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The Washington Times: Abortion providers “must be held to basic medical standards of care,” said Natalie Decker, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Des Moines Register: Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland may keep using its controversial telemedicine-abortion system.
Reuters: The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected a state rule requiring doctors to see abortion patients in person, ruling that a regional Planned Parenthood unit may continue administering abortion-inducing medications using remote video technology.
Siouxland Matters (ABC9 News): The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the Iowa Board of Medicine’s ban on telemedicine abortions violates the state constitution. In a unanimous decision filed on Friday, the court ruled that the Board’s decision to require a doctor to be present during medication abortions caused undue burden to Iowa women seeking abortions.
Life News: The Iowa Supreme Court today overturned the state’s ban on webcam abortions after the nation’s biggest abortion business took a provision to protect the health ad safety of women to court in a lawsuit.
ADF Media The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday to strike down an Iowa Board of Medicine ban on “webcam” abortions, in which women are provided with abortion-inducing drugs without any in-person examination by a licensed physician.
Religious News Services (Reuters): Republican presidential hopefuls in Iowa and elsewhere have recently begun sounding a call to arms to Christian conservatives, describing what they say is an urgent threat to religious liberty.
Crux (AP): Cary Gordon isn’t a political operative, a top dollar donor or an elected official. But that hasn’t stopped Jeb Bush’s team from already reaching out as the 2016 Republican presidential campaign revs up in Iowa.
One News Now: “The Iowa Board of Medicine found that because of all of the health risks associated with a medication abortion – they’re even greater than health risks affiliated with surgical abortion – that there should be a doctor physically present to examine that woman before administering those drugs,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Michael J. Norton says.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton will be available for media interviews following oral arguments at the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday regarding a ban on “webcam” abortions. In August 2014, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland appealed a trial court’s decision to uphold an Iowa Board of Medicine ban on the practice, in which women are provided with abortion-inducing drugs without any in-person examination by a licensed physician.
The State (AP): Michael Norton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that submitted documents in support of the board, reiterated those safety concerns outside of the courthouse. “The Iowa Board of Medicine got it right by passing a common-sense regulation,” he said.
Des Moines Register: Michael Norton, a Colorado lawyer representing the Alliance Defending Freedom, is one of several national attorneys who filed “friend of the court” briefs in the Iowa case. Norton’s group opposes abortion, and he filed on behalf of the Iowa Right to Life Committee and several other parties. He plans to travel to Des Moines to hear the arguments.
Religion Clause: In Newbrough v. Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools, (ND IA, Feb. 23, 2015), an Iowa federal magistrate judge held that the provision in Section 702 of the 1964 Civil Right Act that exempts religious institutions from Title VII’s religious discrimination provisions applies to the termination of the chief financial officer of the Sioux City Catholic schools in an administrative restructuring.
National Right to Life: If there is a “face” of webcam abortions, clearly it is the massive Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (home headquarters, Des Moines, Iowa). More than 6,800 women have had abortions using the system since PPH began webcam abortions in 2008. When a woman has a webcam abortion, she never sees the abortionist in person, a condition the Iowa Board of Medicine found unacceptable.
Religion Clause: As previously reported, last year a Mennonite couple filed suit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission to prevent it from moving ahead on a complaint that the couple refused to host a same-sex wedding ceremony in their art gallery in violation of the ban on discrimination in public accommodations.
Quad-City Times (AP): The owners of a gift shop and bistro who refused to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony at their central Iowa business have stopped doing weddings altogether.
Deseret News: Below is a sampling of nine recent cases in which Americans’ rights of conscience and religious liberty were in question or on trial. It’s true that religious liberty may not be fighting an all out war, but it’s clear that “there is an absolutist streak among some secular civil-rights advocates” as The Atlantic’s Jonathan Rauch argued last July. As Rauch asserts, such attitudes have led some to flippantly dismiss “the unique role religion plays in American life and the unique protections it enjoys under the First Amendment.”
KWWL: “This is the world we live in,” says the district’s Director of Relations Tara Thomas.”It would be nearly impossible to reject every point of view or counterpoint in a tunnel vision approach to one’s educational experience or life growth.”
NC Register: “The various attacks on these laws, many of which have been in place for years, are embarrassingly dishonest,” said Gregg Scott, vice president of media communications for Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian public interest law firm that has represented several individuals who have run afoul of state anti-discrimination laws for their moral opposition to being forced to promote messages and participate in events celebrating same-sex marriage.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Greg Baylor believes this issue will eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.
Alliance Defending Freedom: At a time of year when so many pause to wonder anew at the miracle of the Child in the manger, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys continue their tireless efforts to protect the miracle of children still in the womb.
The Catholic Globe: Furthermore, the Society’s brief explains that Planned Parenthood’s assertions that webcam abortions are “exceptionally safe” ignore the extensive evidence presented at hearings before the Board concerning the dangers of drug-induced abortion. These dangers are also documented expansively in the Friend-of-the-Court briefs submitted by Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom.
