Pro act legislation – Proact Now http://proactnow.org/ Mon, 03 Oct 2022 05:04:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://proactnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Pro act legislation – Proact Now http://proactnow.org/ 32 32 Toomey and others introduce legislation to boost Americans’ retirement savings https://proactnow.org/toomey-and-others-introduce-legislation-to-boost-americans-retirement-savings/ Sun, 02 Oct 2022 20:06:00 +0000 https://proactnow.org/toomey-and-others-introduce-legislation-to-boost-americans-retirement-savings/

WILKES-BARRE — U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, and Tim Scott (RS.C.) and U.S. Representatives Peter Meijer (MI-03) this week introduced the Retirement Savings Modernization Act to bolster Americans’ retirement savings by allowing workers to diversify the assets included in defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans.

This legislation will amend the Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to clarify that private sector pension plan sponsors may offer plans, including both pensions and 401(k) plans. , which are conservatively diversified across the full range of asset classes.

Since 1982, pension plans have incorporated exposure to asset classes outside of public markets, such as private equity and real estate. Even though covered by the same law, 401(k) plans almost never incorporate exposure to alternative assets due to the risk of anticipated litigation from trustees.

“With inflation at record highs, a slowing stock market and a potential recession on the horizon, many Americans are understandably concerned about their financial future,” Senator Toomey said. “Our legislation will provide the millions of U.S. savers invested in defined contribution plans the opportunity to enhance their retirement savings through access to the same wide range of alternative assets currently available to savers with retirement plans. defined benefit.”

Until the 1970s, most Americans working in the private sector relied on pension plans for their retirement. Today, however, the vast majority of private sector workers depend on 401(k) plans. In 2019, 85.5 million Americans participated in defined contribution plans such as 401(k) plans, while only 12.6 million Americans participated in private retirement plans.

Medicare Open Enrollment

starts Oct. 15, ends Dec. 7

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) reminded consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries will begin October 15 and end December 7.

Any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits will become effective January 1, 2023.

During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare prescription drug coverage and health plans to supplement Medicare, and current Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or prescription drug coverage to better meet their needs.

To help Medicare beneficiaries sort through their options, the department offers free, objective health benefit counseling through Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI). Through Pennsylvania’s 52 Regional Agencies on Aging (AAAs), PA MEDI counselors can help Medicare beneficiaries compare plans, assist with new plan enrollment, and assess eligibility for one. Pennsylvania Medicare savings programs.

During this time of year, consumers may see television commercials or hear them on the radio with celebrities endorsing the added benefits and free offers of Medicare Advantage plans. Although these advertisements may mimic official Medicare communication, the advertisements are from brokers or agents who receive financial incentives for enrolling beneficiaries in these plans.

“When comparing insurance plan options, seniors should consider their current health status, plan benefits, access to providers, plans available in their area, and overall costs, coverage and convenience offered,” Aging Secretary Robert Torres said.

Meuser backs bill to protect

farmers stringent requirements

U.S. Representative Dan Meuser, R-Dallas, joined more than 80 House colleagues this week to introduce a bill that will prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring farmers to include climate-related disclosures in statements and periodic reports, resulting in an unreasonable burden on them.

U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK) sponsored the “Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.” The bill follows a rule proposed in March by the SEC that would require filers to include climate-related information in their filings and periodic reports. Farmers are not currently “registrants” or subject in any way to the jurisdiction and oversight of the SEC, but the proposed rule would change that.

In addition to a significant amount of climate-related risk information, a reporter would be required to disclose information about its direct greenhouse gases, emissions, and indirect emissions from purchased energy. Furthermore, the rule would require the disclosure of indirect emissions from upstream and downstream activities, which would lead to a task for farmers that would be complicated and laborious.

Under the proposed requirement, public companies would be required to report emissions data from farms and ranches of all sizes, since a large majority of agricultural products will be used or sold by a publicly traded company. The rule would add economic pressure on businesses and weigh on all agricultural producers, especially small and medium-sized farms.

“Farmers in my district and across the United States are under extraordinary pressure right now, due to prolonged and painful inflation. Adding an additional regulatory requirement to them is unacceptable,” Meuser said.

In the United States, 98% of all farms are independent family operations. A massive reporting requirement and monitoring of emissions data that would be imposed on farmers would cause them undue hardship. Rising production costs and the difficulty in providing emissions data to public companies will hamper the ability of US farmers and ranchers to expand into global markets and encourage market reconciliation in the agricultural sector.

The law project :

• Prohibit the SEC from requiring an issuer of securities to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from activities up and down the issuer’s value chain from a farm.

• Define the production, manufacture or harvesting of an agricultural product through the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, describes upstream and downstream activities and defines greenhouse gases.

• Remove the SEC’s exemption power from this law.

Toomey, Republicans demand explanation for

dawn raid on the family home of a pro-life activist

US Senator Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley and a group of Senate Republicans this week demanded an explanation from the Justice Department and the FBI for the “abnormal and aggressive” dawn raid on the home of a pro lawyer. -living in Pennsylvania last week.

More than two dozen federal agents, some using ballistic shields and long guns, arrived to arrest the pro-life lawyer on Friday, September 23, for an incident that occurred nearly a year prior and for which the local authorities denied all charges. The FBI show-of-force raid followed multiple overtures of cooperation from attorneys for the attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which went unanswered over the weeks.

“Based on reports and allegations, the actions taken by the FBI reasonably call into question their compliance with the DOJ’s use of force policy. The FBI must explain its rationale for its actions…” the senators wrote .

Toomey said a simple arrest warrant can be served by a pair or a small number of officers, and is often avoided in favor of a court summons in cases involving nonviolent offenders. The use of such extensive manpower and resources stands in stark contrast to the apparent lack of response to the spate of violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers across the country.

Toomey and Manchin call on DOE to enforce laws

to protect students from sexual misconduct

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, and Joe Manchin (DW. Va.) wrote Education Secretary Miguel Cardona this week to question the Department of Education’s actions regarding the incapacity of States to institute policies that protect students from educators who engage in sexual misconduct. .

