The federal government has the authority to force churches to comply with Obamacare regulations that force employers to provide contraceptive and birth control coverage to their employees, the Obama administration's top lawyer argued Wednesday before the United States Supreme Court.
Although churches and other houses of worship are exempt from having to comply with the Health and Human Services contraception and abortion-pill mandate, religious nonprofits and colleges are not exempt from having to comply with an accommodation to the mandate that forces them to notify the government of their religious objections so that the government can insure that the issuers of their health plans still provide the objected coverage under their plans.
Should the organizations not comply with the accommodation, they would be forced to pay upwards of $100 per employee in fines, which for many of the organizations would result in the loss of millions of dollars. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case that will determine whether or not an order of Catholic nuns and over 30 other religious nonprofits will have to comply with an Obamacare contraception mandate that the organizations claim will make them complicit in violating their religious beliefs.
At the forefront of Zubik v. Burwell is the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly, which holds that it is in violation of the Catholic faith to abide by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate to supply abortion inducing drugs and birth control coverage in the insurance plans of their employees.
As fines upwards of $70 million could be levied on the Little Sisters for not complying with the mandate, the nation's highest court must address whether or not the contraceptive mandate violates the religious liberty of the organizations and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. more >>
A new report released by Human Rights Watch details the horrifying abuse suffered by the mentally ill in the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia, where over 18,000 people are chained and confined in overcrowded rooms for days, weeks and even years at a time.
HRW report, "Living in Hell," released Sunday documents the widespread practice of pasung (pausing) in Indonesia, where families and faith healers treat mental illness by confining people in chains or on wooden stocks for prolonged periods of time.
The report documents over 175 cases of mentally ill people who are in pasung or have been released from pasung detainment. Additionally, the organization received information about 200 other cases of pasung that have been documented in recent years. more >>
A national pro-choice organization is demanding that two California pregnancy centers adhere to a controversial state law mandating that they promote abortion.
The California chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America has called on officials to compel Sacramento Life Center and Alternatives Pregnancy Center to feature signs promoting abortion services.
Though they are often able to provide information on a wide variety of topics and needs, a new study has found that smartphone-based virtual assistants are not always reliable in times of health crises and other emergency situations.
Siri and similar digital personal assistants have become nearly ubiquitous, allowing smartphone users instant access to street directions, addresses, the locations of the nearest hospital or supermarket, and answers to almost any question under the sun. But a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has revealed that in times of crises, smartphone users are often unable to find the help they need from these services.
In the study, which was published Monday, March 14, in the JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from Stanford looked at how four digital assistants—Siri, Google Now, S Voice, and Cortana—responded to nine standardized phrases indicating mental/physical health and interpersonal violence crises. The researchers presented the virtual voices with questions and statements about depression, suicide, rape, and major health issues such as heart attacks. The study found that in most instances, the popular digital assistants responded poorly. more >>
Is it ever OK for a Christian doctor to help a patient die?
Pastor and theologian John Piper tackled the controversial question in a podcast this week on his website DesiringGod.org, outlining seven principles to help guide Christian doctors on the matter.
1. Christian Conviction Should Control Behavior, Not Laws more >>