Freedom of faith, conscience and speech

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Press coverage and commentaries: Freedom2Care In the News

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VICTORY in HHS transgender mandate case

Becket Fund wins nationwide injunction for Christian Medical Association, others

December 31, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Moments ago a Texas court protected the rights of families and their doctors to make medical decisions for their child free from government bureaucrats' interference. The court ruling comes after eight states, an association of almost 18,000 doctors, and a Catholic hospital system challenged a federal regulation that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes the treatment could harm the child. "This is a common-sense ruling: The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures that the government itself recognizes can be harmful, particularly to children, and that the government exempts its own doctors from performing," said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket Law, which filed a lawsuit against the new federal regulation. Becket Law defended Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and the Christian Medical Association from the new government regulation. The States of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi joined Becket's legal challenge.

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Filed under: Christian Medical AssociationBecket FundGender

For Some Faith-Based Institutions, Trump Represents a Reprieve

National Review Online commentary by Jim Towey

December 12, 2016

Perhaps more than any other sector in America, the ivory towers of academia are mourning the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the departure of President Barack Obama, and the election of Donald Trump. For our faith-based university, however, the changing of the guard cannot come soon enough. The Obama administration's sustained assault on religious liberty and the right of conscience, and the ineptitude of his White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, had campuses and religious charities of conservative, religious orientation struggling to survive. President Obama threatened crippling fines if a college refused as a matter of conscience to make contraceptive services, including sterilization and abortifacient drugs, available in the health plans offered to its employees and students. The government's foreign-assistance apparatus required a pledge of allegiance to the LGBT and "reproduction freedom" agendas as a condition for grants.

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Filed under: Religious freedomContraceptionEducation

Religious groups challenge Vt. end-of-life law

Barre Montpelier Times-Argus

December 10, 2016

In July, a lawsuit challenging the Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act from 2013 was filed by the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical Association, which is based in Tennessee. The suit said that Vermont joined Oregon, Washington and California in allowing doctors to prescribe a medication that would allow a terminally ill patient to end their life. But Vermont is the first state that requires all health care professionals to discuss all the patient's options, including the life-ending medication. in a press release sent after the lawsuit was filed, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based advocacy group, described the issue as urging the federal court, "Don't allow Vermont to force us to help kill patients."

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Filed under: Christian Medical AssociationAlliance Defending FreedomEnd of life

5 quick ways a new HHS secretary could change health policy

Washington Post

December 5, 2016

Conscience protections: At the very end of the George W. Bush administration, HHS issued rules intended to clarify that health-care professionals did not have to participate in performing abortions, sterilizations or other procedures that violated a “religious belief or moral conviction.” The Obama administration revised the rules dramatically, much to the continuing consternation of conservatives. They are among the few health-related items included on the president-elect’s website, which says, “The Administration will act to protect individual conscience in health care.” Many expect the rules to be reinstituted in their original form.

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Filed under: AbortionConscience freedomHealthcare

Lawmakers Miss Their Chance to Protect Religious Liberty

Daily Signal

December 1, 2016

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., realized the need to ensure that churches, religious organizations, and other nonprofits weren't forced to choose between contracting with the federal government or living by their foundational religious beliefs. He introduced the Russell Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Heritage Foundation expert Roger Severino explains the need, and simplicity, of the amendment: "The Russell Amendment is sound policy that will prevent the administration from stripping contracts and grants from faith-based social service providers whose internal staffing policies reflect their faith. Jewish day schools and Catholic adoption centers, for example, are not liable under Title VII for being authentically Jewish or Catholic, and their staffing policies shouldn't disqualify them from federal grants and contracts either."

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Filed under: Religious freedomHeritage FoundationLegislation

Are Religious Healthcare Systems "Churches"?

Federalist Society video with Eric Rassbach

November 30, 2016

What are the limits of what constitutes a "church" under ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act? Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, explains the upcoming Supreme Court Case, Dignity Health v. Rollins. The "Dignity Case" highlights the ambiguity of the definition of "church-established enterprises," such as the health care systems of religious organizations, and how they are impacted by the parameters of what constitutes religious exercise.

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Filed under: AudiovisualsReligious freedomBecket Fund

Three steps to landing a job in the new administration

Freedom2Care blog post by Jonathan Imbody

November 30, 2016

With the election of 2016 now behind us, we the people now transition to the task of governing ourselves-not only through the leaders we have chosen, but also directly, through government service. With a new administration that has voiced support for pro-life protections and religious freedom, you have an opportunity to help realize those goals by serving in the United States government. Months before the Nov. 8 election, we began working with key contacts in Washington, DC to begin identifying well-qualified, principled health professionals to serve in a 2017 administration. Now that the presidential transition team has kicked into overdrive, we are stepping up efforts to provide names and CVs of individuals willing to consider federal service.

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Filed under: Christian Medical AssociationHealthcareElections

Price Tagged for HHS Post

Washington Update commentary by Tony Perkins

November 29, 2016

As the New York Times put it, "If [Trump] wanted a cabinet secretary who could help him dismantle and replace President Obama's health care law, he could not have found anyone more prepared than Representative Tom Price..." For six years, the Georgia Chairman of the House Budget Committee has been leading the charge to topple President Obama's signature failure -- and as the head of the agency in charge of overseeing health care, he'll be in the perfect place to see that goal through to completion. And based on today's polling, he'll have plenty of grassroots support when he does. A whopping eight in 10 Americans told Gallup this month that they'd like to see the law either fully repealed or significantly changed. Only 14 percent approve of the "Affordable" Care Act that continues to crush jobs, medical choices, family budgets, freedom, and conscience. "There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors," Price told reporters, "that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit."

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Filed under: Family Research CouncilConscience freedomHealthcare

Freedom of Conscience on Hacksaw Ridge

Breakpoint radio commentary by Eric Metaxas

November 28, 2016

And now there's an amazing, powerful film about one man who was willing to give his life, but whose conscience and deeply held religious beliefs would not allow him to take the lives of others. Mel Gibson's new movie, "Hacksaw Ridge," tells the story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist from the hills of Virginia, who enlisted in the Army with the understanding he could serve as a medic-and therefore not violate his firm belief in "thou shalt not kill." Times in which florists and bakers are being hauled before civil rights commissions, being fined, losing their businesses; times in which pharmacists in Washington State can lose their licenses for refusing to dispense abortion pills; times in which churches in Massachusetts can run afoul of "public accommodation" laws requiring gender neutral bathrooms-we do indeed have a model in Desmond Doss.

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Filed under: AudiovisualsConscience freedomMilitary

ACLU wants to force Catholic health care system to sterilize women

Alliance Defending Freedom news release

November 21, 2016

ADF explains in the letter that federal law protects Ascension Health, the nation's largest nonprofit health system and the world's largest Catholic health system, from being forced to perform sterilization procedures in contradiction to its religious convictions. As the letter explains, not only does the federal Church Amendment offer such protections, but the Affordable Care Act on which the ACLU relies also protects Ascension by stating explicitly that nothing in the ACA "shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding...conscience protection." "No one should be forced to perform or participate in a procedure when doing so would violate their conscience. This is especially true of medical workers and health care systems who are in the profession largely because of-and as an extension of-their faith," said ADF Legal Counsel Ken Connelly.

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Filed under: AbortionReligious freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

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