For years, K-12 schools across the country have failed to end the horrific practice of “passing the trash,” under which schools allow educators to quit quietly – including, sometimes, with positive letters of recommendation – rather than facing disciplinary action for committing a sex crime against a student. This allows sexual predators to seek other teaching jobs and continue to assault students.

The senators wrote:

“Our legislation (Section 8546 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was intended to end the horrific practice, known as ‘passing the trash’ or ‘aiding and abetting sexual abuse’. Yet, Seven years after its enactment, the patchwork of state laws identified in the report show that many states have failed to sufficiently ban practices that contributed to a student’s death, such as forged letters of recommendation that allowed a school employee to transfer schools with a “clean” record. The report highlights the need for stronger enforcement to ensure that states comply with this important provision of the law. In addition, we are concerned about the fact that the Department has not yet put in place a concrete timetable within which the states must comply.

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

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House overrules Big Tech to pass anti-monopoly legislation https://proactnow.org/house-overrules-big-tech-to-pass-anti-monopoly-legislation/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 20:37:00 +0000 https://proactnow.org/house-overrules-big-tech-to-pass-anti-monopoly-legislation/

The House on Thursday passed bipartisan antitrust legislation to give state and federal regulators more power to tackle monopoly cases, despite opposition from big tech companies like Google and Amazon.

The bills, now heading to the Senate, would arm the Justice Department’s antitrust division with more funding, strengthen the hand of state attorneys general when they sue Big Tech companies — and compel companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions to disclose any ties to US adversaries.

Proponents of the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act hailed the bill as a much-needed boost for underfunded anti-monopoly regulators.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), a sponsor of the bill, hailed its passage as a “huge win for restoring competition!”

The bill swept through the House despite opposition from big tech-backed groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who argued that the legislation would “impede legitimate business transactions across all sectors and industries, would create unnecessary new bureaucracy and cause unwarranted litigation”.

The Google-backed US Chamber of Commerce tried to rally members of Congress against the bill.
PA

Democrats voted 203 to 16 in favor of the bill, while the measure received the support of 39 Republicans, against 168 who opposed it.

The Republican opposition was led by influential Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who lambasted the bill for giving more money to what he claimed was a corrupt Justice Department.

“This bill would actually give $140 million to the DOJ so they can work and continue what they’re already doing: working with big tech to keep certain information from getting to us,” Jordan said ahead of the vote. of Thursday.

Representative Ken Buck
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), a sponsor of the bill, hailed its passage as a “huge win for restoring competition!”
Getty Images
Republican opposition to the bill was led by Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Getty Images

Democrats who opposed the bill included Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who represents a California district that includes Silicon Valley.

The bill would raise money for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, headed by big tech antagonist Jonathan Kanter, by increasing the fees big companies have to pay when seeking government approval to mergers and acquisitions. Companies wishing to make smaller mergers would pay lower fees.

It would also allow state attorneys general to choose where antitrust prosecutions take place. Proponents say it would reduce the ability of tech companies to ensure lawsuits are heard by pro-tech judges.

United States Capitol
Thirty-nine Republicans voted for the bill, while 168 opposed it.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

For example, if that law had been in effect, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s antitrust lawsuit against Google probably wouldn’t have been transferred to New York, where it is being heard by a judge who some lawyers say is too favorable to Google. Instead, Paxton could have kept the case in Texas.

In addition, the bill would require companies undergoing mergers to notify regulators if they have received subsidies from US rivals, including China and Russia.

In the Senate, the bill has the support of many Democrats, as well as Republican senses Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. The bill was also endorsed by the White House and the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The Senate previously passed a bill allowing attorneys general to choose where antitrust lawsuits take place, but did not pass legislation on merger filing fees.

“Passing the merger reform package is an important first step in hampering Big Tech’s ability to gobble up competitors at will, collude with each other and ultimately raise prices by limiting choice for consumers,” said Sacha Haworth, executive director of advocacy group Tech Oversight. Project.

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Abortion rights advocates push Maryland lawmakers to approve legislation in next session https://proactnow.org/abortion-rights-advocates-push-maryland-lawmakers-to-approve-legislation-in-next-session/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 11:11:46 +0000 https://proactnow.org/abortion-rights-advocates-push-maryland-lawmakers-to-approve-legislation-in-next-session/
The District 30 Democratic Club hosted a talk on abortion Sept. 21 at the Michael E. Busch Library in Annapolis. Panellists from left to right: Michael Spivey, professor of constitutional law at the University of Maryland; Of the. Nicole Williams (D-Prince George’s); and Erin Bradley, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Maryland. Photo by William Ford.

Part of the District 30 Democratic Club meeting Wednesday night turned into a little history lesson on abortion, one of the hottest topics in Maryland and the country.

Club Vice President Sharon Blugis moderated the discussion at the Michael E. Busch Library in Annapolis and told the audience that abortion had been legal in the United States for about the first half of the 19th century.

Some of the story she summarized is also detailed by Planned Parenthood, a healthcare provider and abortion rights organization, in a timeline that notes, as Blugis did, that midwives performed the procedure in the early 1800s.

By the early 1900s, the practice was banned in all states, with a few exceptions. And, at the request of the American Medical Association, it was performed only at the discretion of and by doctors, most of whom were men.

In 1969, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) became the first group to advocate for abortion rights.

Today, Maryland is one of the few states with strong pro-abortion laws, including one approved this year to expand insurance coverage and provide abortion care.

The Abortion Care Access Act also earmarks $3.5 million to train healthcare professionals such as midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, but the money won’t be available until next year. . Time-limited Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed the bill. Yet it became law after the legislature overruled its veto. But Hogan refused to release the money earlier.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) sponsored legislation during this year’s session to pose a question on the November general election ballot asking voters whether to change the state constitution to include the right to access abortion services. This bill has stalled in the Senate Finance Committee.

