Yesterday marked the 51st anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, a landmark Supreme Court decision that broadened access to contraception. In a 7-2 decision, the nation’s highest court found that the Connecticut Comstock Act of 1879, which banned contraceptives, violated the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy.
For the third time President Barack Obama has put forth a proposed budget that slashes government funding for abstinence-only education programs.
Obama’s 2016-2017 budget, which was released in February, deleted $10 million for the programs. The abstinence-only approach is favored by the Religious Right, although polls show that most Americans favor comprehensive sex education. Given the far right’s support for such programs, Obama’s earlier attempts to cut their funding have failed, and the money was restored by congressional conservatives.
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.”
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.
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.
The idea of legalized abortion has polarized Americans ever since Roe v. Wade.
In response to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage, “conscience” has become the Religious Right’s newest mantra. Far-right groups have rallied around the claim that publicly subsidized coverage for birth control forces them to violate their consciences.
So it’s little surprise the topic took center stage at this year’s Values Voters Summit. At a panel on the ACA, “Obamacare” to many, speakers decried the bill and the Department of Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate in particular as a terrific blow to religious liberty.
After learning of several incidents in Washington and other states in which pharmacists refused to fill prescriptions for birth-control pills, emergency contraception, and other medications, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy adopted regulations in July 2007 requiring pharmacies to dispense lawfully prescribed drugs, while allowing individual pharmacists to have a colleague fill a prescription if they themselves object to filling it for religious or moral reasons.