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Old 06-29-2014, 02:36 PM   #281
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Default Hobby Lobby Ruling To Be Handed Down Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 10 am, the Supreme Court will hand down its decision on the Hobby Lobby case — and it will be a big one. Here's what to expect.




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Old 06-30-2014, 04:01 PM   #282
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Default Aaaand women lost. Fuck the Supreme Court.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/supre...law-1404155510

Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Ignites Debate Over Religious-Freedom Law
Decision Cites Two-Decades-Old Religious Freedom Restoration Act

By KRISTINA PETERSON
June 30, 2014 3:11 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Monday's Supreme Courtdecision enabling some private companies to opt out of the federal health law's contraception coverage requirements ignited partisan dueling over not just the 2010 health-care law but over a 1993 religious-freedom law cited in the decision.

The high court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case refocused attention on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that passed Congress overwhelmingly in 1993, with the support of some lawmakers still serving in both the House and Senate. The statute requires federal laws to accommodate individuals' religious beliefs unless there is a compelling interest at stake that can't be attained through other means.

While Republicans on Monday triumphantly pointed to the law's role in the decision, Democrats said they hadn't anticipated the law would be so broadly expanded.

In the case, the owners of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., an Oklahoma City arts-and-crafts chain owned by an evangelical Christian family, and other companies challenged the Affordable Care Act by saying their religions consider certain birth-control methods immoral and therefore they weren't obliged to help provide them under the religious-freedom law.

The Supreme Court's majority agreed, citing the religious-freedom law in its decision.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the lead Republican sponsor of the religious-freedom law when it passed the Senate in a 97-3 vote, said Monday's decision affirmed Congress' decision to pass the law in the first place.

"As the Supreme Court rightfully said today, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act could not have been clearer in saying religious liberty of all Americans must be equally protected and not unnecessarily burdened," Mr. Hatch said in a statement. "That's why RFRA passed Congress overwhelmingly more than 20 years ago."

The bill passed the House on a voice vote and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

But Democrats who had supported the law in 1993 said they hadn't intended for it to be used as a shield protecting for-profit employers from the health law's requirements. The 1993 law refers to "persons" and the Obama administration contended that the law doesn't include for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby.

"No matter how sincerely held a religious belief might be, for-profit employers—like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood—should not be allowed to wield their beliefs as a means of denying employees access to critical preventive health-care services," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) who supported the law in 1993. At the time, lawmakers kept in place a principle that religion doesn't exempt for-profit businesses from complying with civil rights laws, for example, Mr. Nadler said.

The bill was introduced in March 1993 by Charles Schumer of New York, then in the House, now a member of the Senate's Democratic leadership. Mr. Schumer joined a group of 18 other Senate Democrats who filed an amicus brief supporting the Obama administration in the Hobby Lobby case. In the brief, the Democrats had urged the court to clarify that the religious-freedom law doesn't permit for-profit businesses to deny health coverage to their employees based on their owners' religious objections.

In a statement Monday, Mr. Schumer called the Supreme Court's decision "dead wrong," saying the law he introduced was intended to give individuals the ability "to exercise their religious beliefs without government interference." The law "was not intended to extend the same protection to for-profit corporations, whose very purpose is to profit from the open market," he said.

Republicans had filed their own briefs supporting the challengers and arguing that the health law's mandate violated the religious-freedom law.

The law in question was originally intended to nullify a decision from Justice Antonin Scalia in the early 1990s that denied religious exemptions from generally applicable laws. The dispute arose when Oregon denied unemployment benefits to adherents of a Native American religion who used peyote, a controlled substance, in their ceremonies.

—Jess Bravin, Beth Reinhard and Louise Radnofsky contributed to this article.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:34 PM   #283
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Default Another article on the above topic, since sometimes the link to the above article hits a paywall.

(I was just going to post the link to this article as an addendum to the above post, but after taking a look, I decided this article was better anyway. Lawl @ Boehner taking this opportunity to flog the deceased "repeal Obamacare" equine.)

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hobby-lob...-narrow-ruling

Supreme Court rules for Hobby Lobby in contraception case
06/30/14 10:21 AM—UPDATED 06/30/14 05:03 PM

By Irin Carmon

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that a closely-held company can be exempt from contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The closely watched case pitted the administration and its allies, including women’s health advocates, against the religious right, which has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of waging a war on religion in the public square.

Hobby Lobby stores, an Oklahoma-based, evangelical-owned craft chain with about 13,000 employees, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a small Mennonite-owned cabinet maker in Pennsylvania, were two of the 49 for-profit companies that said the requirement violated their religious freedom.

The Obama administration had provided exemptions for the law for houses of worship and an accommodation for religious nonprofits (the subject of pending litigation) but not for for-profit corporations.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law at issue in the case, has never been applied to for-profit entities. The Court had to decide whether corporations even have religious exercise rights – making the beliefs of the employer synonymous with the entire company – and weigh that question against the potential harms to the employees.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood objected to a handful of contraceptives that they speculate can block a fertilized egg, which is neither documented in the science nor the medical definition of abortion. Other for-profit plaintiffs object to any birth control coverage at all.

