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Posts tagged ‘Birth control’

Notre Dame Challenges US Contraceptive Mandate in Lawsuit.


abortion pill
Will the Obama administration succeed in causing Catholic institutions to violate their religious beliefs?

The University of Notre Dame filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging mandatory coverage of contraception under U.S. federal healthcare laws that it said run contrary to the Catholic university‘sreligious beliefs.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in South Bend, Indiana, followed university discussions with the Obama Administration that sought an expanded exception for schools and universities from the requirement, Notre Dame said.

“This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference,” Notre Dame said in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday that asks a judge to block the requirement.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance policies with cover preventive services for women including access to contraception and sterilization.

The act makes an exception for religious institutions such as houses of worship that mainly serve and employ members of their own faith, but not schools like Notre Dame, hospitals and charitable organizations that employ people of all faiths.

The Notre Dame lawsuit follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement in November that it would hear appeals from two businesses whose owners said the mandatory coverage of contraception violates their religious beliefs.

Notre Dame had challenged the mandate in May 2012, but a federal judge dismissed that lawsuit because the rules were not yet final. They became final in June.

Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, on Tuesday said in a statement that at its core the lawsuit was about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission and went beyond a debate about contraceptive services.

Notre Dame’s employee health plan covers about 11,000 people including employees and dependents and a student health program covers about 2,700 people, it said.

The plans do not cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives when they are used to prevent pregnancy, or sterilization. The plans do not appear to meet exceptions allowed for religious entities, Notre Dame said.

Those services will continue to be freely available in the United State outside of Notre Dame, and the university was not seeking to impose its religious beliefs on others.

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

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Pittsburgh Diocese Wins Delay of Contraceptive Mandate.


Image: Pittsburgh Diocese Wins Delay of Contraceptive Mandate

Catholic groups are not required to immediately comply with Obamacare‘s contraceptive mandate, a Pennsylvania federal court has ruled, scoring a win for those who object to the law on religious grounds.

According KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Diocese challenged the provision in the healthcare law which require employers to provide contraceptive health coverage to their employees. The diocese argued the requirement violates its religious and moral beliefs.

Editor’s NoteVideo Exposes Dangers of Obamacare Law

“The issue with the services in the mandate is that they either go against preservation of human life or involve the actual taking of human life,” Bishop David Zubik told the court, according to KDKA.

Churches already are exempt from the mandate, but charitable organizations, including Pittsburgh Catholic Charities, are not. The diocese contends that the management of Catholic Charities should reflect the teachings of the church.

This latest lawsuit is one of dozens filed by religious organizations and business owners challenging the birth-control mandate.

Other federal courts have issued conflicting decisions about the constitutionality of the mandate, and experts predict the issue ultimately will be decided by the Supreme Court.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Appeals Court Rejects Obamacare Contraception Mandate.


A federal appeals court struck down Obamacare’s controversial birth control mandate, declaring that requiring contraception coverage in employee health plans is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 2-1 Friday in favor of Francis and Philip Gilardi, the Roman Catholic owners of Ohio-based Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, who argued that the provision in the new healthcare law would violate their religious freedom, The Hill reports.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” wrote Judge Janice Rogers Brown in the court’s decision.

Editor’s NoteObamaCare Is About to Strike Are You Prepared?

Had the plaintiffs refused to comply with the law, they would have faced a $14 million fine.

Two of the judges on the panel disagreed with parts of the ruling, saying the rights of religious people do not extend to the companies they own.

The Obama administration has long argued that the requirement under the Affordable Care Act for contraceptive coverage — including sterilization — as a free preventative service is necessary to protect women’s reproductive rights, though churches and other houses of worship are already exempt from the provision in the healthcare law.

Religious conservatives have blasted the requirement as a violation of First Amendment rights.

The case is the latest in a string of challenges to the birth control mandate.

According to the Thomas Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, some 74 lawsuits with over 200 plaintiffs representing hospitals, universities, businesses, and schools have been filed challenging the mandate on grounds of religious liberty.

Rulings in the circuit courts have so far been mixed, leading legal analysts to predict the issue will reach the Supreme Court.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

How I’m Praying Amid the Government Shutdown Over Moral Debate.


