OMI Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation Effort
Tamils Languish in Sri Lanka Camps – Ask your Representative to Sign onto House Resolution 711 Calling for their Release

"Stop Vulture Funds" Act needs your support


Amendment Needed to Prevent Public Funding for Abortion in the Health Care Legislation - Write Your Representatives!

Go to www.house.gov to contact your Representative. You can take action now and over the next couple of weeks. Thank you for sharing this alert with others!!


Tamils Languish in Sri Lanka Camps – Ask your Representative to Sign onto House Resolution 711 Calling for their Release

Resolution 711 has been introduced in the House of Representatives to address the terrible plight of Tamil refugees generated by the recent civil conflict in Sri Lanka. An estimated 280,000 men, women and children previously trapped in the so-called “No-Fire Zone” between the warring LTTE and government military have been detained in camps throughout the north since the spring. Many have lost limbs and most have been traumatized by the war experience. The monsoon season has made over-crowded and already difficult conditions intolerable. Over ten thousand suspected LTTE cadres have already been relocated to detention centers, yet the government insists on preventing the remaining Tamils from leaving the camps.

The Resolution calls on the United States Government and the international community to support the release of the Tamil IDPs, to press for the implementation and facilitation of independent oversight of the process of release and resettlement, and for the government of Sri Lanka to allow foreign aid groups to provide relief and resources to the IDPs.

The Resolution was introduced by Mr. Davis of Illinois and Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas at the end of July. Please call or write your legislator asking him/her to co-sponsor this Resolution. Go to: www.house.gov/ to find your legislator’s Congressional web page where you can write a constituent email or send a paperless fax. Just look for CONTACT on the home page.


Stop Vulture Funds Act Needs Your Support

The US JPIC Office is working with Jubilee USA for passage of a Bill to prevent predatory ‘Vulture Fund’ activity. ‘Vulture fund’ is a name given to an investment firm, often a hedge fund that buys up the debt of a company or country in default for pennies on the dollar. Once creditor countries forgive the debts owed them by an impoverished country, the Vulture Fund sues the debtor country in US or European courts. As the value of the country’s remaining debt rises, the Vulture Fund often recovers up to ten times the purchase price of the debt it holds.

As a consequence of this Vulture Fund activity, money that was freed up by debt forgiveness granted by creditor countries such as the US and designed to fund health and education programs for the poor, winds up flowing to wealthy investors. The legislation introduced this summer in the House of Representatives seeks to curb this predatory practice. Ask your Congressional Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 2932 - Stop Vulture Funds Act.

Go to www.jubileeusa.org/vulturefunds.html for more information.


Amendment Needed to Prevent Public Funding for Abortion in the Health Care Legislation - Write Your Representatives!

Consistent Life supporters believe that Health Care Reform is needed for the millions who do not have or who may lose their employment-linked health insurance coverage, but are calling for an amendment with clear and unambiguous language that says there will be no abortion coverage in the legislation.

President Obama in his speech on healthcare reform before Congress did not come out with a statement that abortion should be covered like any ordinary health care, as Planned Parenthood advocates would have liked. Instead, he assured us that no federal dollars would be going to abortion. So at least the President - who has strongly indicated his agreement with Planned Parenthood's position in the past - feels it necessary to regard the idea of taxpayer-funding of abortion as a controversy to avoid.
 
Nevertheless, the wording is a game. All amendments to keep abortion from being paid for under the reforms were voted down in committee. Obama was referring to the Capps amendment to H.R. 3200, which is what abortion defenders have offered as a "compromise." It's a compromise in the sense that they cede ground on the idea that abortion should be treated no differently from ordinary medical care. Abortion would be covered under "private" dollars of premiums instead of "federal" dollars of taxes. For a neutral assessment on this, see:
 
http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/abortion-which-side-is-fabricating/
 
The issue of funding for abortion is absolutely crucial. When the Hyde Amendment that stopped Medicaid funding of abortion went into effect, states that stopped funding saw a dramatic downturn in abortions immediately. Experience shows that the availability of funding is a major factor in whether abortions happen. There has been for several years now a downward trend in abortions, and an even more dramatic downward trend in first-time abortions. This is good news about violence that didn't happen, and also good news about progress that is being made. The abortion business is collapsing. It could be resuscitated by an infusion of "private" dollars mandated by government policy.
 
Health Care Reform is vitally important for the health of Americans and that of our economy. At the same time, it needs to include an amendment that has clear and unambiguous language that there will be no abortion coverage.
 
Now is an excellent time to contact your national elected representatives with this point. The next few weeks are the strategically important period to push this point, and then push it again.





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