By: Emily Conley
The four stories that caught our attention this week:
1. Abortion Mandate Win for the Bracy Family.
Barth and Abbie Bracy had insurance through a private insurer until Obamacare forced the company to cancel the policy. The Bracys were forced to join the Connecticut Obamacare exchange, where they discovered that every plan offered included a mandatory surcharge that can only be used to fund elective abortions.
But Barth Bracy is executive director of The Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee. It was only because of his knowledge of the law that he knew that he would have to pay an abortion surcharge that is not disclosed in the premium. We represented the Bracys in their lawsuit challenging the surcharge.
For the first time, the Connecticut exchange added new coverage plans that do not fund abortion! On Thursday, We voluntarily dismissed our lawsuit as a result. Now, pro-life people in Connecticut have insurance options that won’t violate their conscience.
“Americans should not have to pay a special fee for other people’s abortions in order to take care of their own family’s health,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “The Bracy family has experienced first-hand the kind of deception that was used to pass and that continues to pervade this law. While we are pleased that Connecticut families will now have a choice to avoid paying this abortion surcharge, it is a shame that other families won’t have that choice, and that most Americans don’t even know that they must pay this secret fee.”
2. Find out if you’re paying for abortions.
Speaking of which, there’s a brand new website that will tell you if your insurance plan includes the surcharge that goes to paying for elective abortions.
Frustrated by the lack of transparency and information the government has provided on Obamacare, pro-life leaders at Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council teamed up to create ObamacareAbortion.com, where you can select your state and compare options by whether the plans are green (does not cover elective abortion), orange (some plans cover elective abortion/Unknown), or red (covers elective abortion).
The site just launched Thursday. Head there to compare your state health exchange plans.
3. This N.C. County is Now Free to Pray.
In March 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the Forsyth County Commission on behalf of three individuals because they claimed to be offended by simply hearing the invited speakers deliver prayers that included a reference to Jesus Christ or any other named deity. The district court put an order in place forcing the County to censor the way people prayed to ensure only generic prayers were offered at public meetings.
After winning the Town of Greece v. Galloway case in May, ADF attorneys representing Forsyth County asked the district court to lift its order against the county’s prayer policy.
And on Thursday, they did exactly that.
As the Supreme Court said Greece v. Galloway: “Our tradition assumes that adult citizens, firm in their own beliefs, can tolerate and perhaps appreciate a ceremonial prayer delivered by a person of a different faith.”
4. Public School Stands Up to Atheist Threats, Keeps Character-Building Program
Unlike a school district we blogged about earlier, the Licking Valley School District in Newark, Ohio, refused to pull the plug on an educational, character-building program when the Freedom From Religion foundation complained that the presenters were Christians.
The content of the program, which was presented by Jubilee Gang, was secular. As our letter to the school district said,” “By advocating for the exclusion of people of faith from public life and – in particular – any participation in public schools, FFRF demonstrates that its demands are not based on law but on a blatant hostility to religion that directly conflicts with the First Amendment’s protection of religious free exercise.”
Maybe now the Azle Independent School District in Texas will consider restoring a voluntary anti-bullying, anti-drugs, and character-building education program that they cancelled upon also receiving an unfounded complaint from FFRF.
What did you think of these stories? Leave a comment below. And suggest stories for next week to me on Twitter.