Hobby Lobby Win Injunction Against Birth Control Mandate
After receiving a temporary injunction from US District Judge Joe Heaton last week, Hobby Lobby will now be exempted from the Affordable Care Act stipulation that requires employer-based insurance plans to cover various birth control methods at no extra cost to employees until October 1, 2013.
In September of last year, the evangelical-owned Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the mandate requiring employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill and other contraceptives. Under the new mandate, companies who do not provide coverage for contraception can face fines of up to $1.3 million daily.
In June, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, saying that the company had the right to uphold its religious beliefs and deny contraceptive coverage. The federal government has until October 1, 2013 to file an appeal with the US Supreme Court.
The company's conservative owners, the Green family, object to specific forms of birth control like emergency contraceptives and intrauterine devices based on their belief that life begins at conception. The company covers 16 forms of birth control through the employee insurance plan. Although emergency contraceptives have been specifically included in the ACA's list of covered prescriptions, the company's CEO maintained that "To offer prescriptions that take life is not an option for us."
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc et al v. Sebelius et al, U.S. District Court is one of 63 lawsuits around the nation that have been filed against the ACA's mandate of comprehensive birth control coverage.
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .