Statement Concerning Gov. McAuliffe’s Veto of HB 2264

Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a key piece of legislation: a bill that would prevent the Virginia Department of Health from providing funds to clinics that provide abortion services to women who are not covered by Medicaid and redirecting those funds to community health clinics. The governor’s rationale was the women should be given quality health care. In an event comprised mainly of his pro-abortion donors from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and Progress Virginia, Gov. McAuliffe makes to major assumptions.

The first is that abortion is health care. The American Solidarity Party of Virginia is committed to providing quality health care, but we fundamentally disagree that abortion is contributes to health. The very act of abortion is to destroy human life and often has negative, long term affects on the mother who undergoes the procedure. To call this destruction of life health care is a clever deception to mask what is truly being accomplished. What this is truly is Gov. McAuliffe defending his donors’s bottom lines.

The second assumption is that Planned Parenthood contributes meaningfully to the overall health of Virginians. It is absurd to say that women’s health is in jeopardy when Planned Parenthood has only five clinics in Virginia and then only in highly populated areas. They do not extend to impoverished rural areas and focus almost exclusively on city centers. In contrast, there are over 60 free clinics offering the STD testing and other screenings often touted to justify state fund going to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. If Virginians are concerned with how their tax money is invested, the various free clinics and hospitals in the Commonwealth provide more services over a greater area to more people than Planned Parenthood. Indeed, that was the part of the bill that the governor does not discuss: the reallocation of those funds to clinics that serve more than those who want an abortion.

Therefore, it is clear that this is veto is intended to protect abortion and the governor’s donors, not the health of women. We call upon Gov. McAuliffe to reconsider his decision and the Virginia General Assembly to override the governor’s veto in order to provide quality health care to Virginians all across the Commonwealth and reducing the human rights travesty of abortion.

Statement from the ASP National Committee on SCOTUS Nominee

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—The American Solidarity Party (ASP) today responded to the nomination, by President Trump of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court:

The American Solidarity Party expresses its hope that the Senate confirmation process for Judge Gorsuch will be thorough and fair, and draw attention to critical issues enshrined in our party’s platform. It is our hope that the upcoming Senate hearings furnish the American people with a full picture of Judge Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy.

A key issue of concern to the party, and a growing majority of Americans, is the right to life. The ASP believes that life should be protected from conception until natural death, constitutionally, statutorily, and judicially. For any potential Supreme Court Justice, this demands a recognition of the flawed and unconstitutional nature of past rulings which have undermined this most basic right, especially the fateful Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. This also requires, at a bare minimum, recognizing that many existing and pending laws protecting pre-natal life at both the state and federal level are constitutionally valid and in service to the common good. In this context, too, the party reiterates its platform commitments to seeking an end to capital punishment; a legal prohibition against euthanasia and assisted suicide; a ban on gestational surrogacy contracts; and special attention and care for women, the elderly, immigrants, and other vulnerable persons.

Religious freedom rights, which are enshrined in our Constitution as a “right to free exercise” and not merely “freedom of worship” are also a significant concern to the party. The Constitution clearly protects our right to live by our religious convictions, both within our halls of worship and in the larger world outside them. This matter will be especially critical as it will come before the court in cases dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as in connection with immigration policy, national defense, Native American tribal claims, and other fields of law.

The party recognizes the importance of judicial restraint, and the need to maintain a firm separation of powers and robust checks and balances within our government.  Nevertheless, it is also the case that the courts are often one of the only avenues through which the politically powerless, the economically or socially disadvantaged, or otherwise marginalized citizens may have their voice heard and their rights secured. We hope, therefore, that Judge Gorsuch will express his commitment to protecting civil rights for all citizens, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Additional critical questions that the Supreme Court will almost certainly address in the coming years, and about which it will be necessary to gauge Judge Gorsuch’s views, include:

  • Free assembly and expression rights, including the right to protest and demonstrate;

  • Rights of workers to be free from discrimination in the workplace, to organize and form association in pursuit of their mutual interests, and to safeguard high standards of safety and health in the workplace;

  • Criminal justice rights;

  • Voter rights;

  • Limitations on executive power;

It is crucial that Judge Gorsuch is questioned substantively regarding all these concerns by the Senate so that citizens can contact their legislators and engage meaningfully in the process of consent for an appointee to the highest judicial office. On Judge Gorsuch’s part, we hope that he will give the American people assurance of his commitment not only to upholding and defending the Constitution, but also to serving true justice and the common good.

