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The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Do Women Deserve the Highest Standards of Care? Not if You Ask Planned Parenthood

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on November 17, 2015

PLANNEDPARENT

“At Planned Parenthood, we work every day to make sure women receive the high quality health care they need in a safe, respectful environment- including abortion care. Ensuring the health and safety of our patients is central to our mission and fundamental to every person who works at Planned Parenthood.”

So said one Planned Parenthood executive in a cut-and-paste comment last year, the kind you’ll see – nearly or perfectly verbatim – from the abortion giant’s various affiliates across the country.

Indeed, another affiliate (after parroting the exact quote above) boasts of its “rigorous medical standards and guidelines” and “rigorous standards and training for staff as well as emergency plans in place, because women’s safety is our first priority.”

Admirable aspirations, signifying a commitment to patient care that transcends all other concerns and animates the very soul of the organization, right?

Hardly. This is Planned Parenthood. And today the mask slips again.

The U.S Supreme Court announced that it would hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a case out of Texas which will be the first major abortion case before the high court in nearly a decade.

At issue is a Texas law known as House Bill 2 which requires abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers. For example, hallways at abortion businesses must be wide enough to maneuver a gurney, should a women in medical distress need to be moved through the facility.

The law also includes a provision that protects women against cut-and-run abortionists by requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. As it stands, if a woman is the victim of a botched abortion or needs hospital care as a result of one of numerous potential post-abortion complications, the abortionist without admitting privileges washes his hands of the patient and leaves her to seek care with another medical staff in another medical facility which receives the woman sight unseen and unfamiliar with necessary details of her progress to this urgent state. A knowledge gap like this can be a matter of life and death.

ADF, along with several pro-life allies, filed a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit explaining that the “focus of the constitutionality [of the law] is on the treatment of women . . . . Texas, as many other States, has clearly recognized the risks associated with both surgical and medication abortions and has taken steps to regulate these abortions to minimize these known and potential risks and to protect women’s health and safety. Texas now is (and should continue to be) permitted to do so.”

In its opinion, the Fifth Circuit agreed, writing that the evidence demonstrates that “the State truly intends that women only receive an abortion in facilities that can provide the highest quality of care and safety—the stated legitimate purpose of H.B. 2.”

You’d think that Planned Parenthood, for all its talk of “women’s safety” and “rigorous medical standards,” would be the sponsors of this law and vigorous advocates of its affirmation in federal court.

Again, this is Planned Parenthood. Instead of celebrating the Texas legislature’s common sense move to make sure that women seeking abortions aren’t entering another Kermit Gosnell house of horrors, Planned Parenthood and its allies pressed play on its favorite talking points mix tape: “Cut off access”…“hurt women”…“#undueburden”…“attack”…“draconian law” (not sure they know what “draconian” means)…“forcing these women to carry their pregnancies to term against their will”… and so on.

Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion-industrial complex have insisted, all the way up to the Supreme Court, that abortionists should not be held to the same standards as everyone else . . . and that the women who enter their doors don’t really deserve the highest level of care.

Let’s hope that when the Supreme Court hears the case in the spring and decides it by the beginning of summer it rules that states can protect women, even over the protests of the abortion industry.

Planned Parenthood, for its millions in marketing and meticulous corporate message control, is having a harder time passing itself off as the tender-hearted, indispensable women’s health champion. Its opposition to a common sense law that says all women deserve the highest standard of safety and care (even in an abortion clinic where no one is truly safe and cared-for) and that holds abortion businesses to the same standards as other medical clinics again exposes the irreconcilability of Planned Parenthood’s words and actions.

Courtesy of http://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2015/11/16/do-women-deserve-the-highest-standards-of-care-not-if-you-ask-planned-parenthood

 

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Texas Governor Sued Over Upcoming Prayer Rally

Posted by faithandthelaw on July 22, 2011

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit against the Texas’ governor for his coordinating and being an advocate for a prayer rally that the group says violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Gov. Rick Perry, 61, declared that August 6th be a day of prayer and fasting and invited governors from across the nation to be with him in Houston on this special day.

His office calls the celebration a “non-denominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting hosted by the American Family Association,” a organization that believes “a culture based on Biblical truth best serves the well-being of our country.”

The governor’s proclamation itself does not mention AFA or Christianity. It cites moments in history when leaders turned to prayer, such as in 1787 when Benjamin Franklin urged for prayer in an address before the Constitutional Convention.

Regardless, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of members residing in the state, accusing the governor of providing official recognition to a religious event.

According to the foundation, the governor is “giving the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs” and that “non-believers are political outsiders.”