One News Now: “The Iowa District Court was right to uphold the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rule that requires a doctor to personally meet with a woman about to undergo a life-threatening medication abortion,” insists Michael J. Norton of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Global Dispatch: These dangers are also documented expansively in the Friend-of-the-Court briefs submitted by Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom.
Caffeinated Thoughts: “Planned Parenthood and other abortionists must be held to basic medical standards of care, and little is more basic than an in-person examination by a physician before a procedure that poses serious health risks,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton.
Christian News Wire: The Thomas More Society brief also explains that Planned Parenthood’s assertions that webcam abortions are “exceptionally safe” ignore the extensive evidence presented at hearings before the Board concerning the dangers of drug-induced abortion. These dangers are also documented expansively in the amicus briefs submitted by Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday to the Iowa Supreme Court on behalf of pro-life advocates in support of an Iowa Board of Medicine ban on “webcam” abortions.
InterAksyon.com: “You’ll have more instances where religious liberty will potentially come into conflict with this new redefined way of understanding marriage,” said Jim Campbell of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group established to defend religious freedom.
Breitbart: As Breitbart News reported, the lawsuit, brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Susan Thayer, a former facility director of Planned Parenthood, charges that her former employer “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid and failed to meet adequate medical standards.
Live Action News: Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal group defending Thayer, said that American deserve to know whether their tax dollars are being abused, regardless of their stance on abortion: “No matter what people believe about abortion itself, everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else. We look forward to continuing our defense of the American taxpayer in this case.”
The Des Moines Register: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are abusing it,” the group’s senior counsel, Casey Mattox, said in a press release. “No matter what people believe about abortion itself, everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else. We look forward to continuing our defense of the American taxpayer in this case.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit Friday reinstated a former Planned Parenthood facility director’s lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Susan Thayer filed suit in 2011, alleging fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. A district court judge had dismissed the lawsuit in 2012.
Alliance Defending Freedom: “Planned Parenthood and other abortionists should be accountable to basic medical standards. At the very least, that includes a licensed professional meeting personally with women who are considering such a serious and potentially life-altering decision. For that reason, the court was right to uphold the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rule, which places the health and safety of mothers ahead of the profits Planned Parenthood obtains through ‘webcam’ abortions. The fact that Planned Parenthood went to court to ensure they could continue to profit from these kinds of abortions is a great indication of where its priorities lie.” -ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton
Religion Clause: In Powell v. Noble, (SD IA, Aug. 5, 2014), an Iowa federal district court in a 40-page opinion refused to issue a preliminary injunction in a Christian preacher’s challenge to rules barring his proselytizing in areas around the Iowa State Fair where he might impede traffic flow.
Christian News Network: A newspaper editor who was fired earlier this year for opining on his personal blog that the Queen James Bible is an attempt by homosexuals “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God’” has filed a complaint with the federal government.
The Christian Post: Bob Eschliman is a Christian. He’s also a veteran news editor. And when he decided to write a column on his personal blog objecting to a gay-friendly version of the Bible, Bob was unceremoniously marched out of the Newton Daily News and shoved out the front door.
Bloomberg: The Supreme Court in April turned away the photographer’s appeal without a hearing. Huguenin has since stopped taking wedding photographs, said Jeremy Tedesco, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented her.
Christian News Wire: As far as the peaceful pro-life advocates in Red Oak and Creston, Iowa, are concerned, their prayers have been answered. The Planned Parenthood facilities in both southwest Iowa towns are shutting down.
The Washington Times: Granting the divorce “would in effect disenfranchise 70 percent of Nebraska’s voters (who voted for the amendment), and recognize something that hasn’t been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court itself,” said Assistant Attorney General James Smith.
Michigan Live: The injunction was applauded by Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian legal-advocacy group whose attorneys are representing Cornerstone and Dordt.
“Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Gregory Baylor said in a statement. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith.”
Christian News Network: “Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” added ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor in a press release surrounding the injunction. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith.”
“If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything,” he said. “The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”
Campus Reform: The court’s decision only affects employees of the universities, which were represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, and not their students. For Dordt, that means it affects 191 employees it insures and their dependents.
Des Moines Register: A Christian college in northwest Iowa does not have to pay for some types of contraceptives for employees — at least for the time being — a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The Christian Post: Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the colleges, praised the decision, arguing that religious colleges should have the freedom to behave according to their religious convictions.
“Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor said. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith. If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything. The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”
The Aquila Report: A federal court issued an order Wednesday [May 21. 2014] that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s HHS mandate against two Christian colleges: Dordt College in Iowa and Cornerstone University in Michigan.
Court issues preliminary injunction against ACA contraception mandate enforcement against two religious colleges
Religion Clause: ADF issued a press release announcing the decision. Des Moines Register reports on the decision.
Caffeinated Thoughts: “Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith. If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything. The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”
Life News: “Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith. If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything. The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: A federal court issued an order Wednesday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s HHS mandate against two Christian colleges: Dordt College in Iowa and Cornerstone University in Michigan.