January: Right to Life Month

From the State Committee:

January 22nd marks the 43rd anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  In affirming the intrinsic dignity of all human life, the American Solidarity Party observes January as Right to Life Month.

We mourn for the children lost to abortion.  We stand with the mothers harmed, physically and psychologically, by abortion.

Although America is deeply divided on the question of abortion, a wide range of Americans – from religious sisters to secularists – recognize that life begins at conception, and if we are to be a decent and humane society, we must protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

While working and praying to overturn Roe v. Wade, ASP is also committed to addressing the wider cultural forces which drive some women to choose abortion.  Thus, we support universal healthcare, expanded maternity leave, and other supports for families, including single parents.  Recognizing that life must be protected at all stages, ASP embraces a consistent life ethic which also includes caring for the poor and refugees, the elderly, and the disabled.

We encourage ASP members and all people of good will to support an ethic of life, human dignity, and an end to abortion. Whether or not you attend the March for Life on January 27th, please prayerfully consider how you can offer your support of time, treasure, and talent to speak out for the voiceless and aid the vulnerable.

Why caring for refugees is a pro-life issue — Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

The American Solidarity Party of Virginia supports a generous refugee policy. The current crisis is a call to wealthier nations to protect the lives of the vulnerable during these times of upheval and war.

NPR reports that in 2016 alone, 4,600 people have drowned in the Mediterranean sea trying to reach the shores of Europe. For the past four months, a young Canadian family/emergency physician named Dr. Sarah Giles has been working with ith Doctors Without Borders on a search and rescue boat to help those who attempt the journey.…

via Why caring for refugees is a pro-life issue — Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Listen to Mike Maturen’s Interview with Christian Humanist!

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Listen to American Solidarity Party presidential candidate Mike Maturen talk about the roots of the party and his own personal life in his interview with Christian Humanist!

“In today’s episode, Coyle interviews Mike Maturen, the Presidential candidate for the American Solidarity Party. The Solidarity Party is an American Christian Democratic Party rooted in Catholic social teaching. The party seeks “to promote the common good and the material and spiritual welfare of all people, thereby raising consciousness of the Christian worldview.” Coyle asks Mr. Maturen about the Solidarity Party, his background, and his interests.”

Vote Jeopardizes the Health and Safety of Virginia Women

From the Virginia Catholic Conference that led efforts to oppose proposed measures undertaken by the Virginia Board of Health:

“The Virginia Board of Health capped a 12-hour meeting yesterday by voting to hollow out critical regulations for Virginia abortion clinics, placing the profits of the abortion industry above the health and safety of Virginia women. The board’s vote included dozens of votes on amendments never vetted with Virginians as required by state law, and came despite repeated warnings from medical experts about inadequate infection control standards, and concerns voiced by fellow board members that the board was exceeding its authority.

The Board, comprised of 15 members, all but 4 of whom were appointed by Governor McAuliffe, opted to weaken the very regulations that in March of this year allowed state health inspectors to uncover filthy conditions at a Fairfax abortion clinic reminiscent of the infamous Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors.” That inspection led the State Health Commissioner to suspend the clinic’s license indefinitely.