The case was the first time the Affordable Care Act returned to the nation’s highest Court since it was first largely upheld as constitutional, and was argued by current Solicitor General Don Verrilli and former Bush administration solicitor general Paul Clement.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood got two very different results at the appeals court. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals declared of Hobby Lobby that “such corporations can be ‘persons’ exercising religion.” In ruling on Conestoga’s bid for exemption from the requirement, the Third Circuit disagreed: “For-profit secular corporations cannot exercise in religious exercise.”

Kyle Duncan, lead attorney on the Hobby Lobby case and general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told msnbc earlier this year. While employers can’t stop their employees from using birth control (including paying for it with their wages), Duncan said, “Their moral objection is being made to participate in the process.”

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the ruling Monday. ”Today’s Supreme Court decision makes clear that the Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that Americans hold dear,” he said in a statement.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) weighed in, too, saying “The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors.” He also renewed calls for the repeal of Obamacare.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement: ”Today’s decision jeopardizes women’s access to essential health care. Employers have no business intruding in the private health care decisions women make with their doctors.”

“This ruling ignores the scientific evidence showing that the health security of millions of American women is strengthened by access to these crucial services,” he added.

Reid pledged that Democrats would “continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.”

“Although the Court restricted their ruling to ‘closely-held’ companies, this ruling will immediately affect the lives of millions of women across the country. Over 90 percent of America’s businesses are ‘closely-held,’ including such large employers as Koch Industries and Bechtel,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Women should not be forced to jump through extra hoops to secure the fundamental health care they need.”

The White House released a statement in disagreement with the decision, in which they said: “We’ll continue to look for ways to improve America’s health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.”

The decision was met with chants of ”HOBBY LOBBY WINS, HOBBY LOBBY WINS” from a group gathered outside the courthouse in support of the company. One pro-Hobby Lobby woman reportedly ripped up her “losing speech” following the verdict.

Barbara Green, the co-founder of Hobby Lobby, said she was “overjoyed” by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“The Court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey,” said Green.

Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, called it a “landmark decision” arguing that “American families do not lose their fundamental rights when they open a family business.”

Most Americans disagree with the majority opinion of the Court. According to a March 2014 NBC/WSJ poll 53% of Americans believe that employers should not be able to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health plans cover prescription birth control.

“This is a deeply troubling decision. For the first time, the highest court in the country has said that business owners can use their religious beliefs to deny their employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by law,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU.

At oral argument, as hundreds of women rallied outside in support of birth control access, Paul Clement argued, “This is not about access to the contraception, it’s who’s going to pay for the government’s preferred subsidy.” Justice Elena Kagan, for her part, had a different answer: ”Congress has made a judgment and Congress has given a statutory entitlement and that entitlement is to women and includes contraceptive coverage, and when an employer says, no, I don’t want to give that, that woman is quite directly, quite tangibly harmed.”

The contraceptive benefit was widely seen as a political win for Obama in the 2012 election, galvanizing single women to go to the polls. Democrats are hoping a similar strategy pays off in key elections this fall.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:45 PM   #284
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Default Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Hobby Lobby Case

Speaking with Katie Couric on Yahoo Global News, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that five of her male counterparts on the court have “a blind spot” when it comes to women’s issues.

After noting that all three female justices were in the minority in the recent Hobby Lobby decision, Couric asked Ginsburg whether she “believed the five male justices truly understood the ramifications of their decision.”

Following a long pause, Ginsburg said, “I would have to say, ‘No.’”


“But,” she added, “justices continue to think, and can change. So I’m ever hopeful that if the Court has a blind spot today, its eyes can be opened tomorrow.”

“But you do, in fact, feel that these five justices had a bit of a ‘blind spot’?” Couric asked.

“In Hobby Lobby?” Ginsburg replied. “Yes.”

“Because they couldn’t understand what it is like to be a woman?” Couric asked.

“They all have wives. They have daughters. By the way, I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers.”

Ginsburg went on to note that her opinions on these matters are contained in her dissents, and that there is a tradition of dissents becoming “unquestionably, the law of the land.”

In her scathing dissent in the Hobby Lobby case, Ginsburg noted that the majority’s willful misreading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would have unintended consequences.

“Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood – combined with its other errors in construing RFRA – invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith,” she wrote.

Earlier this week, in fact, the Satanic Temple declared that it would use the majority’s interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act just as Ginsburg predicted groups would.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:06 PM   #285
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Default

Colorado’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Works, and That’s Why Conservatives Want to Kill It

by Amanda Marcotte
April 28, 2015 - 3:52 pm

One of the most interesting political battles over reproductive health-care access is currently going down in Colorado. As has been extensively documented here at RH Reality Check, an experimental program launched in the state in 2009 has resulted in a shocking 40 percent drop in the teen birth rate and a 35 percent drop in the teen abortion rate. Naturally, Colorado anti-choicers are trying to kill it.