In their 19-page complaint, the foundation seeks an “injunction prohibiting Governor Perry’s further involvement in the scheduled prayer rally, as well as an injunction against future uses of official indicia of the State of Texas in promoting and proclaiming the establishment of religion.”

A spokesperson for Perry told ABC in response to the lawsuit that the governor believes the rally is “an important opportunity for Americans to gather together and pray to God.”

Gov. Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history, chair of the Republican Governors Association, and a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.

Courtesy of http://www.christianlawjournal.com/featured-articles/texas-gov-sued-over-upcoming-prayer-rally

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Federal Judge Prohibits Prayer at Texas Graduation Ceremony

Posted by faithandthelaw on June 10, 2011

A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the school district is in the process of appealing the ruling, and his office has agreed to file a brief in their support.

“Part of this goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in this country,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News Radio, saying the judge wanted to turn school administrators into “speech police.”

“I’ve never seen such a restriction on speech issued by a court or the government,” Abbott told Fox News Radio. “It seems like a trampling of the First Amendment rather than protecting the First Amendment.”

Judge Biery’s ruling banned students and other speakers from using religious language in their speeches. Among the banned words or phrases are: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer.”

He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program.

“These terms shall be replaced with ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks,’” the judge’s order stated. His ruling also prohibits anyone from saying, “in [a deity’s name] we pray.”

Should a student violate the order, school district officials could find themselves in legal trouble. Judge Biery ordered that his ruling be “enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official (sic) and their agents.”

The Texas attorney general called the ruling unconstitutional and a blatant attack from those who do not believe in God — “attempts by atheists and agnostics to use courts to eliminate from the public landscape any and all references to God whatsoever.”

“This is the challenge we are dealing with here,” he said. “(It’s) an ongoing attempt to purge God from the public setting while at the same time demanding from the courts an increased yielding to all things atheist and agnostic.”

Ayesa Khan, an attorney representing the student and his parents, told KABB-TV she was delighted in the judge’s decision.

“It caused him a great deal of anxiety,” she said, referring to her teenage client. “He has gone to meet with the principal to try and talk in a civilized way about long-standing problems, and the school district has continued to thumb its nose.”

The judge did grant students permission to make the sign of the cross, wear religious garb or kneel to face Mecca. But that’s not good enough for some students at the high school.

“It’s just a big surprise that one kid can come in and change what’s been a tradition since Medina Valley started,” student Abigail Russell told KABB-TV.

Fellow student Alicia Jade Geurin agreed.

“At graduation, I would love to be able to speak from my heart,” she told the TV station. “But in this situation I feel my freedom of speech and my First Amendment is being infringed upon if I can’t say what I feel.”

But the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, hailed the judge’s decision.

“This is a high school graduation,” he told Fox News Radio. “It is not a church service.”

Lynn was critical of the attorney general’s allegation that the ruling was an attempt to purge Christianity from the public square.

“Any attorney general worth his salt would know that’s the issue and that this is not about promoting atheism,” he said. “That’s ludicrous.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/02/prayer-prohibited-at-graduation-ceremony/#ixzz1OtLOH25Y

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Just in Time for Easter: Romanian Refugees Denied Religious Freedom in Dallas County

Posted by faithandthelaw on April 3, 2010

 

PLANO, Texas – Today, the Romanian Orthodox Church, represented by Liberty Institute, filed a lawsuit against the Dallas County Appraisal District, which is wrongfully taxing the church.

“The Appraisal District should be ashamed of itself for taking advantage of these folks who came to America in search of freedom,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation at Liberty Institute. “We’re asking them to do the right thing and restore the tax-exempt status wrongfully revoked and stop abusing their government power to intimidate this small Romanian congregation.”

The church, made up of refugees and immigrants from Romania, purchased a small tract of land in Dallas County in 2004 with plans to build a house of worship. Until it can gather adequate funding to do so, the Church meets regularly on the property for open-air worship services, prayer and fellowship.

The Dallas County Appraisal District at first granted the church tax exempt status only later to unlawfully revoke it. The amount that the District is requiring the church to pay is almost 30 percent of the church’s annual budget. If the church is required to pay the tax, it will be unable to keep the property.

“I came to America in search of religious freedom,” said John Stancu, the church’s Board Treasurer, who was imprisoned under Romania’s Nicolae Ceauşescu regime for speaking of God and later tortured for his faith. Stancu escaped the communist country in 1980 at the age of 24, fleeing to Italy before making his way to the United States. “It saddens me that even here, government bureaucrats would use their power to try to stop us from worshipping on our land.”

Liberty Institute is a public policy and non-profit legal firm dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families. Liberty Institute offers assistance pro-bono to groups, churches and individuals who have been denied their First Amendment freedoms.

For more information, visit www.libertyinstitute.org  

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