MADISON – As Gov. Jim Doyle was telling Wisconsinites on Aug. 17 that he would not seek a third term as governor, the Catholic bishops of Wisconsin were letting the faithful know of their “deep concern” about the recently approved state budget that requires them to provide contraceptive services to those for whom they provide health insurance. “This mandate will compel Catholic dioceses, parishes, and other agencies that buy health insurance to pay for a medical service that Catholic teaching holds to be gravely immoral,” the bishops wrote…. “This mandate violates not just our religious values, but also our constitutional rights. The right of conscience established in the Wisconsin Constitution protects the minority from the majority…” the bishops wrote. Insurance coverage in two dioceses – Superior and La Crosse – is not affected by this mandate because self-insured entities are exempt from the contraceptive provision. The statement, released through the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, noted that “as Catholic teachers and pastors, we strongly object to this blatant insensitivity to our moral values and legal rights.” [reference]
Missouri Catholic Conference Applauds Gov. Nixon’s Commitment to Fully Fund Alternatives to Abortion Program
August 20, 2009, JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today Governor Jay Nixon committed to fully funding the Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) program for state fiscal year 2010. Cuts were proposed by the Missouri Department of Health in June in response to the current state budget crisis.
“We thank Gov. Nixon for securing ATA funding during these difficult economic times. The Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) program is very important for thousands of women and their children, born and unborn,” said Deacon Larry Weber, Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference. The ATA program, which has spanned a dozen years and four gubernatorial administrations, has proven year in and year out to be an effective means of providing help to pregnant women who may be at risk of an abortion.”
The ATA program is allocated $1.9 million, which represents a very modest investment toward saving unborn children and assisting women in crisis pregnancies. Research shows that providing alternative services encourages more women to carry their unborn child to term thereby reducing the number of abortions.
Missouri has been a leader in reducing abortions and the ATA program has been a key-component of that pro-life effort. The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) would like to congratulate the pro-life citizens for their hard work and voices heard in support of the program.[reference]