This is about more than some budget struggle. Instead, it’s about the escalating battle over contraception access, both in Colorado and in this country as a whole. Make no mistake about it: The better women get at preventing unintended pregnancy, the uglier this fight is going to get. And intrauterine devices (IUDs), which have an extremely low failure rate, are increasingly at the center.

This week, the National Journal released a massive feature by Nora Caplan-Bricker about the battle over Colorado’s IUD fund. Three years ago, a private donation was made to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative and earmarked to give IUDs and other long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) to low-income women. The program was a smashing success—not only lowering unintended pregnancy rates, but also saving the state an estimated $5.85 for every dollar spent on the program. Now, the private money for the fund has run out. Democrats, and one Republican named Don Coram, want the state to replenish it.

The arguments for doing so are rock-solid: The program has already saved the state piles of money, unintended pregnancy has all sorts of negative outcomes best avoided, and the demand for the subsidized IUDs is clearly there. But Republicans in the state are most likely going to kill the program anyway.

What becomes clear, especially reading Caplan-Bricker’s piece, is that Republicans are using this battle to beta-test various arguments against any future attempts, on any level, to make it easier for women to get affordable long-term contraception. It’s a classic case of starting with the conclusion—in this case, that low-income women should not get IUDs—and arguing backwards.

This is a delicate operation for anti-choice Republicans, because they have to find a way to argue against contraception without appearing to do so, which could hurt them with voters in a swing state like Colorado. For months, they’ve been tossing out arguments to see which ones stick. The whole “IUD is abortion!” lie was an early contender, but it has a couple of problems with it, starting with the fact that it’s not true. It’s also hard to imagine the voters of Colorado being unduly impressed by politicians putting the fortunes of hypothetical fertilized eggs ahead of the desires of teen girls to avoid pregnancy.

Now, as Caplan-Bricker reports, Republicans are trying a new tack: Arguing that the program is a redundancy because Obamacare supposedly gives you all the free IUDs your heart desires. She writes:

When the debate finally commences in earnest, moral and religious arguments are scarcer than the initiative’s proponents had expected. Republican House members have settled on a more pragmatic line of attack: The funding, they argue, is unnecessary because the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover all forms of contraception—IUDs and implants included. “We don’t need to spend this money on the same program, which is available otherwise,” Rep. Janak Joshi, a Republican from socially conservative Colorado Springs, asserts. “We can use this money for some better use—maybe education, maybe roads, but not duplicating the same services which are available.”

Caplan-Bricker outlines all the reasons why this isn’t true, mostly that there are a lot of holes in the health-care distribution system this program plugs up. It’s obvious, though, that this redundancy argument isn’t being offered sincerely. It’s just a gambit to shut down the program before it becomes entrenched in Colorado—and certainly before it starts to spread to other states, causing unintended pregnancy rates to plummet across the country. The program’s success is the very reason that anti-choicers want to kill it.

While most Republicans stuck to the boring budgetary talking points in Caplan-Bricker’s piece, the real concern leaked out of state representative Kathleen Conti, who called IUDs the “Cadillac” of contraception and argued, very unpersuasively, that “I see firsthand the devastation that happens to” girls who have sex. In other words, her fear appears to be that IUDs work too well—that they’re Cadillacs, as it were—and that without the danger of unintended pregnancy, more girls might choose to have sex.

Common sense would dictate that a high failure rate would be a negative. But from the anti-choice perspective, it’s a good thing. The fact that contraception fails is used all the time as a way to threaten young people in hopes of scaring them away from sex, in anti-choice propaganda and in abstinence-only or abstinence-focused programs. So the IUD, which has a typical-use failure rate of less than 1 percent—compared to 9 percent for the pill and 18 percent for condoms—threatens to upend conservative narratives demanding abstinence across the board for unmarried people.

The same thing happened when the HPV vaccine came out. Prior to the vaccine, abstinence-only propagandists loved HPV, because nearly everyone who has sex gets it at some point, giving credence to the doom-awaits-all-you-fornicators messaging. The vaccine threatened that, and so anti-choicers subjected it to a scare campaign that has, sadly, worked. Many parents still refuse to vaccinate their girls for HPV for fear that it somehow causes risky sexual activity, even though research shows that vaccinated girls actually take fewer sexual risks.

The same thing has been shown, by the way, for birth control: Women who have access to itdon’t have more sex. But so what if they did? Sex is a good thing, and we should be able to enjoy it as much as we want without having to incur unnecessary risks. This argument should not be lost in the mix.

As the situation in Colorado shows, conservatives are willing—eager, even—to keep the teen pregnancy rate sky high on the slim hope that doing so might scare someone, sometime out of having sex. At best, that suggests that their priorities are completely screwed up, because they would literally prefer to have widespread preventable public health issues than to admit that it’s fine if people want to have sex. At worst, it suggests that they want people to suffer unnecessary problems like STIs and unintended pregnancy, to punish them for engaging in sexual activity.

