An atheist group has filed a lawsuit against a Maryland government agency over the placement of a 40-foot cross on government property.
The American Humanist Association filed suit Tuesday in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland against the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which oversees the property in Bladensburg, where the cross is located.
In addition to the AHA, named plaintiffs include two AHA members who live in the area and a third resident from nearby Beltsville. more >>
A Maryland-based order of nuns has sent a formal appeal before a federal court in order to be exempted from having to provide contraceptive services to its employees.
The Little Sisters of the Poor filed their appeal Monday before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting an exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services' "preventive services mandate."
The Little Sisters are being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is handling several legal challenges nationwide to the HHS mandate. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take a case involving an Arizona law that sought to deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions. The court left in place a lower court decision that overturned the law.
Proponents of the law argued that taxpayer funds should not go to help an abortion provider. Even though Medicaid does not reimburse for abortions, the payments free up resources to help the organization promote and perform abortions, they claimed.
The appellate court that reviewed the case reasoned that Arizona did not have the authority to decide which providers were eligible for Medicaid reimbursements. Federal law allows patients to see any "qualified provider," the court ruled. more >>
An Illinois-based appeals court has ruled that a Catholic academic institute must provide healthcare insurance for both students and employees that cover contraceptives.
A panel of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled Friday that the University of Notre Dame must provide contraceptives despite the Catholic school's objections to said products.
In a two-to-one decision, the judges upheld the ruling of a U.S. District Court judge against Notre Dame, arguing in the majority opinion that Notre Dame "has not yet shown that there is a substantial burden" in complying with the birth control mandate. more >>
A Florida woman previously tricked by her boyfriend to have an abortion is now using her story to convince the state legislature to pass a fetal protection law.
Remee Jo Lee, 27, stood in front of the state's Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday to tell her harrowing story of struggle and deception. In March 2013, her boyfriend, 29-year-old John Welden, tricked her into having an abortion when she was seven weeks pregnant. Welden, who apparently had another girlfriend and did not want to father Lee's child, convinced the pregnant woman into take the miscarriage-inducing drug Cytotec, telling her it was an antibiotic for an infection.
Welden was sentenced to 13 years, 8 months in prison in early January for drug tampering. The 29-year-old couldn't be prosecuted in connection with the child's death, however, because Florida law states such charges can only take place when the fetus can survive outside of the woman's body. The bill Lee is advocating for would protect all pregnancies, possibly carrying the sentence of life in prison to anyone who intentionally kills a fetus, no matter its age in the womb. more >>
An atheist organization has sent a letter of complaint to a city council in Michigan over the local government's usage of prayer at council meetings.
The Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has threatened legal action against the Saginaw City Council.