“I’m just overall pissed at the Senate,” said Blugis, an Anne Arundel County abortion-rights advocate who faulted Senate Speaker Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) for not having broached the subject during an election year.

Due to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, states are empowered to pass anti-abortion laws.

Ferguson told Maryland Matters in August that in passing the Abortion Care Access Act, “we did what was most important and that’s what we knew we could do.”

A post-Roe world

Erin Bradley, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Maryland, summarized what is happening in other states.

Earlier this month, the South Carolina State Senate rejected a total ban on abortion. A judge temporarily blocked setting a six-week window to allow an abortion, leaving the current limit of 20 weeks (after conception) in place.

The Indiana legislature has approved a nearly complete ban on abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and certain medical emergencies. It entered into force on September 15. However, a judge ruled on Thursday to block the ban and allow abortion procedures to resume. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (right) said in a statement that he plans to appeal.

Although abortion remains legal, up to 20 weeks gestation, in Virginia and North Carolina, some conservative lawmakers in those states continue to consider approving tougher anti-abortion laws.

“It shows how fluid abortion rights are right now. It’s everywhere,” Bradley said Wednesday. “Maryland is the southernmost state where abortion is considered protected.”

This is why Del. Nicole Williams (D-Prince George’s) continues to work on comprehensive legislation to introduce when the 90-day legislative session resumes in January.

Williams joined Bradley and Michael Spivey, professor of constitutional law at the University of Maryland at College Park, to participate in a panel discussion titled “The Future in a Post-Roe World.”

Williams sponsored a bill this year to protect health care providers from civil and criminal penalties for providing abortion and other health care to patients. However, his bill failed to make it out of the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Williams is unsure whether she will reintroduce that bill in next year’s session. Another measure she may propose would protect the licenses of medical professionals who provide abortion care.

“We’re looking at everything thoroughly … and what we should be doing here in Maryland to make sure Marylanders are safe and those who come to Maryland will be safe,” she said.

Spivey called Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion to overturn Roe “dishonest, cynical and demeaning.” There is no respect for women in this decision.

Spivey summed up what he called some “myths” according to Alito that abortion is not part of the American landscape, with the court correcting a miscarriage of justice by comparing the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the ruling comes out the court of the abortion debate.

He said Alito even cites a 13th century case as part of his argument.

“How that is relevant to the US Constitution is beyond me,” South County Democratic Club president Spivey told Anne Arundel. “It’s a political court. You can’t hide from this anymore. As democrats, we need to stand up and say, “Enough is enough. Were done.'”

Howard County expands abortion care

In a related development, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) announced Thursday that his jurisdiction will provide $1 million over three years to expand reproductive services to students attending Howard Community College.

The funding will create a pilot program between the community college and the county health department to extend hours of operation, offer telemedicine and other services.

Additional services should be phased in over several months at the community college clinic.

“Reproductive health care has become weapons throughout our country, especially since the repeal of Roe v. Wade. As County Executive, I will continue to unequivocally support the right of women to use their own voice and make their own choices for their reproductive health care and family planning needs,” Ball said in a statement. . “The program we are announcing today will prioritize preventive reproductive care for women and increase health care services for all.

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Newsom signs law to protect workers who use cannabis outside of work https://proactnow.org/newsom-signs-law-to-protect-workers-who-use-cannabis-outside-of-work/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 01:16:34 +0000 https://proactnow.org/newsom-signs-law-to-protect-workers-who-use-cannabis-outside-of-work/

California employers will soon be prohibited from firing or not hiring workers for their use of cannabis outside of their workplace and during their working hours.

Governor Gavin Newsom put his signature to Assembly Bill 2188 on Sept. 18 to prevent employers from discriminating against a person in hiring, firing, or terms of employment based on a test drug screening tests revealing the presence of non-psychoactive metabolites of cannabis in their system or for the person’s off-duty use.

Recreational use of cannabis is legal in the state.

AB 2188 was part of a series of laws signed by the governor to “strengthen California’s cannabis laws, expand the legal cannabis market, and repair the harms of cannabis prohibition,” according to a Sept. 18 statement from the office. by Newsom.

“For too many Californians, the promise of cannabis legalization remains out of reach,” Newsom said. “These steps build on the significant progress our state has made toward this goal, but much more needs to be done to build a fair, safe, and sustainable legal cannabis industry. I look forward to partnering with the legislature and policymakers to fully realize the legalization of cannabis in California communities.

The California State Capital Building in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The author of the legislation, Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), said the measure was “long overdue.”

“Thank you to the advocates and sponsors for your continued support,” Quirk wrote on Twitter after signing. “I commend the governor for his commitment to redressing the harms of cannabis prohibition.”

The law takes effect on January 1, 2024, and exempts those working in building and construction, as well as positions requiring federal licensing.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legal marijuana organization co-founded by George Soros, advocated for passage of the bill.

“CA employees deserved the same rights as workers in other states like [New York and Nevada] which has already passed laws protecting against workplace penalties for legal off-hours marijuana use,” the alliance wrote on Twitter.

California NORML, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of cannabis users, sponsored the bill. The group told lawmakers that workers have the right to engage in lawful activities outside of their jobs, but workers and applicants lose job opportunities or are fired because they test positive for drinking. of marijuana.

Epoch Times Photo
Customers purchase marijuana products at the Catalyst Cannabis Dispensary in Santa Ana, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The California Cannabis Industry Association told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that the bill still allows employers to use tests to determine “if someone is under the influence of cannabis while actively at work. “.

“The bill does not prevent employers from testing employees for drugs, but rather states that a test for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites persists in the body for up to months after someone has consumed cannabis, is not grounds for hiring or firing,” said the association’s executive director. said Lindsay Robinson.

The California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, saying it would still endanger workplace safety and “create protected status for marijuana use in [Fair Employment and Housing Act].”

“California employers can be held liable when they take legitimate disciplinary action against their employees,” the California Chamber of Commerce said, according to an analysis of the bill. “If California policymakers want to force a change to new testing technologies, that’s one thing. But we don’t think marijuana should be elevated to legally protected status above comparable drugs (like alcohol ).