Either way, we are at a crossroads here. Most Americans may have mixed feelings about sex, but would be able to set that aside in the face of overwhelming evidence that a teen pregnancy prevention program works. If the Colorado program is allowed to continue, there is no doubt other states will follow.

So this isn’t just a local story. The fate of this little initiative in Colorado could determine the shape of reproductive health care for generations to come.

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/20...ves-want-kill/
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:35 AM   #286
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Default Update in Colorado: They killed it, of course

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-s...ontrol-program

Colorado GOP blocks successful birth-control program

05/01/15
By Steve Benen

Colorado launched a health initiative a few years ago with a specific target: reducing teen-birth rates. To that end, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) implemented a program that provided tens of thousands of contraceptive devices at low or no cost.

The results were amazing: teen-birth rates dropped 40% in just five years. This week, the state even won an award from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, celebrating Colorado’s success story.

Ironically, the award came the same week Colorado Republicans chose to scrap the effective policy.

Republicans on a Colorado Senate committee Wednesday killed an effort to set aside money for a birth-control program that provides intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to low-income, young women. […]

The legislation would have provided $5 million to expand the Colorado Family Planning Initiative program that health officials say lowered the teen birth rate in Colorado by an impressive 40 percent.

As one local report noted, “Opponents of the bill worried that increasing access to birth control would not have a net public health gain because it would increase promiscuity.” One GOP lawmaker accused the policy of “subsidizing sex.” Another said of the program, “Does that allow a lot of young women to go out there and look for love in all the wrong places?”

The amazing thing to remember here is that Colorado wasn’t talking about experimenting with a new policy measure; state lawmakers were considering whether to keep an existing policy in place. That’s important because, in this case, Colorado already knows the program was working.

In other words, Republican critics of the idea raised concerns that the policy might fail – which might be a credible point were it not for the fact that the policy has been in place for five years, offering real-world proof that those concerns are unfounded.

I half expected to find quotes from GOP lawmakers saying, “Sure, the idea works in practice, but does it work in theory?”

Colorado’s state House has a Democratic majority, while the state Senate has a Republican majority. In this case, both chambers had to approve funding for the birth-control program to continue, and this week, the GOP-led chamber voted it down.

This is consistent with the posture adopted by some high-profile Colorado Republicans. Cory Gardner (R) has spent much of his political career opposing contraception access, and Coloradans nevertheless elected him to the U.S. Senate last year. At the same time, former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) falsely claimed last year that IUD contraceptives are “abortifacients,” not long before narrowly losing Colorado’s gubernatorial race.

The more the fight over contraception access seems like a thing of the past, the more we’re reminded it’s not.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:53 AM   #287
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Default

Since stealing the presidency for Bush caused a host of unforeseen difficulties for the Republicans, and ultimately for everyone, the GOP luckily discovered it really doesn't matter that much who is POTUS if they can control the House, the Senate, the Media, and the Supreme Court. Of course there is that pesky issue of nominating Supreme Court judges, that does make POTUS somewhat desirable. So we will see how that plays out for them this time around.

But until then, through gerrymandering, voter suppression and legislative tricks, the GOP has managed to gain control of the House and the Senate. The Supreme Court is systematically dismantling individual rights and freedoms, while protecting the personhood of corporations. Since corporations have the same rights as people, except corporate rights are more diligently protected, it is only a matter of time before the Corporate powers that be decide to exercise their 2nd amendment rights. But I digress. Here's a look at the next assault on a woman's right to choose.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...-abortion-case

The Supreme Court Just Agreed to Hear a Case that Could Destroy Roe v. Wade

On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear its first abortion case in nine years. At issue in Whole Woman's Health v. Cole is HB 2, an omnibus Texas abortion law that made national headlines in 2013 after Texas Sen. Wendy Davis spent 11-hours filibustering the bill that eventually passed anyway.

Since 1992, the court has ruled on three abortion cases, each time affirming further abortion restrictions. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a divided court upheld the right to abortion, but left it to the states to set abortion restrictions, saying that these regulations can't put an "undue burden" on abortion access. This broad ruling opened the door for the hundreds of so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers or TRAP laws that states have passed in recent years—onerous regulations placed on abortion providers, often purporting to protect women's health. In its last ruling in 2007, the court upheld a law outlawing dilation-and-extraction second-trimester abortions. If the court continues its pattern of voting against abortion rights and rules to allow Texas to move forward with several burdensome abortion restrictions, it will open the door for other states to do the same, dealing a serious blow to the right to legal abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

"The Court now has the opportunity to decide whether we will continue to allow elected officials to play politics with women's health," wrote Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. "This case represents the greatest threat to women's reproductive freedom since the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade over 40 years ago. Laws like the ones being challenged in Texas are designed to subvert the Constitution and end the right to a safe and legal abortion."

