A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the National Women’s Law Center today filed a lawsuit against Trump administration rules that allow employers and universities to cite religious or moral objections in order to deny employees and students health insurance coverage of birth control.
Ask women about birth control, and they’ll tell you they use it to protect their health and to plan their families. They are also likely to explain that it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it’s critical to their health and equality.
New regulations issued by the Trump administration today, however, could threaten all of that. Under the regulations, bosses and universities can use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced plans today to sue the Trump administration to block new regulations that let employers and universities use religion as an excuse to refuse to cover birth control on their employees’ and students’ health insurance plans. An earlier version of the rule was leaked to the media in May but the proposed regulations were formally issued today.
Yesterday, during his National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump continued his assault on religious freedom by signing an executive order. In a speech that reads more like a fake viral email than a presidential address, Donald Trump substituted showmanship for sincerity: While claiming to protect religious liberty, he trampled it.
By James A. Haught
Every social improvement in Western civilization has faced entrenched opposition from fundamentalist zealots.
Let’s look at the historical record: In the three centuries since the Enlightenment, democracy, human rights, personal liberties and family wellbeing have blossomed. Life gradually became more decent and humane. Yet virtually all of these advances were won by reform-minded leaders who had to defeat religious conservatives who defended former hierarchies, privileges and inequalities.
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.
Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines about Planned Parenthood.
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.