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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

Birth Control Battle: U.S. Supreme Court Weighs Limits Of ‘Religious Freedom’

People of faith who live in the United States sometimes have to make compromises between their personal beliefs and following the law. As far as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is concerned, there is no obvious way to distinguish when violating one’s faith is acceptable and when it isn’t.

“Sometimes when a religious person…is a member of a society he does have to accept all sorts of things that are terrible to him,” said Kennedy during oral arguments this morning in the consolidated case of Zubik v. Burwell. Read more

Save The Day: Celebrating Real Religious Freedom

Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it’s not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn’t be overlooked. Our country is in the middle of a campaign, spearheaded by far-right religious groups and their political allies, to redefine religious freedom. We cannot allow this to happen. 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

‘Chastity’ Expert Invited To Speak To Students In El Paso Public Schools

A self-appointed “chastity” expert who works for a traditionalist Cath­olic ministry was invited to speak in two El Paso, Texas, high schools last month.

Jason Evert runs an outfit called Chastity Project, which seeks to convince women not to use birth-control pills. The group also takes anti-gay stands and makes claims that are at best medically inaccurate. One video on Evert’s website makes a scientifically disproven claim that birth control pills cause abortions. Read more

Wash. Emergency Birth Control Regs Upheld By Federal Appeals Court

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Washington state regulations that require pharmacies to fill prescriptions that their owners may find objectionable, a decision applauded by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The July 23 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals protects Americans’ access to necessary medications and health care, AU said. 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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Win For Women: Court Says Little Sisters Of The Poor Don't Have A ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Opt Out Of Contraceptive Mandate

When it comes to religion-based refusals, much of the focus in recent months has been on issues that stem from the widespread legalization of marriage equality. But there are other significant battles pertaining to “religious freedom,” one of which is the ongoing war some nonprofits are waging against birth control. Read more

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