In this case, the justices are expected to focus on two of the Texas law's most onerous requirements: that abortions be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, hospital-like facilities that specialize in outpatient surgery, and the requirement that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Many medical professionals argue that these restrictions put unnecessary burdens on abortion providers: Building and maintaining an ASC is expensive, given the strict requirements regarding features like hallway width and ventilation. Nor do ASCs enhance the standard of care for abortion; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups have repeatedly noted that the procedure can be safely performed in a typical doctor's office. The admitting privileges' provision gives hospitals in conservative communities or with a religious affiliation the power to effectively stop abortions by denying the necessary admission privileges to doctors.

"The common-sense measures Texas has put in place elevate the standard of care and protect the health of Texas women," wrote Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement released following Friday's Supreme Court's announcement. "We look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court."

The number of abortion clinics in Texas has already been cut by more than half, as elements of HB 2, such as restrictions on medication abortion, a 20 week abortion ban, and the admitting privileges requirement, have gone into effect over the last two years. Before the law, there were 41 clinics in Texas. Today, there are 18. As my colleague Molly Redden reported in September, this has created large swathes of the state where women must travel hundreds of miles to get abortion care. If the Supreme Court upholds HB2 in full, including the ambulatory surgical center requirement, the number of abortion clinics in Texas could fall to ten.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:54 PM   #288
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:42 AM   #289
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This morning an article about a Washington Post poll explained 3rd party voters are hurting Clinton and not Trump. It stated that the large majority of 3rd party voters would usually be voting Democrat. It also mentioned these people are voting Gary Johnson 3 to 1 over Jill Stein. This is really puzzling to me, this love of Libertarian ideology. Not that I am advocating anyone vote 3rd party instead of voting for Clinton, but if you must vote 3rd party, why Libertarian over Green? Isn't what is going on environmentally scary enough to get people's attention? What is it going to take? And I really don't get this attraction to Libertarian ideals. I am not going to get into what those ideals entail in this thread but this is a simplistic interpretation of the ideology that would shred the social contract between the government and its citizens; libertarians generally believe the power of government should be limited to what is necessary to protect the rights of the citizenry. The government does little to protect the rights of the citizenry as it is, we don't need more limitations. Here is an article explaining how Catholic hospitals are putting women's lives at risk and getting judicial support allowing them to continue medical negligence.

https://rewire.news/article/2016/09/...e-denial-care/

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Catholic Hospital Responsible for Denial of Care

In 2010, when Tamesha Means showed up at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan, while having a miscarriage, she had every reason to expect the hospital doctors and staff would treat her emergency medical condition. Instead, the Catholic-affiliated health-care entity turned her away twice, effectively telling her to just “wait and see” what would happen.

Means filed suit against Mercy Health Partners and the United Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2013. On Thursday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that she had failed to state a viable legal claim.

Thursday’s ruling is a narrow one. It does not prevent other patients who have faced similar denials of care from Catholic-affiliated health care facilities from suing based on those denials. But it does suggest those claims will be very difficult to win.

Means’ case is, in some ways, the perfect example of conservative federal courts’ reluctance to second-guess the medical decisions made at religiously affiliated hospitals. When Means first showed up at Mercy, the only hospital in her county, she was 18 weeks pregnant. Her water had broken, and she was beginning to miscarry. Doctors and staff at Mercy Health—which is operated by Trinity Health, a multi-billion dollar network of Catholic-run hospitals—told Means there was no medical care they could offer her. That was because treatment would mean the termination of her pregnancy: a violation of Catholic directives preventing any care resulting in the death of a fetus, even a non-viable one.

So instead, they sent Means home.

Means came back the next day, in pain and this time bleeding vaginally. As detailed in court documents, doctors and staff at Mercy again told Means the only thing they could do was to wait and see how the miscarriage progressed.

Means returned to Mercy Health a third time just days later. Now, she was suffering from a significant infection from her untreated miscarriage. This time, instead of telling Means to just wait it out, hospital staff gave Means some aspirin to treat her fever and prepared to send her home yet again. But before the hospital discharge process for Means was complete, she started to deliver her dying fetus. It wasn’t until then that the hospital agreed to admit her; she delivered a baby who died within hours of birth.

Means eventually sued, claiming the Catholic directives followed by the hospital amount to the provision of negligent care.

These “Ethical and Religious Directives” are not the same thing as professional standards of care, which dictate when a hospital or doctor has committed an act of medical negligence. Rather, they are expressions of religious beliefs. Still, Mercy deferred to them as a defense for its actions, saying its doctors and staff did nothing wrong in relying on those directives, rather than medical standards, when they turned away Means and refused to treat her.

And both a lower court and, now, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled Means’ case could not go forward. This was, in part, because the court felt it was not its job to judge the directives and decide whether or not following them amounted to negligence in the delivery of health care by Mercy and its doctors and staff.

Part of these decisions rests in a legal doctrine dating back more than 100 years called “ecclesiastical abstention.” Both the federal district court and the court of appeals ruled in part that this doctrine prevents courts from reviewing cases like Means’.

