Political allies of the Religious Right, like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), are trying to convince the American public that the federal government wants to force nuns to buy birth control.
“You know, every American should know about the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Cruz said during an address at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2014. “You want to talk about values? Right now the federal government is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor to try to force Catholic nuns to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
On Oct. 22, Texas health investigators raided Planned Parenthood clinics across the state. Representatives of the Texas Office of the Inspector General demanded patient and billing records from clinics in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio and gave them 24 hours to comply.
Advocates for women’s health swiftly condemned the raids.
In a September letter to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Americans United’s Legislative Department urged representatives to reject a proposed bill that would allow religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate. HR 2061, also called the Equitable Access to Care and Health Act (EACH), is intended to permit individuals to opt out of purchasing insurance. It is heavily supported by the Church of Christ, Scientist.
The Obama Administration recently issued the latest in a series of regulations designed to ensure that Americans have access to affordable birth control, but the move is unlikely to resolve litigation over the matter, says Americans United.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted correctly today by upholding Washington state regulations that require pharmacies to fill prescriptions that their owners may find objectionable, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the most recent version of the case, arguing that the regulations do not violate the religious freedom rights of pharmacy owners.
A Missouri state representative who wants to stop his daughters from accessing birth control recently won a victory in his ongoing suit against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments in his challenge to the regulations, thus reversing a lower court ruling that threw the case out on standing.
When it comes to religion-based refusals, much of the focus in recent months has been on issues that stem from the widespread legalization of marriage equality. But there are other significant battles pertaining to “religious freedom,” one of which is the ongoing war some nonprofits are waging against birth control.