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Presentation Problems: Sectarian Speakers Find Ways To Preach To Public School Students

Public schools are paying religious groups to speak to students, and the presentations aren’t always as secular as they claim, Slate reported today.

According to investigative journalist Katherine Stewart, some groups bent on spreading a sectarian message in public schools have discovered an “effective” way into what should be a secular setting. Read more

Radical Rhetoric: When Lies Lead To Violence And Death

On Nov. 30, a day when many Americans were kicking off holiday shopping in earnest, a man named Robert Lewis Dear had other ideas. He burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and allegedly started shooting. Three people were killed and several injured before Dear was subdued. Read more

Court Rejects Mich. Catholic Hospital Policy Suit

A federal court has dismissed a suit claiming that a Catholic hospital’s refusal to perform abortions negatively impacted patient care.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell ruled against Tamesha Means, who had sued the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), arguing that Muskegon, Mich.,-based Mercy Health Partners had caused her “severe, unnecessary, and foreseeable physical and emotional pain and suffering” by adhering to USCCB policy on abortion care. Read more

Crisis of Faith: Religious Facilities Rely On Misleading Tactics, Dupe Women

A new VICE documentary reveals that publicly funded, religiously motivated crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) represent a growing national problem. Hosted by Fazeelat Aslam, Misconception tackles the misleading advertising tactics used by many, if not most, CPCs to disguise their true intentions: To dissuade women from accessing legal abortion, and to proselytize anyone who comes through the door. Read more

Shamrock Revolution: Catholic Ireland Moves To Reform Abortion Law

Ireland is having a major church-state showdown over reproductive justice. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is pushing through the national parliament a bill that would legalize abortion for women who face life-threatening pregnancies.

The measure was proposed after a 31-year-old woman died from blood poisoning after a miscarriage. She had been denied an abortion that might have saved her life. Read more

Acute Agenda: For The House Leadership, Keeping The Religious Right Happy Is Job One

A week ago, I was sitting in a hotel ballroom surrounded by 3,000 Religious Right activists at the “Values Voter Summit.” Among the speakers we heard was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

Cantor talked about several issues, among them jobs. In fact, we’ve been told over and over again that this Congress wants to get America back to work. But here’s a funny thing: We’re not actually getting legislation that has anything to do with jobs. It’s simply not on the House’s agenda. Read more

Pregnant Pause: Taxpayer Funding For Abortion ‘Counseling’ Subsidizes Fundamentalist Religion

South Dakota legislators recently passed a controversial law placing new restrictions on abortion. A three-day waiting period (the longest in the nation) has drawn the most attention, but another provision is problematic from a church-state perspective. It requires any woman seeking an abortion to first undergo “counseling” at a “crisis pregnancy center.” Read more

Bad Conscience: Obama Administration Rejects Oppressive Bush Medical Regulations

Last week, the Obama administration did something that didn’t capture much media attention but should have: It officially overturned a bad policy from the Bush years and issued a series of final regulations dealing with health care and the right of “conscience.” Read more

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