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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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AU Wins Another Round In Legal Battle With Notre Dame Over Birth Control Access

A federal appeals court ruled May 19 that federal regulations designed to protect women’s access to birth control do not infringe on the religious-liberty rights of the University of Notre Dame.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling 2-1, upheld a regulation issued under the Affordable Care Act that permits religious non-profits to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage directly to employees and students as long as they first notify either their insurance company or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Read more

Priests For Life Vows Defiance After Losing Birth Control Case

A far-right Catholic anti-abortion group that lost its challenge of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate has vowed to defy the law.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, said he objects to the Obama administration’s compromise, which would require his religiously affiliated non-profit to simply fill out a form and then allow a third-party insurance company to provide birth control access for any of the organization’s employees who may want it. (Most of the group’s employees are not clergy.) Read more

Time For A New Hobby?: Craft Company Seeks Right To Make Moral Decisions For Its Employees

If you’re into crafts, scrapbooking, home improvement or even building model kits, you might be familiar with Hobby Lobby. The nationwide store chain sells a variety of products for fans of these and other pastimes.

What you might not know is that Hobby Lobby considers itself a religious enterprise. Its mission statement lays it right out. The firm’s goal is, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” Read more

The Year That Was: Major Church-State Developments From 2012

The end of the year is a time for lists. You’re probably seeing a lot of them – “25 Best Books of 2012,” “10 Overlooked Movies,” “What’s Hot and What’s Not” or whatever.

Along those lines, here’s a list of the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2012 (listed in no particular order): Read more

Birth Control Battle: Federal Court Upholds Contraceptive Mandate

Efforts by conservative religious organizations to restrict Americans’ access to birth control are ongoing. For the time being, the action has shifted to the courts.

A federal court in Missouri handed down an important ruling last week, dismissing a lawsuit brought by O’Brien Industrial Holdings, a St. Louis firm that mines and processes a variety of ceramic material for heavy industry. Read more

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