Roundup: EEOC Against New HHS Regs; Anti-Choicers Work for Abortion Reduction; ACLU Seeks Policy on Teen RH

Emily Douglas

EEOC officials oppose new HHS regulations; anti-choicers move toward common ground; ACLU seeks documents regarding teen health policy; priest asks parishioners to repent for voting for Obama.

EEOC Opposes New HHS Regulations

The New York Times’ Robert Pear, who broke the story on the new HHS provider
conscience regulations, wrote
yesterday that the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
is "strenuous[ly]" objecting to the new regulations,
which would broaden protections for providers who morally oppose to certain
health care and would allow them to refuse to provide treatment without
referring the patient to a provider who would provide care.  Pear explains the current balance of employer
and patient rights in the area of provider conscience:

Under the Civil Rights
Act, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s
religious practices, unless the employer can show that doing so would cause
"undue hardship on the conduct of its business."

In a letter commenting on the proposed rule, Mr. Ishimaru and Ms. Griffin,
from the employment commission, said that 40 years of court decisions had
carefully balanced "employees’ rights to religious freedom and employers’
business needs."

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The proposed rule, they said, "would throw this entire body of law into

Some Anti-Choice
Evangelicals and Catholics Work Toward Abortion Reduction

Writes Jacqueline
Salmon in the Washington Post
, "Some of the activists [opposed to legal abortion] are actually working
with abortion rights advocates to push for legislation in Congress that would
provide pregnant women with health care, child care and money for education —
services that could encourage them to continue their pregnancies."  The focus of these activists does not seem to
be the banning of legal abortion, which causes Joe Scheidler, founder of the
Pro-Life Action League, to call the activists "sell-outs."  The coalition backs two House bills, including
the Pregnant Women’s Support Act, sponsored by Rep.
Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.)
, and the Reducing the Need for Abortion and
Supporting Parents Act, sponsored by Reps. Rosa
(D-Conn.) and Tim
(D-Ohio), who oppose abortion.

ACLU Seeks Documents
Outlining Government Policies On Teens’ Access To Reproductive Health Services

The Administration of Children & Families (ACF) has
ignored the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act requests for information about
its policies concerning refugee and undocumented teenagers’ access to health
care services, so the ACLU yesterday asked a federal court to order ACF to
release the documents.  Said the ACLU in
a release,

ACF issued the policy at issue after the media reported in June
2008 that Commonwealth Catholic Charities of Virginia fired four social workers
who helped an unaccompanied, undocumented 16-year-old in its custody obtain an
abortion and contraception. Commonwealth Catholic Charities receives funding
through a federal grant administered for ACF by the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops. The executive director of the Commonwealth of Catholic
Charities defended the group’s actions by stating
in the press that facilitating access to abortion and contraception is
"contrary to basic teachings of the Catholic Church.

"The Administration for Children
and Families must ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to provide for the
needs of some of the most vulnerable children and teens that make it to our
shores. They are in need of our compassion and care," said Daniel Mach,
Director of Litigation for the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.
"Instead, the government appears to be allowing U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops and its subcontractors to use federal dollars to impose their
religious beliefs on teenagers from a wide range of religious backgrounds who
have very few, if any, opportunities to obtain the necessary care on their own." 


Priest Asks Parishioners
to Repent for Voting for Obama

Father Jay Scott Newman, a Greenville, South Carolina,
priest has
asked members of his church
who voted for Obama to repent before seeking Communion.


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