The Board passed originally proposed amendments that dealt primarily with construction standards, but it also passed additional amendments—first offered yesterday—thereby dramatically exceeding the scope of the original Notice of Intended Regulatory Action. Hence, in addition to weakening 22 different areas of the regulations, the Board acted illegally by passing amendments never before submitted for public comment. Among the most egregious amendments that threaten Virginia women:
The Board passed an amendment offered by member and former State Senator Mary-Margaret Whipple giving the Health Commissioner unprecedented authority to grant permanent waivers to the regulations without any explanation. This effectively allows the Health Commissioner to unilaterally ignore the regulations, including those that have uncovered unsanitary conditions in Virginia abortion clinics.

It repealed a regulation requiring abortion clinics to maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a local hospital in case a patient requires hospitalization after an abortion due to complications. This requirement is currently followed by all Virginia abortion clinics.

It repealed a regulation requiring abortion clinics to provide or refer to resources for post-abortion counseling, a regulation supported by none other than the abortion industry “regulatory” agency, the National Abortion Federation.

It struck all references to CDC Infection Prevention Guidelines, the standard adhered to by health care facilities across the nation.
The Board passed these and many other amendments weakening the regulations despite the objection of board members who repeatedly cautioned fellow members that the board was exceeding its regulatory authority.

During a two-hour comment period earlier in the day, several medical professionals, including OB/GYNs, nurses, and infectious disease specialists urged the Board to maintain basic clinical operating standards for abortion clinics. Their remarks were ignored and jeered at by pro-abortion forces.

Yesterday’s outcome proves that the health and safety of Virginia women is negotiable. The abortion industry, which contributed $2 million in campaign contributions to the current governor, was the clear and predetermined winner.

The next step in the process is a review of the approved amendments by both the Office of the Attorney General and the Governor. However, yesterday’s vote will likely lead to costly and lengthy litigation, further delaying protection for women who visit abortion centers.”

The American Solidarity Party opposes abortion but is opposes also the degradation of health code standards for one surgical and medical industry. This is political favoritism at the expense of women, many of them poor and struggling. Virginia abortion clinics have been found in the past to be unsanitary and unsafe by any standard. This is not pro-women; this is pro-abortion industry. The American Solidarity Party calls on all Virginians of good will to demand that the Governor and Attorney General support protections to women’s health and make these regulations stand.

Watch American Solidarity Party’s Mike Maturen in First Ever Presidential Debate!

 

Featured Image -- 34Americans are increasingly looking outside the two major parties for a new association to call home, disgusted with the corruption and radicalization of both parties. Tonight at 8pm Eastern Time, two presidential candidates from third parties will be debating each other: Joe Schriner, an independent, and Mike Maturen, the American Solidarity Party candidate. Tune in to see Mr. Maturen and Mr. Schriner talk about the issues actually facing Americans and get a breath of issue based air in a political climate of insults and vitriol.

Oppose VA AG Deregulation of Abortion Industry

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The Virginia Board of Health is holding a final vote on Monday, October 24 at 9 AM. The amendments being voted on aim to deregulating critical safety regulations in abortion clinics. The meeting is being held at the Sheraton Inn Airport (4700 S. Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23231). This is not a fight to limit abortion; this is a fight to protect women’s lives. The Virginia Catholic Conference enumerates the following proposals being discussed:
  • Striking regulations that require abortion clinics to comply with state and local fire codes, including requirements that clinics maintain a fire evacuation plan and that exits be clearly marked and clear of obstruction in case a fire evacuation is necessary;
  • Removing penalties for failure to comply with patient recordkeeping requirements; and
  • Stripping abortion clinics of requirements to maintain infection control standards in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women deserve quality healthcare that is safe and has due regard for the welfare of the patient. These proposals would not only make abortions even more accessible, but they put lives of vulnerable women at risk for serious health problems. Even if you support abortion, these proposals reduce the standard of care for women during a critical and painful time in their lives. It further exempts an entire healthcare industry from complying with basic laws that ordinary hospitals and medical clinics already follow. It is politicizing something so intimate and sensitive: a woman’s health.

Come and support women by demanding their healthcare in all circumstances meet basic safety standards that all other medical facilities already follow. Above all, support the right a child has to be born with the freedom it was conceived with.