The Journal Gazette: “Michael Alan Wetli wants a divorce. But under Indiana law, it will be very difficult for him to get one. While his same-sex marriage to his estranged spouse, Matthew Eugene Shaffer, is legal in Iowa, the Hoosier State does not recognize such unions.”
Lincoln Journal Star: “A Raymond woman who married her longtime, same-sex partner in Iowa in 2009 is now petitioning the Nebraska Supreme Court to be allowed to divorce. The issue of same-sex divorce has only recently begun to crop up. A total of 17 states now recognize same-sex marriage, but Nebraska is not one of them.”
Sioux City Journal: “The bill cleared the Republican-majority House 55-42 but has been declared dead since the Democratic-controlled Senate didn’t take action prior to last week’s legislative deadline. In a news conference Monday, minority Republicans called on leaders in the Senate to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote.”
National Review: “After 79-year-old Donna Holman protested outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, police arrested her and jailed her overnight for allegedly violating an injunction they say bars her from being near any Planned Parenthood personnel.”
KCRG: “The image includes a shadow of a figure at the firefighter’s side, which some now have interpreted as the figure of a staff-carrying Jesus. The image came with the truck, built by Pierce Manufacturing, Appleton, Wis., when the city purchased it new in 1997. Now, though, a citizen has filed an informal complaint about it with the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.”
Des Moines Register: “An Iowa inmate has won a lawsuit against the state because he was served food prepared in pots and pans that had previously touched meats and other ingredients — a violation of that inmate’s religious rights, a judge has ruled.”
Des Moines Register: “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland contends that a prominent Catholic priest played an ‘outsized role’ in the state medical board’s decision to ban use of a telemedicine system for providing abortion pills.”
OneNewsNow: “Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Travis Barham tells OneNewsNow his firm sent a letter to the Universities of Wisconsin and Iowa State, telling them they needlessly removed the Bibles in response to the threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.”
Christian legal group encourages universities to reinstate Bibles following atheist complaint | Christian Post
Christian Post: “But ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham contended in a statement that public universities must accommodate religious freedom, rather than purge their campus of all religious expression.”
The Blaze: “The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal firm based in Arizona, is urging both the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University to continue allowing Gideon Bibles in night stands. The organization is claiming that the First Amendment does not preclude their presence in public accommodations, Christian News Network reported.”
Iowa State Daily: “The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group, recently wrote letters to both Iowa State University and the University of Wisconsin, claiming that the argument by the foundation was in conflict with legal precedent.”
Des Moines Register Editorial: “Since the Bibles’ removal made news, Iowa State officials have been hammered by critics who believe they are wrongly complicit in removing religion from the public sphere. Fox News jumped on the story. Then a Georgia-based organization called Alliance Defending Freedom countered with a demand of its own that the university keep the Gideon Bibles because otherwise it would violate the First Amendment with an act of ‘hostility to religion.’”
The College Fix: “‘Public universities, which are the marketplaces of ideas, should understand that the First Amendment does not require them to purge something from campus just because it happens to be religious. Rather, the Constitution requires them to accommodate religion,’ Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham said in a prepared statement.”
Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University this week after the schools needlessly removed Bibles from all university guest rooms after receiving complaints from an atheist group.
OneNewsNow: “Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, have joined together in the lawsuit against the emergency contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Greg Baylor explains that the two schools have predominately Christian students and teachers.”
Iowa City Press Citizen: “Rooms at Iowa State University’s Hotel Memorial Union will no longer contain Gideon bibles, after a guest complained to a watchdog group about ‘unwelcome religious propaganda in the bedside table.’”
LifeNews: “The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill recently to ban telemed abortions . . . longtime abortion proponent Beth Wessel-Kroeschell of Ames railed against House Republicans . . . ‘we also know that they have the challenges they bring. They have colic, the sleepless nights, the finances, the disciplinary challenges . . . And what women do know is that we know where our limits are. We absolutely know where our limits are –whether we’re ready, whether we’re physically ready . . .’”
WCF Courier: “The bill, House File 2073, seeks to outlaw telemedicine abortions in the state. The fine and license suspension provisions were amended onto the bill Wednesday to replace criminal penalties that previously were in the bill.”
Muscatine Journal: “Anti-abortion Republicans in the Iowa House are pushing their way into one of the most divisive abortion debates of the year with legislation that would make telemedicine abortions illegal in the state.”
Caffeinated Thoughts: “Joel Oster, the keynote speaker from Alliance Defending Freedom, said that there is a movement in the United States to change the concept of having freedom of religion to freedom of worship. Oster noted that our first right in the bill of rights is the free exercise of religion, not just worship.”
Sioux City Journal: “An official says the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bettendorf will no longer perform surgical abortions but will continue with abortions induced by medication.”
Des Moines Register: “Graduates of Iowa’s two law schools could begin practicing law in the state soon after graduation rather than waiting until they pass the bar exam, under a proposal before the Iowa Supreme Court.”
Des Moines Register: Iowa has had same-sex marriage since it was legalized by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009, but it doesn’t’ appear the state’s top elected officials have any interest in legalizing polygamy.
One News Now: “ADF concerned about Planned Parenthood’s fraud”