Epoch Times Photo
A file photo of a cannabis sample in Santa Ana, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The governor also signed several other cannabis-related bills into law, including the following:

  • SB 1186 prevents local bans on the delivery of medical cannabis, expanding patient access to legal and regulated cannabis products.
  • AB 1706 allows Californians with past cannabis-related convictions to have them sealed.
  • SB 1326 creates a process for California to enter into agreements with other states to authorize cannabis transactions with entities outside of California.
  • AB 1885 allows veterinarians to recommend cannabis for companion animals.
  • AB 2210 allows venues hosting temporary events to obtain both alcohol and cannabis licenses as long as the sale and consumption of marijuana and alcoholic beverages occur separately, according to Quirk, who is also the author of this legislation.
  • AB 1186, dubbed the Medical Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act, prohibits a local jurisdiction from restricting the retail sale of medicinal cannabis by delivering it to patients or their primary caregivers by medical cannabis companies approved.
Jill McLaughlin

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CRS Updates Exceptional Fallout Provision Report to Reflect Pending Legislation https://proactnow.org/crs-updates-exceptional-fallout-provision-report-to-reflect-pending-legislation/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 15:02:56 +0000 https://proactnow.org/crs-updates-exceptional-fallout-provision-report-to-reflect-pending-legislation/

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released an updated version of its report regarding the Fallout Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). It includes a discussion of pending legislation that would affect both.

The updated version of “Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP),” the CRS report that addresses WEP and GPO benefit packages that reduce Social Security benefits for workers and members of their eligible family if the worker receives (or is entitled to) a pension based on earnings from employment not covered by Social Security – now includes information regarding bills before the Houses of Congress that would affect the formulas. “Recent legislation has generally proposed to either eliminate the provision for all or some of the affected beneficiaries, or replace the current law provision with a new proportional formula based on past earnings from covered and uncovered employment,” notes the report.

About WEP

WEP is a modified benefit formula that reduces Social Security benefits for certain retired or disabled workers who are also entitled to retirement benefits based on earnings from jobs not covered by Social Security and therefore not subject to the tax. on social security wages. It aims to remove a benefit or “bonus” that these workers would otherwise inadvertently receive due to the interaction between the regular Social Security benefit formula and the relatively short careers of workers in a job covered by Social Security.

As of December 2021, WEP affected approximately 2 million people – primarily state and local government employees covered by alternative staff retirement systems, as well as most permanent civilian federal employees hired before January 1, 1984 , which are covered by the public service. Retirement System (CSRS).

There are pros and cons regarding WEP:

  • Proponents argue that the formula is a reasonable way to prevent overly generous payments and involuntary benefits to people who have income not covered by Social Security and who receive pensions from uncovered work.
  • Opponents argue that the provision significantly reduces a benefit that workers may have included in their retirement plans, and that it disproportionately reduces benefits for low-income households. Others criticize the current WEP formula as an inaccurate way to determine the true bargain when applied to individual cases.

Legislation that would affect WEP

The pending federal legislation generally proposes either to eliminate the provision for all or some of the affected beneficiaries or to replace the current law provision with a new proportional formula based on past earnings from covered and uncovered employment.

The Public Servants Equal Treatment Act 2021

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced the Public Servants Equal Treatment Act of 2021, HR 5834, on Nov. 3, 2021. The bill would replace WEP with the new proportional formula for people who become eligible to social security benefits. in 2023 or later. Those becoming eligible during the transitional period between 2023 and 2061 would receive the higher of their benefit under the current entitlement WEP or the proportional formula. For those who become eligible in 2062 and after, benefits would be based solely on the proportional formula. The bill would also provide reimbursement payment starting nine months after enactment for workers (up to $100 per month) and their dependents (up to $50 per month) affected by the current WEP. Reimbursements would increase with cost of living adjustments.

Status. The measure was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means; more specifically, its subcommittee on social security. He did not do anything.

Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust

Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust was introduced in both houses of Congress on October 26, 2021. Rep. John Larson (D-CT) introduced the House version, HR 5723; Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Senate version, S. 3071.

The bills include provisions that would repeal the WEP and GPO for benefits payable during the 2022-2026 period. The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Chief Actuary estimated that enacting this provision alone would increase the long-term net cost by 0.01% of taxable payroll.

Status. HR 5723 was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee – specifically, its subcommittee on Social Security; it was also referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee — specifically, its subcommittee on health. Section 3071 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. They remain pending in these instances.

Welfare of Every Civil Servant Act 2021

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) introduced the Every Public Servant Welfare Act of 2021, HR 4788, on July 29, 2021. It provides that people whose combined monthly benefits from Social Security and public pensions not covered are less than an indexed salary amount of $5,500 would be exempt from WEP. Beneficiaries whose combined monthly Social Security and uncovered public pension benefits are between $5,500 and $6,333 would be subject to a partial WEP reduction. The law would apply to benefits payable for months after the passage of this law.

Status. The measure was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means; more specifically, its subcommittee on social security. He did not do anything.

Social Security Equity Act of 2021

On January 4, 2021, Rep. Rodney Davis (D-IL) introduced HR 82, the House version of the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021. The bill would amend Title II of the Social Security Fairness Act of Social Security to eliminate WEP and GPO. ; it would also repeal provisions that reduce Social Security benefits for people who receive other benefits, such as a pension from a state or local government. These changes would take effect for benefits payable after December 2021. On April 22, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Senate version, S. 1302.

Status. On July 15, 2022, a motion was introduced in the House to put the bill on the consensus calendar; on September 20, the House did; this means that the bill could be considered by the House of Representatives at the end of September. Section 1302 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, which has yet to make a decision on it.

Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act, 2021

On April 1, 2021, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced HR 2337, the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act.

The bill would replace WEP with the new proportional formula for people who become eligible for OASDI benefits in 2023 or later. A benefit guarantee provision would allow individuals to receive the greater of their benefits under the current WEP or the proportional formula. The proposal would also provide a reimbursement payment beginning nine months after enactment for retired and disabled beneficiaries affected by the current WEP (up to $150 per month); reimbursements would increase with cost-of-living adjustments.

