Opponents of two pieces of legislation making their way through the legislature in Sacramento are urging Catholic parishioners to contact their state representatives and urge a “no” vote on each.Senate Bill 131, legislation that repeals the statute of limitations for claims of childhood sexual abuse, this week was being heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. If approved, it would be sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then to the full Assembly sometime this summer. The Senate passed the measure May 29, though opponents noted that the vote was only 21-10 in favor — just over half of the 40-member Senate saying “yes” — with eight abstentions (one seat is currently vacant).SB 131, by Sen. Jim Beall of Campbell, would (effective Jan. 1, 2014) retroactively eliminate the civil statute of limitations against private schools and private employers in claims involving childhood sexual abuse. It calls for extending the statute of limitation to age 43 for a victim to sue the person who abused them. “Although introduced as a measure to help victims, protect children and prevent incidents of child sexual abuse, in reality it does no such thing,” asserted a June 12 statement from the California Council of Nonprofit Organizations (CCNO). “Instead, it is a trial-lawyer sponsored measure that discriminates against victims, discriminates against private employers and actually gives civil immunity from prosecution to the actual perpetrators of child sex abuse.”The California Catholic Conference is among the entities and organizations which oppose SB 131, asserting that the bill is discriminatory against both private institutions and victims who were allegedly abused in public institutions. Also opposing SB 131 are the California Association of Private School Organizations, the California State Alliance of YMCAs, the California Police Activities League, the California Council of Nonprofit Organizations (CCNO), the California Association of Joint Power Authorities and other religious organizations and private schools.AB 154: Abortion expansionAssembly Bill 154, which would allow non-physicians (including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives) to perform first-trimester aspiration abortions — and would reclassify those first trimester abortions as non-surgical — was approved by the Assembly 49-24 on May 28, and was expected to be heard in the Senate this week. According to an “action alert” from the California Catholic Conference, AB 154, by Assemblymember Toni Atkins of San Diego, the claims that such legislation is needed to offer women in California “adequate access” to abortion providers are unfounded.“In reality,” the CCC statement said, “California hosts 29 percent of the abortion provider sites in the nation, while having only 12 percent of the population. Access is not a problem.”In 2012, a similar bill failed to pass out of its policy committee primarily because there was no professional peer-reviewed study of a UCSF pilot project on which the proponents based their request to expand statewide. The pilot project trained a small number of nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse midwives (NMWs) and physician assistants (PAs) to perform these abortions. “The peer-reviewed study has since been published and now the proponents are claiming their report shows that abortions by non-physicians are safe enough — as both had acceptably low complication rates,” the CCC statement said. “However, the statistics in the study actually demonstrate that a woman receiving an abortion from a NP, NMW or PA is twice as likely to suffer complications as one whose abortion was performed by a physician. Complications include incomplete abortion, hemorrhage, infection, cervical injury and uterine perforation.”For more background on SB 131 and information on how to contact your Assembly Member, visit www.la-archdiocese.org and click on “Resources for Faithful Citizens.” To view the California Catholic Conference’s “Action Alerts,” visit http://www.capwiz.com/cacatholic/issues/alert/?alertid=62719011 (for SB 131) and http://www.capwiz.com/cacatholic/issues/alert/?alertid=62720276 (for AB 154).