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Life Advocacy Days set to lobby against House Bill 40

Lay Catholics from across the state will converge on the Illinois capitol in March and April to educate House lawmakers on the dangers of House Bill 40.

HB 40 would force every taxpayer in the state to support abortion, since it removes the current ban on using taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions in the Medicaid program and state employees’ health insurance plans. The legislation also eliminates the existing prohibition on giving state grants to organizations that refer to, counsel for or perform abortions.

Cardinal Cupich and our Illinois bishops have each written letters to parishioners, asking them to contact their House representatives and urge a “no” vote on HB 40. The legislation passed out of the House Human Services Committee on Feb. 8 on a partisan 7-5 vote. It can be called for a vote before the full House at any time.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois (CCI) will host two Life Advocacy Days: March 29 and April 5

The first lobby day will be held on Wed., March 29, as Catholics from the dioceses of Springfield-in-Illinois, Belleville and Rockford meet in Springfield. Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the conference room at the Illinois State Library located at 300 S. 2nd St., where they will hear from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, CCI Director of Government Relations Zach Wichmann, and Dawn Behnke of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life.  They will then visit their House representatives to lobby against HB 40, and then meet again at 1 p.m. for lunch. Lunch will be provided but requires a reservation by March 24.

Participants are encouraged to wear red for life.

To join the March 29 Life Advocacy Day, contact the following people in their respective dioceses:

Donna Moore,  Office for Pro-Life Activities and Special Ministries, Diocese of Springfield-in-Illinois, dmoore@dio.org, (217) 321-1161. Download a flier here, and a lunch reservation form here.

Doug Lugge, in care of the Office of Respect Life Ministry, Diocese of Belleville, (618) 722-5038

Jennifer Nelson, Life & Family Evangelization Office, Diocese of Rockford, JCollins@rockforddiocese.org, (815) 399-4300. More information may be found at www.rockforddiocese.org/LIFE

The second Life Advocacy Day will be held on Wed., April 5, as Catholics from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet meet in Springfield. Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the Illinois State Museum at 502 S. Spring St., where they will hear from CCI Executive Director Bob Gilligan. They will then lobby their lawmakers, and meet up at 1 p.m. for lunch in the atrium at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 524 E. Lawrence Ave. Lunch will be provided, but requires a reservation by March 29.

To join the April 5 Life Advocacy Day, contact the following people in their representative dioceses:

Dawn Fitzpatrick, Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity, Archdiocese of Chicago, dfitzpatrick@archchicago.org, (312) 534-5355.

Alexandra Fedosenko, Office for Human Dignity, prolife@dioceseofjoliet.org, (815) 221-6251. Find more information here, or download a flier here.

Prayer for Life Advocacy Day

Gracious  and  merciful  God,  we  ask that you send your Spirit among us to guide  us  and  direct  us  in  order  to inspire  all  of  our  political  leaders  to advance  the  culture  of  life  in  their duty to uphold the common good for all the  people  they  serve.

You  sent your  Son  Jesus  to  teach  us  how  to pray, how to serve  you in obedience and  how  to  be  the  people  you  are calling us to be. You inspire us each and every day to appreciate the gifts you bestow upon us and to use them to change the hearts and minds of all people. The  most  precious  gift  you have  given  us  is  the  gift  of  life  and you call us to be good stewards of all our  creation.

Help  us  to  cultivate  a spirit  of  prayer  and  of  reconciliation for   the   lack   of   due diligence   in protecting  the most vulnerable among us; the children who are forgotten, abandoned and thought of as an inconvenience to the welfare of societies. Inspire  all  those  in public office to protect the dignity of  the unborn and those who are living who are deemed unfit to receive our care. Help us to receive your wisdom so that we may know how best to serve you  and  your  people.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.