Status. The measure was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means; more specifically, its subcommittee on social security. He did not do anything.

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KY AG Cameron Files Brief Defending Pro-Life Legislation https://proactnow.org/ky-ag-cameron-files-brief-defending-pro-life-legislation/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 00:35:24 +0000 https://proactnow.org/ky-ag-cameron-files-brief-defending-pro-life-legislation/

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron today filed a brief with the Kentucky Supreme Court defending the Human Life Protection Act and the Beatings Act. heart of Kentucky.

Her case argues that the Kentucky General Assembly has the ability to ban all abortions and that both of these laws should remain in effect.

“The Kentucky Constitution does not protect the right to abortion; this issue has clearly been given to the people’s representatives in the Kentucky General Assembly, and they have spoken on this issue,” Cameron said. “I urge the Court to reject the arguments of abortion centers that our Constitution protects an unwritten right to abortion and to uphold these important pro-life laws.”

Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act came into effect following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. This law and the Heartbeat Act were challenged by two abortion facilities in the state, and a Louisville circuit judge granted the facilities’ request to halt enforcement.

In July, Attorney General Cameron appealed the decision in an attempt to restore the laws. The Kentucky Court of Appeals granted his request.

Today’s brief follows the Supreme Court’s decision to review the challenge to the two pro-life laws on an expedited basis. Oral arguments are scheduled for November 15.

The full file can be viewed here:

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Abortion Legislation Longest in Memory – Indianapolis Business Journal https://proactnow.org/abortion-legislation-longest-in-memory-indianapolis-business-journal/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 18:00:00 +0000 https://proactnow.org/abortion-legislation-longest-in-memory-indianapolis-business-journal/

The intent of this column is to give readers a look at the results of Indiana’s abortion law from a doctor’s perspective; it’s not about taking a stand on the pro-life, pro-choice debate.

This legislation is considered one of the most restrictive in the country because it prohibits abortion from zero weeks of gestation. But it allows certain exceptions for the protection of the health and life of the mother, fetal anomalies, incest and rape.

Indiana’s abortion bill is the most significant piece of legislation enacted in memory. But unfortunately, it was rushed through. Public testimony was cut short. And lawmakers should have given doctors and other medical professionals more time to thoroughly and thoughtfully study the ramifications of the legislation.

The bill presented was pretty much a done deal, only tweaked around the edges before it passed. Lawmakers have been largely deaf to the long procession of doctors who have testified to the high potential for unintended consequences and who have offered solutions to mitigate potential problematic outcomes.

By law, abortions involving rape and incest must be performed at 10 weeks gestation or earlier. Especially for children, it takes longer to identify pregnancy due to delayed diagnosis due to unconsciousness, concealment of pregnancy due to bullying or shame, irregular menstrual cycles, denial and rationalization.

Although there may be confusion due to the inconsistent wording of the bill, the law allows abortion throughout the entire pregnancy to protect the health and life of the mother. However, the legislation’s use of a standard of “reasonable medical judgment” for this determination is problematic, as it is subject to interpretation.

What is Reasonable Medical Judgment? Which conditions are legitimate risks for the mother? When is the disease serious enough to justify termination of pregnancy? In addition, a certificate with clinical documentation must first be filed with the hospital to justify the termination. I can’t find any provision for emergency situations that require immediate action.

There is an exception when “the fetus is diagnosed with a fatal fetal abnormality”, defined as a condition which, with reasonable certainty, results in death no more than three months after birth. “Reasonable certainty” is subject to opinion and clinical variability, as is life expectancy for a specific condition.

My concerns above largely stem from the inclusion of criminal doctor crime prosecution. The ban on abortion from zero weeks of gestation creates many other potentially illegal situations. Non-physicians, some of whom have political or philosophical agendas, will question and challenge physicians who act responsibly, based on evidence, and in good faith. Responsibility for physicians rests with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, not the criminal court.

Physicians may be reluctant to act or refrain from treating in emergency situations, weighing their duty as doctors against criminal prosecution. Criminality should be a matter of intent and only for gross and flagrant violations. Such punitive, adversarial and restrictive legislation will have a chilling effect on the practice of midwifery. Access to maternity care and Indiana’s already high maternal/infant mortality rates will suffer.

The General Assembly admirably enacted accompanying legislation that provides much-needed funding, especially for low-income families, in support of healthy pregnancies, infants, children, families and adoption. . Allocations total $75 million, including $45 million for the creation of the Family First Fund. More will be needed.

The pro-life commitment should not stop when the baby is born.•

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Feldman is a family physician, author, speaker, and former commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health for Governor Frank O’Bannon. Send your comments to ibjedit@ibj.com.


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Abortion ban legislation adds political challenge for GOP https://proactnow.org/abortion-ban-legislation-adds-political-challenge-for-gop/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 22:31:52 +0000 https://proactnow.org/abortion-ban-legislation-adds-political-challenge-for-gop/

CONCORD, NH (AP) — Don Bolduc didn’t have much time to celebrate winning the Republican Senate nomination in New Hampshire on Wednesday before he and other swing state GOP candidates were on the defensive.

A retired army brigadier conservative, Bolduc insisted during the Republican primary that he would “always fall short for a system that protects lives from start to finish.” But South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s decision to introduce legislation this week that would create a nationwide ban on abortion has created the prospect that a campaign talking point could become a reality.

As his attention now turns to November’s general election in a soft state that President Joe Biden has worn by more than 7 percentage points, Bolduc has quickly distanced himself from Graham’s measure.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he told Fox News, adding that abortion laws are best left to each state. “Women on both sides of the issue will have a stronger voice at the state level.”