According to the doctrine of ecclesiastical abstention, civil courts should be limited in their role in deciding matters of religious controversy. The idea behind the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine is that courts should not settle what would amount to disputes about religious doctrine, which Catholic-affiliated hospitals like Mercy claim their refusal to provide health care to patients like Means amounts to. Specifically in Means’ case, the defendants claimed the directives offer “a statement of the Roman Catholic Church’s moral and religious postures as it relates to health care issues” and are in place “to provide authoritative guidance on certain moral issues that face Catholic health care today.” That means, the bishops and Mercy argued, that interpreting the directives in the context of whether or not carrying out those directives amounts to medical malpractice means interpreting Catholic theology. And according to the bishops and Mercy Health, that is exactly the kind of thing which the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine prohibits.

Thursday’s ruling did not decide definitively whether or not the directives are insulated from judicial review in cases of medical negligence. Instead the court ruled that the USCCB could not be sued in Michigan in this case. According to the court, USCCB’s action of publishing the directives does not “create a substantial connection” between USCCB and Michigan hospitals sufficient to justify bringing the bishops into court to respond to claims like Means’.

But the court used topsy-turvy logic to justify refusing to allow Means to sue the USCCB. According to the court, “Michigan—like every state—does have Catholic hospitals, and USCCB does intend the Directives to be implemented by all Catholic healthcare institutions. USCCB may even have known that Trinity Health is a Catholic hospital network operating in Michigan,” the court wrote. But this is not a “substantial connection” enough that USCCB could expect to be sued when following those directives results in medical negligence, according to the court. Similarly, Mercy cannot be sued in this case for following those national directives.

Approximately one in six hospital beds in the United States are in a facility where health-care delivery is governed by the Catholic directives. In some states, more than 40 percent of all beds fall into that category, with those hospitals routinely refusing to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to patients. As Means’ case illustrates, some patients’ only choice is to seek care at a Catholic-affiliated hospital. If courts are unwilling to hold those institutions accountable for delivering to their patients shoddy and substandard care, in part on the grounds that those hospitals have a religious imperative that courts cannot second-guess, where does that leave patients like Means, whose lives are being put at risk in the name of religiously driven health care?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hospitals and hospital staff have judicial backing to put lives at risk because of their religious beliefs. It seems like it would be possible to not treat someone who had medical issues because they used birth control. I guess it would be possible to refuse treatment to a person who was gay or transgender for religious reasons. It's very scary.
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Old 10-01-2016, 12:18 PM   #290
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This morning an article about a Washington Post poll explained 3rd party voters are hurting Clinton and not Trump. It stated that the large majority of 3rd party voters would usually be voting Democrat. It also mentioned these people are voting Gary Johnson 3 to 1 over Jill Stein. This is really puzzling to me, this love of Libertarian ideology. Not that I am advocating anyone vote 3rd party instead of voting for Clinton, but if you must vote 3rd party, why Libertarian over Green? Isn't what is going on environmentally scary enough to get people's attention? What is it going to take? And I really don't get this attraction to Libertarian ideals. I am not going to get into what those ideals entail in this thread but this is a simplistic interpretation of the ideology that would shred the social contract between the government and its citizens; libertarians generally believe the power of government should be limited to what is necessary to protect the rights of the citizenry. The government does little to protect the rights of the citizenry as it is, we don't need more limitations. Here is an article explaining how Catholic hospitals are putting women's lives at risk and getting judicial support allowing them to continue medical negligence.

https://rewire.news/article/2016/09/...e-denial-care/

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Catholic Hospital Responsible for Denial of Care

In 2010, when Tamesha Means showed up at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan, while having a miscarriage, she had every reason to expect the hospital doctors and staff would treat her emergency medical condition. Instead, the Catholic-affiliated health-care entity turned her away twice, effectively telling her to just “wait and see” what would happen.

Means filed suit against Mercy Health Partners and the United Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2013. On Thursday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that she had failed to state a viable legal claim.

Thursday’s ruling is a narrow one. It does not prevent other patients who have faced similar denials of care from Catholic-affiliated health care facilities from suing based on those denials. But it does suggest those claims will be very difficult to win.

Means’ case is, in some ways, the perfect example of conservative federal courts’ reluctance to second-guess the medical decisions made at religiously affiliated hospitals. When Means first showed up at Mercy, the only hospital in her county, she was 18 weeks pregnant. Her water had broken, and she was beginning to miscarry. Doctors and staff at Mercy Health—which is operated by Trinity Health, a multi-billion dollar network of Catholic-run hospitals—told Means there was no medical care they could offer her. That was because treatment would mean the termination of her pregnancy: a violation of Catholic directives preventing any care resulting in the death of a fetus, even a non-viable one.

So instead, they sent Means home.

Means came back the next day, in pain and this time bleeding vaginally. As detailed in court documents, doctors and staff at Mercy again told Means the only thing they could do was to wait and see how the miscarriage progressed.

