-inducing medication or arrange for transportation to a nearby abortion provider. It further requires on-campus health centers to offer abortion-counseling services to their students but deliberately excludes pro-life counseling approaches.
Recreational Marijuana: Pleasure, Panacea, Poison?
Fr. Gerald Coleman, adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University, examines the many open questions surrounding the Jan. 1 legalization of recreational marijuana in California.
The New York Times concluded its December 28 article about the January 1, 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana in California by stating, “People are gaining confidence as legalization spreads, and the growth is going to be huge.” Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana legal in eight states. Companies investing in marijuana are growing exponentially, well-exampled in Silicon Valley and Oakland, especially since selling marijuana in California has the potential to generate $5 billion yearly.
The moral slope is worrisome and dangerous as society grows in its support of recreational marijuana use (about 58 percent of Americans). California led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. As demonstrated in the 2013 documentary Weed by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, positive medical effects have been witnessed, e.g., treating pain and relieving nausea. Since these facts are generally accepted, it is now a simple next step to conclude that recreational marijuana likewise carries curative effects. It’s a facile approach to believe that what is legal is beneficial and moral.
In January 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a pivotal report on professional research carried out about the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Along with December 2017 facts released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), serious concerns are raised that demand schools and local municipalities to put into place as quickly as possible substance abuse prevention programs. (Parishes, especially those with schools, would do well to consider educational workshops for parents and youth.)
National Migration Week January 7-13
For nearly half of a century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.
The theme for National Migration Week 2018, “Many Journeys, One Family,” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.
Justice For Immigrants has a variety of resources for National Immigration Week including a webinar, toolkit, prayer card, and poster. Click here for resources on the commemoration, including webinars, flyers and action items.
Poverty, Trafficking Prevention in Focus this Month
During Poverty Awareness Month, join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.
In addition to a calendar featuring ways to participate each day during the month of January, longer daily reflections are also available. There is a liturgical aid to incorporate Poverty Awareness Month into the liturgy. All of these resources are also in Spanish. You can also sign up to have the daily reflections emailed to you during Poverty Awareness Month.
January is also Human Trafficking Prevention month. Described as modern day slavery, human trafficking traps more than 20 million people around the world in forced economic and sexual enslavement. Read more about it here and here.
Click here for more.
In the Coming Weeks
Congressional leaders are meeting with White House staffers to start dealing with the threat of a Federal government shut-down on January 19. It appears the President will push for funding for a wall on the Mexican border while the Democrats may push for relief for Dreamers. Nothing is clear, as the position of both parties tend to vary almost on an hourly basis. Next week, we’ll profile three outstanding California Dreamers as part of National Migration Week. In the meantime, examine the Bishops’ teachings on our Immigration page and urge your Federal representatives to support DACA recipients.
Next week, Governor Jerry Brown will reveal his budget proposal for 2019-20. Government budgets are “moral documents” since they lay out the public policy priorities for the jurisdiction in question. During the Great Recession, the California Bishops detailed the framework such documents should face. Read In Search of the Common Good to prepare for the Governor’s announcement.
January 5, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 1