Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colorado Springs this Friday speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family (FOF), the fundamentalist Christian family ministry and Religious Right group founded by Dr. James C. Dobson, a child psychologist.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in a trio of cases concerning pensions at religiously affiliated hospitals could jeopardize the financial security of hundreds of thousands of workers, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The high court ruled 8-0 that religiously affiliated hospitals don’t have to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law designed to protect employee pensions. Houses of worship are exempt from ERISA, and a number of religiously affiliated hospitals claimed they should be as well.
Late Thursday, Americans United told a federal appeals court that women would be severely harmed by the Trump administration’s proposed change to the current requirement that health insurance cover contraceptives, a change that would allow employers and universities to use religion as an excuse to deny contraceptive coverage completely.
For months, there were reports that President Donald J. Trump was preparing an executive order that would negatively redefine religious freedom. On May 4, he signed that order – sort of.
Surrounded by faith leaders on the White House lawn and using the National Day of Prayer as a backdrop, Trump released his misleadingly named executive order, “Promoting Free Speech And Religious Liberty.”
Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover should have only happy memories of Feb. 3, 2016. After all, it is the day the high-school sweethearts applied for their marriage license.
But due to the abusive actions of a few county clerks, it is a day that Abramovich and Brookover remember with dread.
“This year when we realized our anniversary was approaching, we got knots in our stomachs,” the couple said in a statement released by Americans United. “This is the feeling we will have every year rather than the happiness of finally being legally married.”
The Trump administration plans to issue new regulations that could allow any employer to refuse to cover birth control in their employees’ health care plans by citing religious or moral objections.
Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, responded:
In early May, President Donald J. Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order that was aimed at allowing bosses and universities to use religion as an excuse to deny their employees and students insurance coverage for contraception.
Gavin Grimm didn’t ask to be the face of the fight for transgender civil rights in America. But that’s just what he became when he asked his Virginia high school to recognize his humanity.
Tomorrow at 1 p.m., Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session on the social news site Reddit. This is your chance to pick Barry’s brain about the state of religious freedom and church-state separation in America. Barry will be retiring at the end of the year after 25 years with Americans United – so this is a great opportunity to ask him about the battles he’s fought and those he sees on AU’s horizon.
Americans United has worked for decades to protect Americans’ access to effective and affordable birth control, standing up to foes who seek to use religion as an excuse to deny healthcare that is so vital to women and their families. Contraception is crucial to women’s health and equality.