Today, Americans United asked the Seventh Circuit to allow a student at the University of Notre Dame to defend her right to health insurance that covers contraception, despite Notre Dame’s ongoing litigation to deprive its students and faculty of that coverage.
In parts of China, government officials are going around to Christian churches and pulling down the crosses. That’s religious persecution.
But being expected to mind your own business while people do things that your religion doesn’t approve of is not religious persecution.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who heads up the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, seems confused on this point. Lori recently complained about “bloodless persecution” of religion in America.
The U.S. Supreme Court today took a pass on dealing with the important question of access to birth control, an action that could leave tens of thousands of women in limbo, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a brief order issued this morning, the high court vacated several cases before it dealing with employee access to birth control and sent them back to lower courts for more proceedings.
The U.S. Supreme Court in March heard oral arguments in a case that will determine whether religiously affiliated non-profits have the right to deny women employees access to birth control on the basis of the groups’ theological beliefs.
The March 23 argument lasted 90 minutes and was marked by spirited exchanges and sharp questioning from the justices. A clear division emerged from the court’s liberal and conservative wings, leading some analysts to speculate that the high court may split 4-4.
In the ongoing dispute over access to birth control, one thing has often been missing: the voices of women who stand to lose the most if contraceptives become harder to get.
Americans United is working to change that.
Political allies of the Religious Right, like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), are trying to convince the American public that the federal government wants to force nuns to buy birth control.
“You know, every American should know about the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Cruz said during an address at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2014. “You want to talk about values? Right now the federal government is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor to try to force Catholic nuns to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
On Oct. 22, Texas health investigators raided Planned Parenthood clinics across the state. Representatives of the Texas Office of the Inspector General demanded patient and billing records from clinics in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio and gave them 24 hours to comply.
Advocates for women’s health swiftly condemned the raids.
In a September letter to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Americans United’s Legislative Department urged representatives to reject a proposed bill that would allow religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate. HR 2061, also called the Equitable Access to Care and Health Act (EACH), is intended to permit individuals to opt out of purchasing insurance. It is heavily supported by the Church of Christ, Scientist.