Means returned to Mercy Health a third time just days later. Now, she was suffering from a significant infection from her untreated miscarriage. This time, instead of telling Means to just wait it out, hospital staff gave Means some aspirin to treat her fever and prepared to send her home yet again. But before the hospital discharge process for Means was complete, she started to deliver her dying fetus. It wasn’t until then that the hospital agreed to admit her; she delivered a baby who died within hours of birth.

Means eventually sued, claiming the Catholic directives followed by the hospital amount to the provision of negligent care.

These “Ethical and Religious Directives” are not the same thing as professional standards of care, which dictate when a hospital or doctor has committed an act of medical negligence. Rather, they are expressions of religious beliefs. Still, Mercy deferred to them as a defense for its actions, saying its doctors and staff did nothing wrong in relying on those directives, rather than medical standards, when they turned away Means and refused to treat her.

And both a lower court and, now, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled Means’ case could not go forward. This was, in part, because the court felt it was not its job to judge the directives and decide whether or not following them amounted to negligence in the delivery of health care by Mercy and its doctors and staff.

Part of these decisions rests in a legal doctrine dating back more than 100 years called “ecclesiastical abstention.” Both the federal district court and the court of appeals ruled in part that this doctrine prevents courts from reviewing cases like Means’.

According to the doctrine of ecclesiastical abstention, civil courts should be limited in their role in deciding matters of religious controversy. The idea behind the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine is that courts should not settle what would amount to disputes about religious doctrine, which Catholic-affiliated hospitals like Mercy claim their refusal to provide health care to patients like Means amounts to. Specifically in Means’ case, the defendants claimed the directives offer “a statement of the Roman Catholic Church’s moral and religious postures as it relates to health care issues” and are in place “to provide authoritative guidance on certain moral issues that face Catholic health care today.” That means, the bishops and Mercy argued, that interpreting the directives in the context of whether or not carrying out those directives amounts to medical malpractice means interpreting Catholic theology. And according to the bishops and Mercy Health, that is exactly the kind of thing which the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine prohibits.

Thursday’s ruling did not decide definitively whether or not the directives are insulated from judicial review in cases of medical negligence. Instead the court ruled that the USCCB could not be sued in Michigan in this case. According to the court, USCCB’s action of publishing the directives does not “create a substantial connection” between USCCB and Michigan hospitals sufficient to justify bringing the bishops into court to respond to claims like Means’.

But the court used topsy-turvy logic to justify refusing to allow Means to sue the USCCB. According to the court, “Michigan—like every state—does have Catholic hospitals, and USCCB does intend the Directives to be implemented by all Catholic healthcare institutions. USCCB may even have known that Trinity Health is a Catholic hospital network operating in Michigan,” the court wrote. But this is not a “substantial connection” enough that USCCB could expect to be sued when following those directives results in medical negligence, according to the court. Similarly, Mercy cannot be sued in this case for following those national directives.

Approximately one in six hospital beds in the United States are in a facility where health-care delivery is governed by the Catholic directives. In some states, more than 40 percent of all beds fall into that category, with those hospitals routinely refusing to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to patients. As Means’ case illustrates, some patients’ only choice is to seek care at a Catholic-affiliated hospital. If courts are unwilling to hold those institutions accountable for delivering to their patients shoddy and substandard care, in part on the grounds that those hospitals have a religious imperative that courts cannot second-guess, where does that leave patients like Means, whose lives are being put at risk in the name of religiously driven health care?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hospitals and hospital staff have judicial backing to put lives at risk because of their religious beliefs. It seems like it would be possible to not treat someone who had medical issues because they used birth control. I guess it would be possible to refuse treatment to a person who was gay or transgender for religious reasons. It's very scary.

Just the other day, I saw several cars with bumper stickers advertising that the owner of the car is supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson. Most all of those I saw were on very expensive vehicles.....on the surface , it appears to me that affluent people are supporting this type of mindset? I know that appearances can often be misleading, but that's what came to mind when I happened to see bumper stickers on various cars I've seen.

Also, I haven't seen the usual jingoistic rhetoric in support of either Clinton or Trump in bumper stickers on cars either. Or in yards. It's a rather odd thing, this year, because in years past, when there's been tons of open support for any presidential candidate, you didn't have to look too hard to find bumper stickers or yard signs.

My role at work takes me all over the metro area I live in, so it's kind of weird, if not creepy (to me), to notice hardly any physical sign of support for those who are competing for the presidential seat of power.

Although, when Senator Sanders was actively holding rallies for his own campaign, it was at fever pitch to see support for his presidential run for office.
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:33 PM   #291
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Just the other day, I saw several cars with bumper stickers advertising that the owner of the car is supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson. Most all of those I saw were on very expensive vehicles.....on the surface , it appears to me that affluent people are supporting this type of mindset? I know that appearances can often be misleading, but that's what came to mind when I happened to see bumper stickers on various cars I've seen.