With less than two months to go until the midterm elections, Bolduc’s pivot is a sign of the defiance dividing Republicans in some of the most competitive states as they navigate abortion politics. The party was already facing a potential backlash from voters upset by the June Supreme Court ruling invalidating a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. But Graham’s legislation risked deepening the headwinds, undermining the GOP’s argument this summer that the future of abortion rights in the United States would be decided by individual states.

Graham’s bill would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest or risk to the mother’s physical health. Congressional Republicans have introduced similar legislation in the past, and like those efforts, the measure is unlikely to become law.

But Democrats were quick to flag the measure to warn that handing control of Congress to Republicans could lead to a broader erosion of rights.

“In the greatest democracy in the world, Don Bolduc will make women second-class citizens,” New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats, said at a press conference quickly. organized on Wednesday. “National Republicans, from Mike Pence to Senate and House leaders, have waited years for the opportunity to ban abortion nationwide. If Don Buldoc is in the Senate, they would have a reliable vote to make exactly that.

The legislation has exposed deep frustration among Republican candidates and strategists who have found no answers on abortion policy since the Supreme Court ruling. There were fears the measure would distract from Biden’s vulnerabilities, including lingering inflation.

“It’s probably the right bill at the wrong time,” veteran Republican strategist Chris Wilson said.

Graham’s plan, he said, “gives the Dems the chance to talk more about abortion. And right now, Republicans are losing when they talk about abortion.

Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk called Graham’s proposal “election interference”.

“I would like a total ban on abortion – 15 weeks is not enough,” Kirk said. “But neither am I stupid; 25 days away from the ballots, Democrats cheer, thank you Lindsey Graham.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is one seat shy of majority control, notably refused to pass Graham’s legislation.

“I think every Republican senator who is in these hard-fought races this year has an answer as to how they feel about the issue,” McConnell said Tuesday. He said most GOP senators prefer the issue to be handled by the states rather than at the federal level. “So I leave it to our candidates who are fully capable of handling this question to determine for them what their answer is.”

Abortion would have been a dominant issue this fall whether or not Graham lifted his national abortion ban. A majority of Americans say Congress should pass legislation guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide, according to a July AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll that found more than half said that they felt at least somewhat “sad” or “angry” about the Supreme. Court decision.

Democrats have invested tens of millions of dollars in TV ads focused on abortion rights. Women registered to vote in greater numbers than men across the country. And several states that have not yet completely banned abortion are imposing new restrictions.

The Supreme Court’s Republican-appointed majority overturned Roe in late June, triggering abortion bans in at least 13 states, many of which do not have exceptions for rape, incest and maternal health. In Indiana, a new Republican-backed abortion ban goes into effect Thursday. The West Virginia legislature on Tuesday approved a sweeping abortion ban with a few exceptions.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the Liberty University convocation on Wednesday, celebrated the developments.

“We are only at the end of the beginning and the battle for life continues,” said Pence, who is eyeing a presidential election in 2024. “We must not rest and we must not give in until we have not restored the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state of the nation.”

Meanwhile, Republican candidates for the swing state Senate offered inconsistent and contradictory messages.

In Arizona, Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters called abortion “evil” in his GOP primary, calling for a federal personhood law that would give fetuses the same rights as people after birth. He has more recently toned down his rhetoric, focusing on restricting late-term abortions while allowing states to impose stricter limits.

After winning the Republican nomination, Masters removed references to his support for a personality law from his campaign website and dropped language describing himself as “100% pro-life.” He says he supports an Arizona law banning abortion after 15 weeks, which he called a “reasonable solution.”

“Of course I support Lindsey Graham’s 15-week bill, and I hope it passes,” Masters said this week. “If not, I suggest and will introduce a standalone bill for the third quarter. Surely we can all agree that in America we should not tolerate late abortion like China and North Korea do.

In another battleground state, Republican Senate candidate from Georgia Herschel Walker issued a statement supporting Graham’s proposal, having previously said in a GOP primary that he would support a ban on abortion without exception.

“I am a proud pro-life Christian and will always stand up for our unborn children,” Walker said of Graham’s proposal this week. “I think the matter should be decided at the state level, but I would support this policy.”

It was quite the opposite in Colorado, where Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea said “a Republican ban is as reckless and tone-deaf as the hostility of Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer to consider any compromise on late abortion, parental notification or conscience”. protections for religious hospitals.

O’Dea said Congress should pass a bill “protecting a woman’s right to choice early in pregnancy” and “reasonable limits on late, non-medically necessary abortion.”

In Nevada, Republican candidate Adam Laxalt said he would oppose a nationwide ban, but his campaign declined to offer a specific position on Graham’s proposal when asked. It was similar in Pennsylvania, where Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz suggested he would oppose the federal ban, but did not say so explicitly.

“As a senator, he would like to ensure that the federal government does not interfere with state decisions on the subject,” Oz spokeswoman Brittany Yanick said.

And in Wisconsin, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who faces a tough re-election bid, has already co-sponsored six national proposals for a 20-week abortion ban. But after the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Johnson said he supported that decision and left the decision on abortions to the states.

The Republican senator, usually an ally of Graham, appeared to stick to that position on Tuesday without taking a hard line on Graham’s bill. He told CNN that abortion should be decided by “we the people” in all 50 states.

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People reported from New York. AP writers Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; JJ Cooper in Phoenix; Jill Colvin in New York; Bill Barrow in Atlanta; and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to show that many prohibitions in at least 13 states do not provide exceptions for rape, incest, and mother’s health, not mother’s life.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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US Senator Alex Padilla backs legislation to strengthen workers’ right to unionize https://proactnow.org/us-senator-alex-padilla-backs-legislation-to-strengthen-workers-right-to-unionize/ Sun, 11 Sep 2022 12:56:19 +0000 https://proactnow.org/us-senator-alex-padilla-backs-legislation-to-strengthen-workers-right-to-unionize/

California has more than 2.4 million unionized workers, representing 15.9% of state employees.

September 11, 2022 – WASHINGTON, DC – Last Friday, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) to reintroduce the National Right to Organize Act, legislation that would support the right to organize by prohibiting states from banning union security agreements through “right to work” laws.