Alveda C. King
Alveda C. King

It would be unbelievable if we were not seeing this government shutdown foolishness with our own eyes. People may not remember, but there was a similar shutdown in the ’90s when President Bill Clinton was in office. It lasted about three weeks, where people were furloughed from their jobs without pay while the administration and Congress kept their paychecks. It’s happening again.

Now in 2013, the debate is over a ludicrous issue: birth control and easy access to abortions to be paid for with our money, our tax dollars. Oh, it’s all couched neatly and wrapped up in a “health care for all” bow, but it is still all foolishness.

I’ve been saying that as the mother of two daughters and grandmother to three precious girls, they don’t need free birth control and easy abortions. What they need more are decent homes, good education and relief from poverty and lack. Also, they definitely have to have prayer back in schools, and they need Jesus.

Why is relevancy an issue? In April 2011, White House digital reporter Devin Dwyer of abcnews.comreported this: “The elimination of $363 million in federal funding for Planned Parenthood health care centers may well force a government shutdown at midnight tonight.

“Republicans want to block $70 million Planned Parenthood receives each year under Title X, a program implemented under Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970 to provide contraceptives, cancer screenings, and pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease testing at community health centers across the country. And they want to cut off $293 million the clinics receive through Medicare.

“Conservative lawmakers say the money indirectly subsidizes abortions, despite the fact that the federal Hyde Amendment expressly prohibits such use of taxpayer funds.

“Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, but it issued a fact sheet today stating that more than 90 percent of its health care services are preventive, not abortions. The company says no taxpayer funds are used to fund abortions.”

Now that the shutdown is actually here, we can see that Planned Parenthood is still in the mix as a major proponent of distributing free birth control and easy access to abortions, while all the time they remain America’s largest abortion provider. Again, girls and women need good education, fair housing and good jobs much, much more than they need free birth control and easy abortion access, all which, by the way, remain at the core of the Obamacare battle.

Finally, take a look at what my friend wrote in his journal: “For the second time in 17 years our nation has experienced a government shutdown. I suppose there was some type of ‘system failure.’ The world will go on. Aren’t you glad that the government of God can never be shutdown, break down or have ‘system failure?’”

At the beginning of 2012, my friend, the prophet, also wrote, “Around October 2013, there is a possibility for a crash or ‘system failure.’ [Soon coming extreme weather disasters can be very deadly—pray and change it].

“People are worried and afraid because their trust is in the people that work or hang around the White House or the Congress.”

Then on Saturday, he wrote, “We will yet be experiencing financial transition during the month of October. Everything that will be happening will not be seen by the public. However, at this point the impact of what has been planned may not be as powerful as some would have liked. We do have the power to stand in the gap and Creator God is gracious.

“There are those in high offices and behind the scenes that had planned this ‘system failure’ to take a huge toll on the American people. They had planned for events to cause lots of unnecessary pain and suffering to further rip this nation apart. But during my intercession time, I felt the prayers, meditations of the righteous rise up causing subtle changes in the consciousness of many, thus, disarming the plans of the wicked. The transition that’s happening behind the scenes will be much smoother now.”

With all of this in mind, this leads me to say that I’m praying for sanity to blow over Washington, D.C., and over all of our state and local seats of political power.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

ALVEDA KING

Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of the African-American outreach for Priests for LifeClick here to visit her blog.

‘Month-After-Sex’ Pill Is ‘Abortion Not Contraception’.


pregnant belly
A so-called ‘contraceptive‘ pill that could work up to a month after unprotected sex is a ‘contradiction in terms,’ critics say. (© Gracemom/StockFreeImages.com)

A so-called “contraceptive” pill, which could work up to a month after unprotected sex, is a “contradiction in terms,” critics say.

Researchers have published a journal article calling for such a pill to be developed, saying it is scientifically possible but politically difficult.

Dr. Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship says this would be “abortion not contraception” because it would destroy an embryo rather than prevent a conception.

He says it would effectively be “the deregulation of early abortion by making it available over the counter.”

He also points to the risk of increasing sexually transmitted infections and the risk of exposing women to sexual abuse.

And Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust says researchers are essentially calling for the development of an abortion pill.

“To call a drug a contraceptive when it is designed and intended to be used after intercourse and potentially after fertilization is a complete misnomer,” he says.

“There is no such thing as an ‘after-sex contraceptive pill.’ It is a contradiction in terms,” he adds. “In their zeal to increase choices for women, the researchers have lost sight of the other person who is involved in every abortion no matter how early a pregnancy is ended.”

