September 5, 2013 |
The Obama administration, trying to defuse one of the most contentious issues in its healthcare law, proposed Friday a new way to shield religiously affiliated organizations, such as hospitals and universities, from having to provide contraceptive coverage directly to their employees. Instead, the employees would obtain coverage through a separate, private insurance policy at no cost. The proposed rule also reaffirms that churches and other houses of worship themselves are exempt from the contraceptive mandate in Obama's healthcare overhaul, and makes it easier for institutions to show that they qualify for the exemption.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2013 |
A self-described "loud-mouthed Irish priest" ("And may they carve it on my gravestone!" he once quipped), the Rev. Andrew M. Greeley rejected a conventional definition of his vocation. Denied a parish, the Roman Catholic priest created his own pulpits as a sociologist whose groundbreaking research corrected misimpressions of American Roman Catholics and as a bestselling novelist whose works - "The Cardinal Sins," "Thy Brother's Wife" and more than 50 other titles - made readers blush and church superiors fume.
May 20, 2013 |
In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore - as well as most grocery and big-box stores - and buy condoms. If you want to remain anonymous, you can pay cash; no ID is required. If you're too embarrassed to face the checkout clerk, use the self-check aisle or, for $17.97, get a box of 100 - flavored or with "added sensations," even - delivered to your door in a plain brown box. President Obama has suggested that restrictions on making Plan B available to younger girls are justifiable because we can't be confident that a younger girl in a drugstore "should be able - alongside bubble gum or batteries … to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect.
May 1, 2013 |
The U.S. attorney's office announced late Wednesday that it would appeal a federal judge's decision to make Plan B One-Step and related emergency birth control pills available to consumers of all ages without a prescription. In papers filed with the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, government lawyers have asked that the court overturn an order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman. They have also requested that Korman stay his order until the appeal is resolved. Korman, who has harshly criticized government health officials for their handling of the so-called morning after pill, ordered that all levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives like Plan B One-Step be made available, over the counter, beginning next Monday.
March 14, 2013 |
For the first time in history, the Roman Catholic Church has a pope from the New World, but liberal American Catholics should not expect Pope Francis to stray far from the old theology. Some things are excitingly different about this new pontiff. On matters of birth control, abortion, homosexuality, celibate priests and the role of women in the church, however, he is no revolutionary. When Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out on the Vatican balcony as the new pope on Wednesday evening, all he was required to do was wave and give a blessing.
February 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Judges across the country are increasingly split over whether private employers and their companies can cite their religious beliefs as a valid reason for denying birth control coverage to their employees. Earlier this month the Obama administration proposed a compromise for some nonprofit religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and colleges, that would allow them to avoid paying directly for such insurance. But the administration refused to consider a similar exemption for private, for-profit employers.