Annual Fortnight for Freedom Celebrated June 21-July 4, 2017

The Fortnight for Freedom is held from June 21 – the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More – to July 4, Independence Day. During this period, dioceses around the country arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. In this time of increasing polarization in our culture, we can contribute to a better understanding of religious freedom in a way that respects all people. We are called to follow Christ as missionary disciples by seeking the truth, serving others, and living our faith in all that we do. Let us take a few moments each day from June 21 – July 4 to pray, reflect, and take action on religious liberty, both here in this country and abroad. Resources for the Fortnight for Freedom are available at www.usccb.org.

Governor Signs Grieving Families Act into Law

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed into law an FCCB-supported measure that would allow parents whose pregnancies result in miscarriage to request nonviable birth certificates from the Department of Health. The bill (HB 101), sponsored by Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, and Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is called the “Grieving Families Act.” Parents can seek certificates of nonviable birth for babies lost after the 9th week but before completion of the 20th week of gestation. Currently, certificates of birth are available for stillborn children after 20 weeks gestational age. Scott also signed an accompanying bill (HB 103), which provides that certain information included in nonviable birth records is confidential and exempt from public records requirements.

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