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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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The Pennsylvania legislature moved a step closer Monday to passing a bill that would protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions. The state Senate Health Committee approved the bill Monday, moving it forward to the full Senate for a vote. The Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 321) would prohibit an abortion solely […]
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf promised this week to veto any bill that prohibits abortion after an unborn baby's heartbeat can be detected, saying it runs counter to science and might harm the economy.
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf promised this week to veto any bill that prohibits abortion after an unborn baby's heartbeat can be detected, saying it runs counter to science and might harm the economy.
The Little Sisters of the Poor were back in court yet again yesterday, this time losing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.Back in 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a federal mandate as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The mandate required employers to provide contraceptives, including the week-after pill, free-of-cost in their health insurance plans. HHS offered only a very narrow religious exemption. So narrow, it did not include non-profits—such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns who assist the impoverished who are at the end of their lives with nowhere else to go. These nuns have dedicated their lives to their faith and to serving the poor. Yet, these women were sued and told that they must violate their conscience by providing contraception through their insurance.In May 2016, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned lower court rulings against the Little Sisters. The Court said the government should be provided an opportunity “to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates the petitioners’ religious beliefs.” On May 4, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that directed the secretaries of federal agencies to consider regulations that would address the conscience-based objections to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. On November 7, 2018, the federal government complied with the Supreme Court’s ruling and the president’s executive order by issuing a new rule protecting religious liberty. This new rule provided religious ministries, entities, and persons holding sincere religious beliefs with an exemption to the contraceptive and sterilization coverage.Soon after the rule was issued, states including Pennsylvania and California sued the federal government to ensure that the Little Sisters of the Poor would not be exempted from providing contraception. Even though these states have programs that provide contraceptives to women who want them, these states insist that non-profits, including the Little Sisters, must either be forced to violate their conscience or else cease to exist. In July 2019, the Third Circuit ruled against the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Third Circuit claimed that the Women’s Health Amendment to the ACA did not grant the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA, a component of HHS) the authority to exempt entities from providing insurance coverage for contraceptive services. On October 22, 2019, the Ninth Circuit issued a similar ruling and affirmed the preliminary injunction. The Ninth Circuit said, “the statute delegates to HRSA the discretion to determine which types of preventative care are covered, but the statute does not delegate to HRSA or any other agency the discretion to exempt who must meet the obligation.” Thus, the Ninth Circuit and the Third Circuit prevented relief for the Little Sisters of the Poor by issuing an injunction and blocking the implementation of a rule that would allow religious protections.The Supreme Court needs to settle the debate and rule that the government cannot require people and groups to violate their conscience by providing contraceptive services. The Court should uphold the HHS rule, which protects the inherent human right of religious liberty. This liberty promotes the common good and allows society to flourish. The Little Sisters of the Poor certainly promote the common good as they assist the poorest in society. Violating their conscience ought not to be a precondition for the Little Sisters assisting those most in need.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Protect Life Rule, which separates abortion activities from federally-funded family planning clinics, is currently in effect, as further court proceedings play out in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In response to this rule, Planned Parenthood and several pro-abortion states decided that performing abortions is more important than providing family planning services to underserved women when they voluntarily withdrew from the Title X Program on August 19th.This week, HHS announced that $33.6 million of the funding forfeited by pro-abortion grantees will now be awarded to 50 current Title X grantees that do not promote abortion as a method of family planning.This supplemental funding will enable current grantees to better meet the family planning needs of underserved women across America. Contrary to what opponents of the Protect Life Rule claim, Title X patient coverage will not suffer. Clinics like Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs), which do not promote or perform abortions, will now be able to provide high-quality and affordable family planning services to even more women and families in need than they did before.Here is the list of Planned Parenthood entities and pro-abortion states that chose to reject millions of dollars in federal funding rather than stop referring patients for abortion:Grantees Voluntarily TerminatedAK Planned Parenthood of Great Northwest & Hawaiian IslandsCT Planned Parenthood of Southern New EnglandID Planned Parenthood of Great Northwest & Hawaiian IslandsIL Illinois Department of HealthIL Planned Parenthood of IllinoisMA Health Imperatives Inc.MA Massachusetts Department of Public HealthMD Maryland Department of HealthME Family Planning Association of Maine Inc.MN Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South DakotaNH Planned Parenthood of Northern New EnglandNY Public Health SolutionsNY New York Department of HealthOH Planned Parenthood of Greater OhioOR Oregon Health AuthorityUT Planned Parenthood Association of UtahVT Vermont Agency of Human ServicesWA Washington State Department of HealthGrantees Receiving Supplemental AwardAL Alabama Department of Public HealthAR Arkansas Department of HealthAZ Arizona Family Health PartnershipCO Colorado Department of Public HealthCT Cornell Scott-Hill Health CorporationDC Unity Health Care Inc.DE Delaware State Department of HealthFL Primary Care Medical Services of Poinciana Inc.FL Community Health Centers of Pinellas Inc.GA Neighborhood Improvement Project Inc.GA Family Health Centers of Georgia Inc.IA Family Planning Council of IowaID Idaho Department of Health & WelfareIL Aunt Martha's Health and Wellness Inc.IN Indiana Family Health Council Inc.KS Kansas Department of Health & EnvironmentKY Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family ServicesMA Action for Boston Community Development Inc.MD The Community Clinic Inc.MS Mississippi State Department of HealthMN Ramsey CountyMT Montana Department of Public HealthND North Dakota Department of HealthNE Family Planning Council of NebraskaNM New Mexico Department of HealthNV Nevada Primary Care AssociationNV City of Carson CityNV Washoe CountyNV Southern Nevada Health DistrictNY The Floating Hospital Inc.OH Ohio Department of HealthOK Community Health Connection Inc.OK Oklahoma Department of HealthPA AccessMattersPA Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania Inc.PA Maternal and Family Health Services Inc.PA Adagio Health Inc.RI Rhode Island Department of HealthSC South Carolina State Department of HealthSD South Dakota Department of HealthTN Tennessee Department of HealthTR FSM Department of Health & Social AffairsTR Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.TR Family Planning Association of Puerto RicoTR American Samoa Medical Center AuthorityTX Women's Health and Family Planning Association of TexasTX City of El PasoWI Wisconsin Department of Health ServicesWV West Virginia Department of HHSWY Wyoming Health CouncilYou may find more information about the Title X program here.
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