Dr. Elizabeth Raymond, from the New York-based technology firm Gynuity, and colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden say women would welcome drug companies developing the pill and that they “deserve all possible options” when it comes the issue.

Raymond says, “Twenty years ago, a multicountry survey specifically designed to investigate women’s feelings about a post-fertilization contraceptive pill found remarkably high acceptance.”

She says there seems to be no evidence that women have changed their minds since then, and that the current political environment needs refocusing.

She adds, “To meet the challenges of our increasingly complicated world, women deserve all possible options for controlling and preserving their reproductive health and lives.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

THE CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE

Hobby Lobby Asks Court to End Birth-control Mandate.


Image: Hobby Lobby  Asks Court to End Birth-control Mandate

In the most prominent challenge of its kind, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. asked a federal appeals court Thursday for an exemption from part of the federal health care law that requires it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill.

The Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain argued that businesses — not just the currently exempted religious groups — should be allowed to seek exception from that section of the health law if it violates their religious beliefs.

The arguments Thursday centered on the Green family, founders of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and a sister company, Christian booksellers Mardel Inc. An eight-judge panel peppered both sides with questions about whether the contraceptives mandate is an undue burden on the Greens’ religious belief.

The Greens contend that emergency contraception is tantamount to abortion because it can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

Hobby Lobby’s lawyer argued that the Greens shouldn’t face fines for not complying with mandatory contraceptive coverage simply because their business makes a profit. The stores are a “profit-making company, yes, but also a ministry,” Kyle Duncan argued.

Duncan cited the Citizens United campaign-finance decision that said corporations have constitutional protections.

“We don’t say, well, a corporation can’t exercise a right because it’s in corporate form,” Duncan said.

“Is religion the kind of right can only be exercised by a natural person? Well, the question nearly answers itself. … It’s not a purely personal right.”

Hobby Lobby is one of more than 30 businesses in multiple states that are challenging the contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby is the most prominent company making the claim.

A lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice argued that allowing for-profit corporations to exempt themselves from requirements that violate their religious beliefs would be in effect allowing the business to impose its religious beliefs on employees.

“If you make an exemption for the employer, it comes at the expense of the employee,” said Alisa Klein, who argued the government’s case in a similar contraceptives mandate appeal heard Wednesday in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Klein talked about an imaginary Hobby Lobby employee who is told by her doctor she needs a type of intrauterine contraceptive that she is entitled to having covered under the new health care law. But because of her employers’ religion, “the next sentence would be, unfortunately you have to pay $500 to $900,” Klein argued.

She also compared the Hobby Lobby claim to arguments from pacifists that they shouldn’t owe taxes.

“This is much more like a taxpayer saying, ‘I don’t want to pay into the general treasury because I can identify a subset of government spending that violates my religious belief,'” Klein said.

The 10th Circuit in Denver opted to hear the case before eight active judges, not the typical three-judge panel, indicating the case’s importance.

Hobby Lobby calls itself a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance.

The 10th Circuit judges gave no indication when they’d make a decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Catholic Church Withdraws Subpoena to Obama on Birth Control.


Scaling down a legal fight with the White House, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has agreed to drop a request for documents about the government’s requirement of insurance coverage for birth control, a court filing on Monday said.

The archdiocese sent a subpoena to President Barack Obama’s administration in February asking for documents from White House staff, including Obama himself, for use in a church lawsuit against the contraception mandate.

Citing the burden involved and calling a subpoena of the president’s office inappropriate, the White House asked a federal judge to toss out the subpoena on April 4.

A notice filed in U.S. District Court in Washington late on Monday said the archdiocese agreed to withdraw its subpoena. It did not say why.

Urgent: Should the Pope change the Catholic Church?

A lawyer for the archdiocese declined to comment on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department, which represented the White House in court, had no immediate comment.

The archdiocese is continuing its lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court challenging the Obama administration’s health policy requirement that employers generally include coverage of birth control in health insurance plans they offer workers.

The Catholic Church teaches that artificial birth control is sinful because it violates natural law.

Part of the 2010 healthcare law championed by Obama and congressional Democrats, the birth control mandate has some exceptions for religious employers but the New York archdiocese said it expected to incur nearly $200 million each year in penalties if it refuses to comply.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

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