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OPINION
February 6, 2014
Re "The pope, the pill and the court," Opinion, Jan. 30 Malcolm Potts' claims about contraception are not uncontested. Whether nuns are prescribed hormonal medication has nothing to do with any church teaching on contraception. It is a matter between a nun and her doctor based on her risk factors and health needs. As U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh pointed out, "There are risks with the pill just as there are risks with doing nothing with regard to uterine and ovarian cancer.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider a proposition that will strike many Americans as bizarre: that large, for-profit businesses can refuse on religious grounds to comply with a federal mandate that they include contraception in their employee health plans. Three companies - Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores with 13,000 full-time employees; Mardel, a bookstore chain; and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer - are challenging the mandate. The businesses say it would require them to cover forms of contraception that the owners regard as equivalent to abortion - and thus offensive to their religious faith.
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NATIONAL
February 20, 2012 | By David Horsey
Congressional Republicans held a hearing about birth control and religion last Thursday, and the take-away image from the gathering is a shot of the key witnesses: five middle-aged men representing various religious organizations. Fairly or not, the spin coming out of the hearing was not about how religious institutions might be threatened by a federal requirement that employees be provided insurance coverage for contraceptives, which is what the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, intended.
NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - A challenge to part of President Obama's healthcare law that hits the Supreme Court on Tuesday could lead to one of the most significant religious freedom rulings in the high court's history. Four years ago, in their controversial Citizens United decision, the justices ruled that corporations had full free-speech rights in election campaigns. Now, they're being asked to decide whether for-profit companies are entitled to religious liberties. At issue in Tuesday's oral argument before the court is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide workers a health plan that covers the full range of contraceptives, including morning-after pills and intrauterine devices, or IUDs.
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The surprising silence coming from the Supreme Court over the last week on a challenge to Obamacare by a group of Colorado nuns suggests justices are divided over what to with the complicated dispute. On New Year's Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary stay to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic nonprofit charity that was seeking relief from an Affordable Care Act requirement that it formally request an exemption from offering contraceptives to its employees as part of its health plan.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
With the new school year comes a new furor in New York City over a program that makes emergency contraceptives , or so-called morning-after pills, available to girls as young as 14. The pilot program, which has been operating since January 2011, is part of the Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare program, or CATCH. It began with five schools in 2011, expanded to 14 and is now available at 13 schools, according to city officials. “In New York City over 7,000 young women become pregnant by age 17 - 90% of which are unplanned.
WORLD
December 29, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss and Sol Vanzi
MANILA - Philippines President Benigno Aquino III has signed legislation that will provide modern contraceptives to the nation's poorest people and mandate sex education in public schools, a spokeswoman announced Saturday. Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines immediately vowed to challenge the new law in the nation's Supreme Court and rally demonstrations in the streets, alluding to the bishops' role in inspiring the “People Power” revolution in 1986 that helped topple former President Ferdinand Marcos.
OPINION
May 30, 2012
Even before the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - a.k.a. "Obamacare" - 43 Roman Catholic organizations have filed lawsuits challenging a related regulation that requires employers or their health insurers to offer birth control coverage to workers. The plaintiffs say that complying with the regulation would violate their religious freedom. If this litigation does reach the high court, it could force the justices to choose between two lines of cases - one holding that religious groups must abide by generally applicable laws, and another recognizing religiously based exceptions in some circumstances.
NEWS
May 25, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog, Tribune staff reporter
Contraceptives such as IUDs and implants are finally being embraced by U.S. women after many years of doubts and controversy. In a new study, researchers at the Guttmacher Institute looked at data from the National Survey of Family Growth from 2006 and 2008 and found many more women are using IUDs such as the Copper T or the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (known as Mirena). Similarly, implants inserted under the skin in the arm, such as Implanon, are becoming more popular. The ratio of women using these long-lasting, reversible methods increased from 2.4 percent in 2002 to 5.6 percent in 2006 to 2008.
NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - A challenge to part of President Obama's healthcare law that hits the Supreme Court on Tuesday could lead to one of the most significant religious freedom rulings in the high court's history. Four years ago, in their controversial Citizens United decision, the justices ruled that corporations had full free-speech rights in election campaigns. Now, they're being asked to decide whether for-profit companies are entitled to religious liberties. At issue in Tuesday's oral argument before the court is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide workers a health plan that covers the full range of contraceptives, including morning-after pills and intrauterine devices, or IUDs.
