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Week Ending April 25, 2003
April 25, 2003 3:30PM EST

(This week William J. Murray is on an assignment. In his absence, Peggy Birchfield, RFC Executive Director, wrote this update report.)

Religious Freedom Coalition will be working several upcoming issues and priorities when the 108th Congress returns from the Spring District Work Period.

The House & Senate will begin legislative business on Tuesday, April 29, 2003.


The Religious Freedom Coalition is a sponsor of the Second Annual Israel Solidarity and Prayer Breakfast at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, along with other inspirational and interesting speakers will address the gathering. Last year the response to the Prayer Breakfast was so positive, that unfortunately people were turned away, due to space limitations in the Jerusalem Hall. Therefore, this year the Embassy is opening the event to a much larger audience by holding the event in the courtyard, under a tent.


Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (HR 760) The Senate has passed the ban on partial-birth abortion, and now it is an issue that might be voted on as early as May in the House. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) is sponsoring the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (HR 760), which would prohibit a procedure that is harmful to both women and unborn children known as the partial birth abortion.

Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (HR 235) The Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act of 2003 introduced by Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) would lift the ban on political speech by churches, thereby allowing them to participate freely in our democracy, without fear that the government will penalize them for doing so.

United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (HR 1298) sponsored by Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL) and the IRC. This bill is a respond to the President's State of Union proposal to make the fight against the global AIDS crisis a priority, however this HIV/AIDS funding bill has some serious concerns and therefore the pro-family members will be offering 3 amendments to the current bill. The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate and vote this Thursday.

The Charitable Giving Act of 2003 Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) plan to introduce a bill, the Charitable Giving Act of 2003. This bill is similar to the CARE Act passed by the Senate. This bill will incorporate tax provisions to create new incentives for charitable giving and provide additional funds for technical assistance. This legislation will help a broad range of community and faith-based organizations to serve more people.

Pledge and Prayer Amendment (HJ Res. 46) Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) introduced the Pledge and Prayer Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would protect freedom of expression while avoiding the establishment of an official religion. The current legislation has 93 co-sponsors.


Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003 (S245) The Senate will be considering soon the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, S245. Senator Sam Brownback, along with Senator Mary Landrieu introduced this bill that would ban the creation of a human clone for any purpose. President Bush has called on Congress to pass the complete cloning bill.

Child Custody Protection Act introduced by Senator John Ensign This legislation that will make it a federal offense to take a child across state lines for the purpose of having an abortion. The Child Custody Protection Act is designed to end the practice of circumventing state laws by transporting a minor to another state without parental consent or notification.


Please visit our bookstore for a selection of tapes and books written by William J. Murray. The purchases of any of the resources can help us to continue to inform the public about key issues and legislation. We greatly appreciate your support.

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Peggy Birchfield, Executive Director

To continue to inform the public on key issues, financial help is needed. Please consider giving a contribution online or mail a check to Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013.






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