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News stories tagged with "contraception"

US District Court in Brokklyn. Photo: <a href="http://www.panoramio.com/photo/72769135">Adam Elmquist</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
US District Court in Brokklyn. Photo: Adam Elmquist, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Catholic groups win NY contraceptive ruling

NEW YORK (AP) A Brooklyn judge has granted a permanent federal injunction that exempts four organizations with ties to the Catholic Church from being required to provide contraceptive care to its employees through a third party.

The Daily News says the ruling released Monday by Judge Brian Cogan in Federal District Court in Brooklyn affects more than 25,000 employees at two high schools, six hospitals, three nursing homes and several nonprofits.  Go to full article
Erica Macilintal
Erica Macilintal

Away from glare of politics, one woman's struggle to balance faith and sexuality

This week, North Country Public Radio has been talking to religious leaders and politicians in our region about the national debate surrounding birth control and sexuality. It's become a big issue for Republicans in the 2012 presidential primary.

Republicans in Congress are also advancing national legislation that would allow all employers, not just religious groups, to deny health insurance coverage for things like contraception if those services violate the beliefs of the company's owners.

These culture-war debates could shape big races here in the North Country this November, including the battle for the 23rd district congressional race. Republican challenger Matt Doheny has accused Democratic congressman Bill Owens, of working "to violate the free exercise of religion."

Republican Assemblywoman Janet Duprey from Peru is also expected to face a strong primary challenge, in part because of her support for same-sex marriage, which is now legal in New York.

This political debate may, at times, seem disconnected from the reality of modern American life. According to the widely-respected Guttmacher Institute, roughly 90% of fertile, sexually active women in the United States are using contraception. But for some women, religious teachings play a profound role in shaping and defining their sexuality. Away from the glare of politics, faith and intimacy can be closely intertwined.

Our Plattsburgh correspondent Sarah Harris sat down recently to talk in-depth with Erica Macalintal. She's a 22-year-old nursing student at SUNY Plattsburgh who will graduate this May. Macalintal is a devout Roman Catholic who says her sexual life has been deeply influenced by the theology of her Church.  Go to full article
The Rev. Laurena Will, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg.
The Rev. Laurena Will, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg.

Pastor sees personal choice threatened in health coverage debate

Yesterday we began a conversation about social issues that are in play during this election year, ranging from contraception to prenatal testing to the role of religion in politics and public life. Catholic bishops across the country are working to defeat laws requiring that insurance coverage provided by religious groups include services like contraception and vasectomies.

Polls show that the vast majority of American families, including Catholics to use contraception. But in a conversation with Brian Mann yesterday, Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg said the church's opposition to contraception is firm.

"Because it's a fundamental teaching of our faith. It's a question of life, of the preservation of life."

LaValley said requiring faith groups to offer insurance coverage for services like contraception and vasectomies amounts to "an attack on religious freedom."

The Rev. Laurena Will has been pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg for seven years, and an ordained minister for 20. Her church owns the building that houses the Ogdensburg Planned Parenthood Clinic. Martha Foley spoke with her yesterday. Will sees the insurance mandate and the religious freedom issue that rises from it; from a very different perspective.  Go to full article
Bishop Terry LaValley. Source: Diocese of Odgensburg
Bishop Terry LaValley. Source: Diocese of Odgensburg

As social issues shape 2012 campaign, North Country bishop speaks out

After the long recession, most pundits expected the 2012 political campaign to revolve around economic issues.

But politicians on the right and left have instead been reviving some surprising social questions, ranging from contraception to prenatal testing to the role of religion in politics and public life.

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, argued that opposition to insurance coverage for those services amounts to "an attack on women."

"Many of us are outraged, really outraged," Sen. Gillibrand told the magazine. "In the year 2012, we should not be debating access to birth control. No boss should be making a decision about what health care their employees should be eligible to take."

Polls show that the vast majority of American families use contraception and think contraception should be widely available. Surveys also suggest that a smaller majority of Americans think religious groups should provide full insurance benefits to employees.

But Bishop Terry Lavalley, who heads the Diocese of Ogdensburg, sees this very differently.

He argues that Federal changes to healthcare laws proposed by the Obama administration threaten the religious freedom of groups like the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop LaValley met recently with Brian Mann to talk about the Church's prominent role in this year's political campaign and about the difficulties of teaching Catholic doctrine in an age when even many Roman Catholics are making very different moral choices.  Go to full article

Doctors Urge Pataki Not to Veto "Morning After" Pill Legislation

A number of prominent physicians organizations say Governor Pataki should not veto a bill permitting over the counter sales of emergency contraception pills. They say there is sound medical evidence and long standing tradition to back up their argument. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Conservatives Oppose "Morning After Pill" Measure

Governor Pataki says he's still deciding whether or not to sign a bill that legalizes over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraception medicine known as the "morning after pill". Groups on both sides of the issue are lobbying the governor. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Compromise Women's Health Bill Passes NY Senate

Senate Republicans announced that they'll pass a bill to give most women in New York State access to birth control through their health insurance plans. The move drew sharp criticism from the Catholic Church. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Women's Wellness Act May Move Forward in Albany

New York state lawmakers are still arguing over a bill to fund more health care for women, but now there's more of a chance they'll resolve their differences and agree on a law. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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