In today’s News:
A church fights an abortion mandate
A Seattle-area church filed its opening brief yesterday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, asking for reversal of a lower court decision that dismissed the church’s lawsuit against the state of Washington. The lawsuit challenges a state law forcing churches to cover elective abortions in their health insurance plans. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Cedar Park Assembly of God, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s mandate requiring the church to cover abortion if it provides its staff members maternity coverage in their group health insurance. As a result of the state’s mandate, the church’s insurance carrier inserted surgical abortion coverage directly into the church’s health plan. The insurer indicated that it would remove the offensive coverage if a court were to hold that the state law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit, Cedar Park Assembly of God of Kirkland v. Kreidler, challenges the constitutionality of Washington State Senate Bill 6219, legislation signed into law in March 2018. The legislation requires Cedar Park to provide coverage for abortion if the church also offers maternity care coverage to its employees, or face fines and criminal penalties, including imprisonment.
Department of Education defends female athletes
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to write transgenderism into federal nondiscrimination law does not create a right for gender-confused male students to compete against actual girls, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) concluded in a letter explaining how the divisive ruling factors into its own judgment. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC’s) official handbook says the conference “Shall defer to the determination of the student and his or her local school regarding gender identification,” without any conditions pertaining to physical transitions or testosterone levels. This has led to biologically male competitors consistently outperforming actual females and depriving them of numerous opportunities, according to a complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of runners Selina Soule, Alana Smith and Chelsea Mitchell. The OCR has weighed in on the side of the runners, concluding that the CIAC policy violates the civil rights of female athletes, denying them “benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits.”
Abortion lobby sues
The abortion lobby filed a lawsuit Monday to block another provision of a sweeping pro-life law enacted in Tennessee this year, this time targeting language requiring that abortion-minded women seeking abortion pills be given information on how to reverse them should they change their mind. The omnibus law already faces legal challenge over its ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and the latest suit, brought by planned parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), challenges the requirement that women seeking a chemical abortion (the “abortion pill”) to be made aware of the abortion pill reversal (APR technique).