Senator Alex Padilla (D-California)

Twenty-seven states have enacted “right to work” laws that prevent unions from collecting dues from nonunion members who are covered by a union-negotiated contract. These laws make it harder for workers to form unions and fight for higher wages and better working conditions in states that pass them, resulting in a 5% drop in unionization rates and lower wages averages for all full-time workers of 3.1%. percent, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, or about $11,000 a year, according to a report by Rep. Sherman’s office. California is home to more than 2.4 million unionized workers, as of 2021, which represents 15.9% of state employees.

A similar proposal is included in the Law on Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO)that lawmakers support and that would protect the right of American workers to organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

“Every worker deserves to have access to the protections offered by unions, and no state should be able to restrict this right,” said Senator Padilla. “As momentum builds for workers across the country to organize, I will continue the fight to ensure that Congress protects workers and improves working conditions for all.”

“Republicans and their corporate-interest supporters have imposed state laws with one goal: to destroy unions and discourage workers from organizing for higher wages, fair benefits, and safer working conditions.” , said Senator Warren. “At a time when unions are growing in size, popularity and delivering real victories for workers, Democrats make it clear that we stand in solidarity with workers everywhere, from Starbucks baristas to Google cafeteria workers and everyone others.”

“So-called ‘right to work’ laws are designed to make it difficult to organize a union,” said Congressman Sherman. “This not only impacts workers who want a union, but also general wage levels across the state. In a misguided effort to attract business, state after state passed these anti-union laws in a race to the bottom. That’s why today, I’m proud to join Senator Warren in reintroducing the National Right to Organize Act, legislation I’ve introduced in every session of Congress since 2008.”

Senator Padilla is a long-time advocate for equal employment opportunity, fair wages, the right to organize and improved workplace safety standards. As a California state senator, Padilla introduced legislation, which was later signed into law, to require hospitals to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan as part of the overall injury and injury prevention plan. hospital illnesses. In the United States Senate, he was a strong supporter of the $15 minimum wage and co-sponsored the Wage Increase Act 2021 raise the federal minimum wage. He is also a proud co-sponsor of Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) Act 2021. Last month, the senator hosted an event with Rep. Judy Chu in Los Angeles as well as union and worker representatives to advocate for federal heat stress protections in the workplace.

In addition to Padilla, Warren and Sherman, this legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Duckworth (D-Ill.), Wyden (D-Ore.), Luján (DN.M.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Gillibrand ( DN.Y.), Booker (DN.J.), Markey (D-Mass.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Hassan (DN.H.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Smith (D- Minn.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Cardin (D-Md.), Brown (D-Ohio), Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Klobuchar (D-Minn. ) and Reps. Lynch (D-Mass.), Norton (D-DC), Garamendi (D-Calif.), Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Swalwell (D-Calif.), Moulton (D-Mass.) , Speier (D-Calif.), Raskin (D-Md.), Brownley (D-Calif.), Kildee (D-Mich.), Nadler (DN.Y.) and Jayapal (D-Wash. ).

The legislation has received support from the following advocacy and expert organizations: American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Steelworkers , the Transport Workers Union of America, International Union of Operating Engineers, Communications Workers of America, Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Association of Machinists, United Food & Commercial Workers Union, and Aerospace Workers, Economic Policy Institute, Worker Power Coalition, and National Labor Law Project.

“Senator Warren’s National Right to Unionize Act would finally begin to put workers’ interests first in our nation’s labor laws, which have always been in favor of employers,” said Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “The brave and essential workers who make up UFCW can attest to the fact that the best way to improve a workplace has always been for workers to organize, form a union and fight together for their rights. Today, thousands upon thousands of Americans are doing just that, and despite all the unfair obstacles they must overcome, workers are successfully organizing in new industries and new workplaces. Passing this bill and rolling back decades and decades of anti-labor legislation would be one of the most important steps we could possibly take to empower the American workers who make this country work.

“So-called ‘right to work’ laws have their roots in some of the ugliest parts of our country’s history,” said Rebecca Dixon, executive director, National Employment Law Project. “Like so many other workplace laws, the ‘Right to Work’ is a policy designed to ensure that white people do not have to join unions and associate their destinies and interests with those of black workers. from South. Today, these laws are working exactly as intended and driving down wages and working conditions in far too many states where large portions of the working class are people of color. NELP commends Senator Warren for introducing the National Right to Unionize Act to end this policy and ensure that all workers, no matter what state they live in, can join their colleagues and strengthen their power to determine their working conditions. »

“The so-called ‘right to work’ laws have nothing to do with guaranteeing anyone a job – these state laws are run by anti-labour, anti-union forces that seek to undermine bargaining power, wages and workers’ rights. people,” said Matthew Biggs, President of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) and IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer, Gay Henson. “Our union commends Senator Warren for reintroducing the National Right to Unionize Act which restores a fundamental labor standard across the United States so that all workers have the right to assemble, bargain collectively and build union power in unions that have the resources to represent all members.”

“We are living in an incredible moment in history where more and more workers are increasingly interested in bringing the power of a union to their workplace,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “We have an opportunity to transform the labor movement, but only if we do what is required of us at this time and remove the barriers workers face to exercise their power. It is high time to eliminate the right to work for less laws that corporations have used to systematically reduce the power of unions and the ability of workers to come together and fight collectively to improve their lives and those of their families. We are encouraged by the leadership of Senator Warren and all supporters of this bill and determined to see it cross the finish line.

“AFGE supports the national law on the right to unionise”, AFGE said. “AFGE strongly supports the right of all workers to unionize in the workplace to ensure safety, health and fairness at work. AFGE congratulates Senator Warren for introducing this bill which will bring us closer to granting union rights to all workers.

“Across the country, workers are demanding the freedom to band together and claim a seat at the table – in fact, the latest Gallup poll shows a 71% approval rating for unions,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “To unleash the system and make it easier to organize, we need to repeal the so-called ‘right to work’ laws, which are rooted in white supremacy and allow employers to silence the voice of workers. We commend Senator Warren for pushing back against the National Right to Unionize Act, which would knock these unfair laws off the books and help level the playing field for private sector workers.

