Trump Administration to shield health care workers who don’t want to perform abortions

New HHS rule under review by the White House would protect doctors and nurses from being forced to provide services to which they have religious or moral objections

The Trump administration is poised to overhaul the HHS civil rights office as part of a broader plan to protect health workers who don't want to perform abortions, treat transgender patients seeking to transition or provide other services for which they have religious or moral objections. Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by … [Read more...]

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Federal judge blocks conscience exemptions to HHS contraception mandate

U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, saying the new rules contradicted the Obamacare law by allowing employers to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage if they had religious or moral objections

A federal court on Friday blocked Trump administration rules that made it easier for employers to deny insurance coverage of contraceptives for women. Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Federal District Court in Philadelphia issued a preliminary injunction, saying the rules contradicted the text of the Affordable Care Act by allowing many employers to opt out of providing … [Read more...]

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Well heeled foundation spends millions to thwart religious freedom, push LGBT agenda

New York based Arcus Foundation gives millions for projects aimed at restricting legal protections for religious freedom, promote LGBT advocacy

One wealthy activist is continuing to fund coordinated efforts to limit religious freedom and to foster dissent on abortion and LGBT issues within American Christianity and other religious groups.   The New York-based Arcus Foundation was founded by billionaire heir Jon Stryker in 2000. Arcus is a partner of the U.S. State Department’s Global Equality Fund, which engages in … [Read more...]

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Significant victory in veto of AB 569

California bishops' spokesman: "We thank Governor Brown for vetoing this unnecessary, highly questionable effort to harass religious employers who provide valuable services in the public domain”

The last moment for Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto bills was Sunday, October 15, at midnight and he waited to the very end to act on several bills the California Catholic Conference tracked this past Legislative Session. Most notable was the Governor’s veto of AB 569 (Gonzales-Fletcher, D-San Diego), the bill that targeted religious employers and would have created … [Read more...]

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U.S. Department of Justice settles lawsuits over HHS contraceptive mandate

Plaintiffs will not be forced to provide health insurance coverage for “morally unacceptable” products and procedures, including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs

A week after issuing new religious freedom guidelines to all administrative agencies in the federal government, the U.S. Department of Justice has settled with more than 70 plaintiffs who had challenged the controversial HHS contraceptive mandate. The Oct. 13 agreement was reached between the government and the law firm Jones Day, which represented more than 70 clients … [Read more...]

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Gov. Brown vetoes AB 569

Bill, opposed by California's bishops, would have made it illegal for employers to punish workers who get an abortion or use birth control

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday vetoed legislation wading into the contentious debate over reproductive health rights and religious freedom in the workplace. Assembly Bill 569 would have prohibited employers from punishing workers who use birth control, get an abortion or make other reproductive health decisions they disagree with. The measure, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez … [Read more...]

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Federal judge upholds California’s abortion-coverage requirement

Lawsuit filed by three churches that challenged policy on First Amendment grounds is dismissed

The California Department of Managed Health Care is forcing churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. Its mandate forces all insurance plans to cover all abortions. The state doesn’t force churches to pay for contraceptive coverage but nonetheless requires them to pay for elective abortion coverage. The following quote may be attributed … [Read more...]

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Fireworks at U.S. bishops’ meeting

Francis-appointed cardinals oppose permanent religious liberty committee, but lose vote 132 to 53

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted 132 to 53 today to approve the establishment of a permanent Standing Committee for Religious Liberty. Five bishops abstained from voting.  The USCCB formed the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty for three years in September 2011. It was then extended for another three-year term. Today's vote was on making this … [Read more...]

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The man behind Trump’s religious-freedom agenda for health care

Roger Severino, who grew up in California, described as "the devout, conservative head of civil-rights enforcement at HHS"

The offices inside the Department of Health and Human Services are aggressively tan. Roger Severino, the newly appointed head of its Office for Civil Rights, hasn’t done much by way of decoration. Aside from a few plaques and leftover exhibits from old cases, his Clarence Thomas bobblehead doll and crucifix are the only personal touches in his work space. The media spends a … [Read more...]

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“Life is winning in America”

Vice President Mike Pence tells estimated crowd of 1,300 at 13th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast: "The Catholic community in America has made an enormous difference in the life of this nation"

United States Vice President Mike Pence exhorted those in attendance at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday to continue to be a “voice for the voiceless,” after proclaiming that “life is winning” in the nation. “Life is winning in America. Life is winning through the steady advance of science that continues to illuminate more and more when life begins,”  Pence … [Read more...]

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