Ballot Measures this November The states of the United States will all be having elections this November 6, and some will have state-wide or local referendums. These are by their nature single-issue. So far, we’ve found no referendums dealing with the death penalty or with euthanasia/assisted suicide, as there have been in the past. If any of our subscribers are aware of such referendums (in the U.S. or in other countries), or ones that relate well to war, racism, or poverty, please let us know. There are three on abortion:
West Virginia Sometimes called in the press the “No Constitutional Right to Abortion Amendment,” it would be an amendment to the state’s constitution to overturn the state court’s ruling requiring Medicaid funding of abortion. The measure was put on the ballot by the legislature with 73% voting yes. Its official title: Amendment No. 1: Acknowledging Legislative Authority Relating to Protection of Innocent Life Amendment
See the Yes on 1 campaign page. The campaign seems to focus on the undesirability of taxpayers paying for abortions, and isn’t yet including the theme of how taxpayer funding hurts pregnant women, nor how people born alive with Medicaid funds benefited from the cut-off of abortion funding in other states. The more we can do to find ways to bring that up in West Virginia, the better.
Oregon On July 27, the state announced there were enough valid signatures collected to put the Ban Public Funds for Abortions Initiative on the ballot (see wording at Ballotpedia). The Yes campaign, which emphasizes both women and babies, is organized by Oregon Life United.
Alabama The legislature voted to put on the ballot the Alabama State Abortion Policy Amendment. Unlike the above two states, Alabama doesn’t fund abortions now, nor does it fund Planned Parenthood through Title X. The purpose of this amendment to the Alabama state constitution is to keep judges from using the Alabama constitution for abortion access in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. It would declare that the state’s policy is to support the right to life of the unborn, and that nothing in the Alabama constitution protects a right to abortion or its taxpayer funding. No official “yes” campaign has yet been identified.
New Issue of Life Matters Journal
The August issue of Life Matters Journal, the magazine of CLN member group Rehumanize International, focuses on the relationship between art and work against violence. CLN President John Whitehead reviews the impact of George Orwell's 1984, 70 years after its original publication date; Christy Yao skims the history of art and activism (touching on Picasso's Guernica); and Dr. David Franks reflects on the men, women, and children seeking refuge at our border through the lens of story and faith. Editor CJ Williams reflects that "Art can be the answer to violence when arguing creates more violence."
Latest CLN Blog Post Literature professor Jeff Koloze considers Right-to-Life Issues in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian Literature.
Quotation of the Week Revised Catholic Catechism section on Death Penalty, July 2018 2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,”, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
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