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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Trump administration plans to eliminate contraceptive mandate for religious institutions

No more bullying by the federal government

Federal officials, following through on a pledge by President Trump, have drafted a rule to roll back a federal requirement that many religious employers provide birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The mandate for free contraceptive coverage was one of the most hotly contested Obama administration policies adopted under the Affordable Care Act, and it generated … [Read more...]

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Trump administration won’t drop contraceptive mandate appeal

Instead of withdrawing government's case, Justice Department asks federal appeals court for 60 extra days to negotiate an agreement with plaintiffs

With President Donald Trump’s administration signaling that it is not dropping the HHS mandate cases against religious non-profits, plaintiffs are concerned that the action does not reflect promises made during the presidential campaign. “The government has a chance to do the right thing here. It got it wrong for five years in these cases, almost six years,” said Eric … [Read more...]

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Anti-discrimination measure or blow to religious freedom?

California bishops oppose bill that would prohibit firing workers for having an abortion or giving birth to a child out of wedlock, say it would violate First Amendment right "to infuse our codes of conduct with the tenets of our faith"

A measure that would bar employers from firing workers for having an abortion or giving birth to a child out of wedlock is getting pushback from religious groups who say such a bill would prevent them from requiring employees to act in accordance with their faith. Under the bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), employers would not be able to discipline … [Read more...]

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