ICC speaks for Church for five decades
By Victoria Arthur
Since 1966, the Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC) has made the voice of the Church heard on a variety of important issues facing society. Following are some examples provided by Glenn Tebbe, who serves as the fifth and current executive director of the ICC:
- Abortion. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand, the ICC has worked with other groups to address the needs of pregnant women and their unborn children and to uphold the sanctity of life. Initiatives have included requiring parental consent when a minor seeks an abortion, as well as full knowledge of fetal development before an abortion is performed. The ICC also supports a conscience clause for health care providers to prohibit them from being forced to provide or perform abortions.
Death penalty. Abolishing or at least limiting capital punishment has been another priority since the earliest days. The ICC led efforts to raise the minimum age for execution in Indiana from 10 to 16, and to eliminate use of the death penalty against mentally handicapped individuals. Both of these were accomplished prior to the U.S. Supreme Court eliminating the death penalty for youths and the mentally challenged.
End-of-life issues. ICC efforts have focused on prohibiting euthanasia, maintaining conscience protection for providers regarding medical procedures, and opposing physician-assisted suicide.
Immigration. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the ICC led the effort to provide better working conditions for migrant laborers, including permitting access to health clinics. As immigration issues take center stage today, the ICC is monitoring bills that have a negative impact on immigrants and their families, as well as working to support positive bills that reform the system and protect immigrant families.
Marriage. The ICC was instrumental in state legislation defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In the aftermath of the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing a right to same-sex marriage, it continues to uphold the Church’s view of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman.
Related: ICC planted seeds for school choice, and continues fight for issues of life