In today’s News:
Planned Parenthood gets a license
Missouri’s health department yesterday issued another license to the state’s only abortion clinic following a year-long legal battle over whether the St. Louis Planned Parenthood Center could stay open. The Department of Health and Senior Services last year declined to renew the clinic’s license, which meant the clinic wouldn’t have been allowed to provide abortions. Planned Parenthood sued. After a year-long legal battle, the state’s administrative hearing commission ruled in may that the health department was wrong not to renew the clinic’s license. The health department, which is represented by the state Attorney General’s office, hasn’t indicated if it will appeal the administrative hearing commission ruling. Monday is the deadline to appeal.
Online courses offered to pastors, church workers
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is partnering with Concordia University Wisc., For the first time to offer two online continuing education courses for pastors, one in the fall and one in the spring. The courses are especially appropriate for ordained pastors, commissioned church workers and lay leaders. The courses are fully online. Each course features six modules over six weeks, with video lectures, optional readings, recommended assignments and peer discussion activities. The opening and closing sessions will be held live online and will be recorded for later viewing. All other sessions will be fully asynchronous, meaning they can be completed at any time during the run of each course.
Faith-based adoption groups gain support
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to bolster the federal government’s work with community and faith-based groups in adoption and foster care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the order will encourage better partnerships between states and faith-based and community organizations in adoption and foster care, help publicize best practices, and states and local authorities to recruit more foster and adoptive families. The executive order comes ahead of a Supreme Court case involving Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia. In 2018, the city stopped referrals of foster children with the organization due to its faith-based stance on marriage. The case has been scheduled for the Supreme Court’s fall 2020 term.
Senator opposes the ‘Equality Act’
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said on Wednesday that he opposes the unamended Equality Act, which passed the Democrat-controlled House last year, because, among other things, “It would force people of faith, doctors, others to perform abortions.” The equality acts says an official summary that it, “prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in a wide variety of areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation. The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity,” says the summary. The bill also “prohibits the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 from providing a claim, defense, or basis for challenging such protections.”