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New Birth Control Case Argued Before U.S. Supreme Court

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. Read more

Finding Their Voices

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. Read more

U.S. Supreme Court Should Protect Student and Staff Access To Contraceptives, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Religiously Affiliated Institutions Are Not Harmed By Birth-Control Mandate

Religiously affiliated institutions may not prevent third parties from providing contraceptive coverage for students and staff who want it, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
 
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today on behalf of almost 250 college and university students and staff who could lose access to vital medical care, Americans United told the U.S.

Barrier Method?

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.” Read more

Access Denied

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. Read more

AU Opposes Religious Exemptions In Health-Care Law

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. Read more

Federal Court Correct To Reject Bogus ‘Religious Freedom’ Claims In Wash. Birth Control Case, Says Americans United

Pharmacies Should Fill Prescriptions Regardless Of Owners’ Religious Views, Church-State Watchdog Asserts

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted correctly today by upholding Washington state regulations that require pharmacies to fill prescriptions that their owners may find objectionable, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the most recent version of the case, arguing that the regulations do not violate the religious freedom rights of pharmacy owners.
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Faith Of The Fathers: Missouri State Sen. Attempts To Block Birth Control Coverage For His Daughters

A Missouri state representative who wants to stop his daughters from accessing birth control recently won a victory in his ongoing suit against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments in his challenge to the regulations, thus reversing a lower court ruling that threw the case out on standing.
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