“A recent Gallup poll showed that 71% of Americans support the right of workers to unionize – and tens of millions of Americans would join a union today if given the chance,” Chip Shannon, Executive Director, Worker Power Coalition. “Right now, a wave of union organizing is sweeping the country as workers at stores like Starbucks, Amazon, Trader Joes and Apple stand up and demand their rights to collectively bargain in the workplace. For too long, so-called right to work laws have prevented workers from fully realizing their ability to organize to fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The Worker Power Coalition, which represents 24 million workers from more than 40 labor and social justice organizations, is committed to updating our labor laws to better protect workers. We enthusiastically support the national law on the right to organize.

The full text of the bill is available here.
Source: Senator Alex Padilla

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Pro-life legislation and the pain of compromise – Catholic World Report https://proactnow.org/pro-life-legislation-and-the-pain-of-compromise-catholic-world-report/ Tue, 30 Aug 2022 18:44:23 +0000 https://proactnow.org/pro-life-legislation-and-the-pain-of-compromise-catholic-world-report/
A woman helps two young boys light candles during a ‘Value Them Both’ sidewalk vigil in Olathe, Kansas on August 1, 2022. Voters rejected a referendum that would have changed the state’s constitution to say that there is no constitutional right to abortion in Kansas. (CNS Photo/Kathryn White, Sourdough)

The defeat in early August of Kansas’ election initiative to remove the state’s “abortion rights” prompted the pro-life movement to question how to continue legal restrictions on abortion. abortion in our post-abortion.deer nation. Commentators were quick to conclude that Americans would not support a complete ban on abortion, so we should instead work for restrictions that leave the window open to various exceptions – medical emergencies for the mother, rape and incest. , before a certain period of gestation, to name only the most common.

Leaving aside the political specifics for a moment, there is a simple reason why pro-lifers are wary of compromise: everyone allows children to be killed. Abortion politics is unlike any other issue. The economy, education, taxation and health care are not zero-sum games; we can receive some or nothing of what we want and our lives go on. Abortion prevents a life from continuing. It is the only question that is all or nothing – life or death.

Pro-lifers also know that legalizing some abortions is intellectually incoherent. “Life is unviable – but only under certain conditions” really means that no life is sacred, especially if it goes against the will of a hostile adult. Subjecting certain babies to the death penalty based on factors beyond their control, such as geography, age and means of conception, is a cruel whim. It’s a fine line between “abortion only in certain circumstances” and “abortion as safe, legal and rare”.

A final fact that makes compromise distasteful is subjecting God’s law to the veto of his creatures. God commands forever: “Thou shalt not kill. Many contemporary Americans, on the other hand, estranged from the Christian religion that our Founding Fathers knew essential to maintaining virtuous and just Republican government, believe that there are moments to kill when the situation suits the individual. The broad public support for abortion under certain circumstances shows the dangers of democratic government centered not on doing God’s divine will, but on gratifying the disordered wills of human beings.

Recognizing these perils brings us back to politics and the problem of compromise when, in a very palpable sense, compromise is not possible.

But compromise, in the sense of offering concessions to reach an agreement, is not the right vantage point from which to view this new phase in the fight against the legal killing of innocent children in the womb. Job-deer America is the post-Christian America in which the biblical precepts, most succinctly stated in the Ten Commandments, are seen as hateful impositions on individual license, especially the license of sexual expression.

Given this harsh reality and the fact that just three months ago America ended fifty years of free abortion for all, any law restricting abortion is a victory. Beyond the limits themselves, these restrictions also have the power to redirect reasoning in the other direction: if abortion is wrong in some circumstances, is it wrong in all circumstances? Yes, the fine line mentioned above may lead one to conclude the opposite position: that abortion always takes the life of an innocent, and therefore never permitted.

In this way, restrictions on post-abortiondeer function related to the Mosaic law: they constitute a substantial improvement compared to the social manners which marked the life in the ancient world. But, as Christ makes clear in his Sermon on the Mount and in his prohibition of divorce, the Mosaic law was an intermediate, preparatory step toward something greater: the gospel law of love. The teachings of Christ, the new Moses, do not have the same meaning or impact without the teachings of Moses before Him.

The Israelites who strove for the promised land with Moses could not have imagined the fulfillment of the law that Christ would bring a millennium later. But God’s victory has come.

We have today, immersed in an America duped by the lies of the Sexual Revolution and fallen from Christ, have great difficulty in imagining a return to the Gospel and, with it, a rejection of abortion. But with God, anything is possible, and, working within the limits imposed by our hostile political climate, we must make use of the talents He has given us, even if they are only two or one. To set legal limits on abortion, even if not a complete ban, is to take our only talent and invest it in a renewed culture.

Yes, innocent children continue to be killed while waiting for the return on investment. But abortion is such a horrible evil that we cannot rid ourselves of it. In the vale of tears that is post-Christian America, we have no choice but to sow the seeds of life, knowing that some will be choked out by the weeds before the Master finally comes for the harvest. , which is still a long way off.

Thinking about compromising on abortion in this way is not a semantic sleight of hand, nor an escape or justification for negotiating with the devil. We don’t do evil for the sake of good. Rather, it is the harsh reality of a moral discernment that seeks realistic ways to defend life in a country that sees life not as a gift, but as a disposable toy. Edmund Burke expressed this harsh reality in political terms in his Reflections on the Revolution in France: “Political reasoning is a computer principle” which often requires “balances between the differences of good, in compromises sometimes between good and evil, sometimes between evil and evil”.

Just a few months ago, mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods for people wanting an abortion were the best we could do to protect life under deer. If we could save a single life, we tried to do so. Our challenge today is that at this point in America’s history, we need to work incrementally by first restricting abortion before moving on to outright bans. This is our mosaic moment. God willing, the return to Christ our nation needs to make abortion as horrible a memory as slavery is not a millennium away.


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