Statement from the Virginia Catholic Confrence

Originally posted here. 

Election Message from Bishops Francis DiLorenzo and Paul Loverde, October 2016

Only a few weeks away from the November 8 elections, we are reminded of what Pope Francis said to politicians and the faithful, just weeks before the 2015 election. Centering us in the words of the Gospel, the Holy Father urged “the entire people of the United States” – public officials and voters alike – to follow the “clear direction” of the Golden Rule (MT 7:12), which guides us to “treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.” He also said, “You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.”

This means on Election Day and throughout the year – even when the political discourse around us is uncivil – our civic duty calls us to engage in the political process.

As our brother U.S. bishops emphasize, “This duty [to work for a just ordering of society] is more critical than ever in today’s political environment, where Catholics may feel politically disenfranchised, sensing that no party and too few candidates fully share the Church’s comprehensive commitment to the life and dignity of every human being from conception to natural death. Yet this is not a time for retreat or discouragement; rather, it is a time for renewed engagement.” (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, No. 16, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2015)

The foundation of this “renewed engagement” is a well-tuned conscience — one shaped by prayer, the Sacraments, learning and discerning the issues at hand and the character of the candidates and, finally, by understanding the guiding principles of our faith.

Four principles of Catholic social teaching light the way: Preserving the inherent dignity of every human person; striving to satisfy the common good; and incorporating the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. For more on each of these principles, visit http://www.vacatholic.org and http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org.

Church teaching tells us the dignity of the human person is the core of Catholic moral and social teaching and the foundation of a moral vision for society. This dignity calls us to oppose all activities that contribute to what Pope Francis has called “a throwaway culture.” As the U.S. Bishops note, “Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. . . . If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ – the living house of God – then these issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation.” (Living the Gospel of Life, No. 22, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1998) As we weigh the issues, it is essential to recognize that not all issues carry the same moral weight. Our moral obligation to oppose policies that promote intrinsically evil acts must weigh first on our consciences and actions. Intrinsically evil acts are actions we must never do because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. These include abortion (which occurs more than a million times each year in the U.S.), euthanasia, human cloning, destructive research on human embryos, genocide, torture, racism, targeting noncombatants in acts of terror or war and redefining marriage.

As we reflect on intrinsically evil actions, we note in particular two areas of confusion that have resurfaced during this campaign season.

The first area of confusion is that one can be “personally” opposed to abortion, yet continue to publicly support laws which allow it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of both natural law and Church teaching. The common good and Christian charity compel us to work toward overturning – not supporting or acquiescing to – all unjust laws. The basic principle of equality affirms that every human being has an equal right to life. Abortion denies this right to an entire class of human beings, and therefore permitting it is gravely unjust and fundamentally at odds with the foundational concept of equality. Indeed, “It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.” (FC, No. 22)

The second area of confusion relates to the institution of marriage. In response to claims that this institution can be redefined, or that even the Church could one day change its teaching on marriage, we re-affirm that marriage is and can only ever be the union of one man and one woman. This is not merely the doctrine of any one religion, but rather an understanding of our basic human nature.

This clarity is essential as we consider how to vote and how to promote the common good. Choices about how to vote are often difficult. As we noted, many issues are important; not all issues have equal weight; and our preeminent obligation is to protect the right to life upon which every other right depends. Our faith tells us we must also carefully discern the candidate’s commitments, character, integrity and ability to influence a given issue.

Our Virginia Catholic Conference website at http://www.vacatholic.org provides resources to assist voters as they prepare for the election, including a comparison of the two major party presidential candidates’ stances on important issues; a list of third-party presidential candidates; a Congressional Voter Guide; and Four Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Even in difficult elections Catholics are called to bring charity and civility into the public square. We join together in prayer and reflection, so that with wisdom and fortitude, we may choose our elected leaders with a correctly formed conscience.

Faithfully Yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde                                   Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo