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Volume 2 | Issue 2

As faithful citizens, we are called to take an active part in the civic lives of our country, states, and local communities.
The Knights of Columbus stands ready to encourage and provide you information and potential opportunities for active engagement. 
Additional resources include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and your state catholic conference. These organizations speak for the Church and our bishops and depend on the involvement of all the faithful.
Share This Email Forward This Email Washington Update Support of Ukraine As we continue to pray for our brother Knights and the people of Ukraine, the U.S. Government is weighing various actions in support of Ukraine and as punishment of the Russian Federation. Earlier this month, Congress approved approximately $14 billion for the United States’ ongoing response to the war in Ukraine. Part of this included nearly $6 billion in humanitarian funding through the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Congress is also considering legislation to place trade sanctions on Russia, allow the President to raise tariffs on Russian goods, and to punish Russia at the World Trade Organization.
Hyde Amendment The week of March 7, Congress passed legislation to continue government funding through the remainder of the fiscal year (ending September 30, 2022). This legislation preserved the long-standing Hyde Amendment, and similar provisions, which prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion. Other similar provisions were also maintained. However, Congress will soon turn to funding for the 2023 Fiscal Year which will likely include attempts to remove the Hyde Amendment. We will keep you up to date on these efforts in the weeks and months ahead.
Look up and contact your U.S. House Member here. Look up and contact both U.S. Senators here.
K of C Ukraine Solidarity FundOn Friday, Feb. 25, the Knights committed $1 million for immediate distribution to support Ukrainians impacted by the recent invasion of their country. The organization also launched the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, pledging to match all funds raised up to an additional $500,000. As of March 18, the Ukraine Solidarity Fund has raised over $5 million for a total of more than $6.8 million in assistance. 100% of donations are being used for those affected by the hostilities – presently to assist internally displaced persons and refugees from Ukraine. To learn more about the Order’s response, see the work our Knights are doing on the ground in Ukraine and Poland, and make a donation to the fund, visit kofc.org/Ukraine. Planned Parenthood v. CaseyIn anticipation of a decision later this year in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we are using these newsletters to provide important background information on the legal history of importance to this case. 
The last newsletter included an overview of the central holdings of Roe v. Wade. In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey which upheld Roe while making some important changes.
Casey has two important components:
It reviewed the decision in Roe and reiterated the central holding that women have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion by virtue of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It changed the trimester framework and level of legal scrutiny established in Roe, instead drawing a line at fetal viability, and declared that regulations before viability could not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.
In Casey, the Court considered the following four provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act: That a woman give her informed consent after receiving information from her doctor about the procedure (including its potential risks) 24-hours prior to having the abortion. That minors receive parental consent to obtain the abortion (or a court’s permission if parental consent is not possible).If married, the woman certifies that she informed her husband of her intent to obtain an abortion (unless such notice would be harmful to the woman—e.g. in a relationship with domestic abuse).Various requirements related to reporting of abortion statistics and the conditions of facilities that perform abortions.
In the end, the Court ruled that all provisions, except the spousal notification requirement, were constitutional under the new “undue burden” standard.
Among the justices who dissented was Justice Harry Blackmun who wrote the 1973 majority opinion in Roe. In his dissent, he defended his decision in Roe arguing that the trimester framework and the legal standard of strict scrutiny should continue to be applied to abortion laws. As such, he believed all provisions of Pennsylvania’s law were unconstitutional.
In Dobbs, the justices have decided to examine the question, “Are all pre-viability abortion bans unconstitutional?” In doing so, it will directly re-examine Casey in addition to Roe
Part of this reexamination will include whether the conditions necessary for overturning Supreme Court precedent are satisfied. Judges’ adherence to judicial precedent is called the principle of stare decisis, which translates from Latin as “to stand in the things that have been decided.” The next newsletter will discuss this principle and some of the arguments for and against overturning Roe and Casey that may feature in the coming Dobbs decision. Thank you for being a KofC Faithful Citizen. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email emembership@kofc.orgKnights GearFaithful CitizenshipContact UsKnights of Columbus | KofC.org