An appeals court panel has ruled unanimously against a family-owned pharmacy suing Washington for an exemption to the state's birth control mandate.
A three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Ralph's Thriftway must provide birth control items like the Plan B pill, which could be an abortifacient under certain circumstances, reversing a lower court decision.
Arguments were heard last November before Judges Susan P. Graber, Richard R. Clifton, and Mary H. Murguia. Graber authored the panel's opinion. more >>
An order of nuns has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to seek exemption from having to conform to the rules of the federal government's birth control mandate accommodation for para-church groups.
The Little Sisters of the Poor filed the request for relief from the Health and Human Services mandate Thursday after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against them.
"The Little Sisters of the Poor are Catholic nuns who devote their lives to caring for the elderly poor. The government has put them to the impossible choice of either violating the law or violating the faith upon which their lives and ministry are based," reads the appeal. more >>
Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would prevent the federal government from giving the controversial abortion-giant Planned Parenthood any taxpayer funds for a period of one year, unless the organization can assure the money will not be used to perform abortions.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 in the House Tuesday, while Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., introduced the same measure in the Senate Wednesday afternoon. The House bill has 80 original co-sponsors, while Lankford is still gathering Senate co-sponsors.
The bills also make clear that if Planned Parenthood is given funds on the grounds that it won't be used for abortions and actually uses federal funds for abortions in cases other than rape, incest or to save the mother's life, the secretary of Health and Human Services and the secretary of Agriculture are responsible for seeking repayment from the organization. more >>
Republican Senator from Kentucky, presidential candidate and noted state's rights proponent Rand Paul expressed support for the federal government playing a role in restoring voting rights for former felons.
Senator Paul, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2016 president election, told a bipartisan group of justice system advocates Wednesday morning about a bill he supports to help restore voting rights to ex-felons.
"Now some have objected to this and said 'well states control voting rights.' It's a little bit complicated actually. The [Supreme Court] has looked at this question," said Paul. more >>
Religious and other pro-life charity organizations that aid sex trafficking victims will longer be awarded federal grants if they are unable to offer abortion counseling services due to religious convictions come this fall after the Obama administration passed a new Department of Health and Human Services grant requirement last month.
According to the Washington Examiner, a change to HHS guidelines passed in June explains that the department is now disqualifying aid organizations that do not offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which also includes abortion counseling and referrals.
The report adds that groups that refuse to offer abortion counseling services to trafficking victims have the option to ensure that abortion counseling is provided through a third-party in order to remain eligible for the grant funding. more >>
A coalition of Christian leaders devoted to helping end poverty has released a series of videos featuring six 2016 presidential candidates. Each candidate explained the approach that he or she would take to solve poverty and hunger issues in the United States and across the globe if they were elected president.
As over 45 million Americans are living below the poverty level, The Circle of Protection, a coalition representing a diverse group of over 65 Christian leaders and organizations headed by Bread For The World, Sojourners and the National Association of Evangelicals, challenged each presidential candidate on the day they announced their candidacy to provide a video explaining their plans to end poverty.
"This is for us a deeply moral issue and first of all, it is a biblical issue," Sojourners founder Jim Wallis said during a Tuesday press call. "What our scripture tells us is that a nation's integrity, its righteousness is most determined by how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable, and leaders in particular are asked by the prophets to treat the needy with highest priority, not the last in line but the first." more >>