OPINION
March 18, 2014 | By David H. Gans
Are secular, for-profit corporations free to violate the rights of their employees by claiming that the law violates their corporate religious conscience? That's the big question at the heart of the two blockbuster challenges to a key provision of Obamacare that will be heard by the Supreme Court next week. In its 225-year history, the Supreme Court has never held that secular, for-profit corporations are entitled to the free exercise of religion. It should not start now. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood claim in their lawsuits that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers' health insurance plans cover preventive care for women, including the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, violates their right to the free exercise of religion.
OPINION
February 7, 2014
Re "The rights of the religious," Editorial, Feb. 4 The Times rightly defends but wrongly interprets a federal law that forbids the government from imposing "substantial burdens" on the exercise of religious convictions and requires federal officials to pursue the "least restrictive means" of achieving any "compelling interest. " The Times neglects 1st Amendment principles in defending the administration's attempts to force employers with conscientious objections to bow to the government's edict to have employee insurance policies that provide controversial contraceptives.
OPINION
February 6, 2014
Re "The pope, the pill and the court," Opinion, Jan. 30 Malcolm Potts' claims about contraception are not uncontested. Whether nuns are prescribed hormonal medication has nothing to do with any church teaching on contraception. It is a matter between a nun and her doctor based on her risk factors and health needs. As U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh pointed out, "There are risks with the pill just as there are risks with doing nothing with regard to uterine and ovarian cancer.
OPINION
February 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Two decades ago, Congress overwhelmingly approved and President Clinton enthusiastically signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But now that the 1993 law is being used to challenge the Obama administration's requirement that employer health plans include contraceptive services, some supporters of the law are having second thoughts, and several organizations want the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. That would be a mistake. The law was a response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision involving two Oregon men who had been denied unemployment benefits after they were fired for using the hallucinogenic drug peyote during a Native American religious rite.
WORLD
January 30, 2014 | By Tom Hundley
MANILA - The Philippines, no stranger to the culture wars over contraception and abortion, will soon learn whether a controversial new law that requires the government to subsidize birth control for the poor is constitutional. The Filipino Supreme Court's decision is expected in March, but could come earlier. The new law makes no mention of abortion, which remains forbidden under almost all circumstances, but the Roman Catholic bishops of the Philippines have sought to frame it as such by arguing that any form of contraception other than church-approved “natural” methods or abstinence is tantamount to abortion.
NATIONAL
January 18, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
People recognized St. Jeanne Jugan by the begging basket she carried while walking down the roads of Brittany, in northwest France, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Going from door to door, Jugan would ask people for money, gifts - whatever they could spare for the elderly poor. Nearly 175 years later, nuns from the religious order Jugan founded, the Little Sisters of the Poor, can still be seen in public, collecting donations to support their work. Unlike some nuns who wear casual clothing these days, the Little Sisters dress in traditional garb, in all white or black habits with gray veils.
SCIENCE
November 26, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Doctors should give underage teenagers prescriptions for emergency contraceptives like Plan B before they start having sex instead of waiting until a young patient's "plan A" goes awry, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy statement. It says doctors should also counsel teens on the various options for emergency birth control as part of an overall strategy to reduce teen pregnancy. The academy is issuing the new position paper, published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics, as physicians and other health experts struggle to reduce the nation's high birthrate among adolescents.
SCIENCE
April 5, 2013 | By Monte Morin and Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
President Obama once fretted about the prospect that girls as young as 10 or 11 could walk into a drugstore and buy emergency contraception pills as easily as "bubble gum or batteries. " With his blessing, the Department of Health and Human Services set aside the advice of medical experts and blocked efforts to allow girls younger than 17 to get the so-called morning-after pill without a prescription. That age limit is poised to disappear now that a federal judge has cleared the way Friday for girls - and boys - of any age to purchase the medication without having to notify their parents or a doctor.
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The surprising silence coming from the Supreme Court over the last week on a challenge to Obamacare by a group of Colorado nuns suggests justices are divided over what to with the complicated dispute. On New Year's Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary stay to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic nonprofit charity that was seeking relief from an Affordable Care Act requirement that it formally request an exemption from offering contraceptives to its employees as part of its health plan.
OPINION
January 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Little Sisters of the Poor, an organization of Roman Catholic nuns that runs nursing homes around the country, is testing the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Last week, we're sorry to say, the nuns won a temporary reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Under the law, most employers are required to provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control. But the Obama administration agreed to a compromise for nonprofit religious groups that object to contraception, exempting them from paying for such coverage.
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