The House Appropriations Committee voted this week to extend abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers who are raped while working with the program.
The provision, proposed by Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, quickly passed a voice vote in the GOP-controlled committee on Tuesday, and now goes on for a full vote in both the Senate and the House.
Proponents of the provision argue that because Peace Corps volunteers receive federal health insurance coverage, they should receive the same reproductive coverage as other employees of the U.S. federal government. Although most federal health insurance plans ban abortion, they allow the procedure in exceptions that include rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger. more >>
The Supreme Court is about to issue its ruling in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Regardless of where you stand on the issues, what's at stake in these two cases is American religious liberty itself. America was founded on the principle that every person has the right to live her faith freely without fear of punishment, guaranteed by the First Amendment. The exercise of one's conscience is an exercise in religious liberty, since our views of right and wrong are grounded in our understanding of Who God is and what He demands.
Longstanding legislation prohibits laws that substantially burden a person's free exercise of religion, except if the government shows that the burden furthers a compelling interest using the least restrictive means. In the case of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood it seems unlikely that the government has successfully shown a compelling interest for imposing a burden that limits the religious freedom of the American people.
As Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out at the oral argument in late March to Solicitor General Donald Verilli, who represented the government, it was the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that wrote what was required to be covered under "preventive" care services, not Congress. At the time, Justice Kennedy asked: "What kind of constitutional structure do we have if the Congress can give an agency the power to grant or not grant a religious exemption based on what the agency determined? … When we have a First Amendment issue of this consequence, shouldn't we indicate that it's for the Congress, not the agency to determine that this corporation gets the exemption or that one?" more >>
It's been almost a year since the historic abortion filibuster of state Senator Wendy Davis in Austin, Texas where she took to the floor of the Texas Senate to make sure that the state did not ban abortions after 20 weeks – that is a preborn baby who is five months along with fully formed hands and feet, who can feel pain, suck his/her thumb, and whose movements can sometimes be felt by his or her mother.
Wendy Davis talked for over 11 hours promoting late-term abortion and was idolized by pro-abortion women's groups and even President Barack Obama, who tweeted in support of her. Not surprising given his stance on the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which he voted against on several different occasions. Because why should babies born alive have any protections against being killed after their botched executions by the likes of Kermit Gosnell or Douglas Karpen? Of course, our president would support the killing of children after 20 weeks in utero and promote a woman who talked for hours on end about it!
The protests at the statehouse in Austin during Davis' filibuster in the days following were epic. Students for Life, along with many other pro-life groups, organized bus tours and counter protests in support of the majority of the state senators who wanted to pass the bill that Davis was filibustering. Students for Life even made national news when the YMCA backed out of a previous agreement to allow the students to take showers after hours because pro-abortion protestors bullied the YMCA for daring to let pro-life students use their facilities. more >>
Alabama Women's Center, the sole abortion clinic located in the northern part of the state in Huntsville, will voluntarily shut its doors on Friday after failing to meet requirements of the state's new abortion law, which goes into effect on July 1.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the Women's Health and Safety Act into law in April 2013. The law stipulates that doctors working at abortion clinics in the state must have hospital admitting privileges in the same city where the do abortions, and clinics must meet the same building safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers. According to an al.com report, these safety standards require a number of things, including making hallways at abortion clinics wide enough to accommodate patient gurneys.
If these safety standards aren't met by abortion clinics the state health department must revoke their license under the law. more >>
Planned Parenthood is blasting NBC for not running an advertisement for a movie that has the word "abortion" in it, but the news agency has denied that it ever received word from "Obvious Child" representatives regarding their interest in buying a spot to advertise the movie.
"The vast majority of American support access to safe and legal abortion, and they do not see the mere mention of 'abortion' as inappropriate on network television," said PPAF President Cecile Richards in a statement as reported by The Hill. "It's far past time that we had an honest conversation around the lack of honest portrayals of women's lives in film and media."
A spokesperson from NBCUniversal responded to allegations from Planned Parenthood that the network "belongs in another decade" saying "Obvious Child" representatives had not followed through with them in promoting their movie. more >>
A private academic institution based in Colorado was granted an injunction from the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate.
Colorado Christian University will not have to pay a fee for refusing to provide certain types of birth control effective July 1, ruled a Denver federal judge.
Filed last Friday, District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn concluded that Colorado Christian University could be unnecessarily burdened by the HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," and that CCU will likely win its suit against the Obama administration. more >>