Also, I haven't seen the usual jingoistic rhetoric in support of either Clinton or Trump in bumper stickers on cars either. Or in yards. It's a rather odd thing, this year, because in years past, when there's been tons of open support for any presidential candidate, you didn't have to look too hard to find bumper stickers or yard signs.

My role at work takes me all over the metro area I live in, so it's kind of weird, if not creepy (to me), to notice hardly any physical sign of support for those who are competing for the presidential seat of power.

Although, when Senator Sanders was actively holding rallies for his own campaign, it was at fever pitch to see support for his presidential run for office.
Here in right wing Orange County, I have seen several expensive cars, including Escalades and Range Rovers, with Trump bumper stickers.

I also just saw a beat up truck with a bumper sticker that in big letters said: Hillary and in smaller ones: For prison.

John Birch still lives here.

Also, not long ago, I posted about a KKK gathering in an Anaheim park.

*Sigh*
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:48 PM   #292
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The group, AAFL, in Florida is obtaining or has obtained enough signatures to put abortion on the ballot once again.

This proposal would classify abortion as first degree murder and eligible for the death penalty.

Although the law, even if passed, would be illegal due to Roe V. Wade, it may go the way to the SCOTUS, essentially giving the high Court an opportunity to reverse Roe.

If Hillary wins the election, that's a non-issue.

If Trump wins the election, it is safe to say that it would be cause for concern.

Another personhood issue. SMH
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:51 PM   #293
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Here in right wing Orange County, I have seen several expensive cars, including Escalades and Range Rovers, with Trump bumper stickers.

I also just saw a beat up truck with a bumper sticker that in big letters said: Hillary and in smaller ones: For prison.

John Birch still lives here.

Also, not long ago, I posted about a KKK gathering in an Anaheim park.

*Sigh*
My son's are biracial -- predominantly their physical appearance is of black ethnicity. When I first moved to the place I've lived, the first thing I learmed, for our own safety, from an d.v. counselor and personal friend, what that the KKK has *always* had strong roots in my home state in the Pacific northwest.

But it's not just reduced to something simple as the KKK, when dealing with White privilege and it's other driving counterparts of hate, racially motivated hate, etc.

Having lived the better part of life, wirh raising my biracial sons in what used to be considered a safe social segment of society, has not always been easy for my son's or myself.

30+ years of fielding racially motivated behaviors of others has impacted my son's and I for what seems to be an eternity.

I'm not surprised at all that white privilege and racialized hate is still an driving factor in American present day society.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:03 PM   #294
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Note to Cin:

To 'steer' the conversation back to your post about Catholic hospitals not being challenged for their pious bedside directives, I agree that the medical empire community needs to take up that issue and develop policy to take back their profession of medical care credo.... to help all who need medical intervention, and not just serve people with tenets of religiosity.

Biased medical care is life threatening, just as unchecked bias (prejudicial treatment) is, and can be, in any profession or social station in society.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:10 PM   #295
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‘Death of women’s rights’: Thousands march in Poland to protest planned blanket abortion ban
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:16 PM   #296
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The group, AAFL, in Florida is obtaining or has obtained enough signatures to put abortion on the ballot once again.

This proposal would classify abortion as first degree murder and eligible for the death penalty.

Although the law, even if passed, would be illegal due to Roe V. Wade, it may go the way to the SCOTUS, essentially giving the high Court an opportunity to reverse Roe.

If Hillary wins the election, that's a non-issue.

If Trump wins the election, it is safe to say that it would be cause for concern.

Another personhood issue. SMH
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kätzchen View Post
Note to Cin:

To 'steer' the conversation back to your post about Catholic hospitals not being challenged for their pious bedside directives, I agree that the medical empire community needs to take up that issue and develop policy to take back their profession of medical care credo.... to help all who need medical intervention, and not just serve people with tenets of religiosity.

Biased medical care is life threatening, just as unchecked bias (prejudicial treatment) is, and can be, in any profession or social station in society.
If Trump is elected, please lord no, he will appoint a majority of conservatives and women's rights/abortion rights (and equal marriage), are gone.

The clock will be turned back.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:39 PM   #297
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By far the most demoralizing fact in the light of all this war, is the number of passive young women, unaware, uninterested and not willing to lift a finger in an effort to uphold the slightest level of rights stolen by the generations before them.

I called these rights "stolen", as they might have been gently borrowed by a generation or two, who cared enough to rally around these issues. Women's reproductive rights in America were not g-d given legislative charity, nor were they ever fully and completely "won". What has been won cannot be taken away without another war, without the counter-acttack. The struggle is real, the battle continues every day, every little bit we do not hold on to tightly may just slip away rapidly and for good.

Call me nuts but I feel personally responsible to carry on the torch. I feel compelled to do everything in my power to uphold the existing rights and fight for further amelioration. Social justice is in my blood, I owe it to my mother and my grandmothers. For this reason I do not understand carless young women of today who are so eager to simply lay down and let the sprit of this new war transport them back a century without knowledge, tools or means of hope.
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