Public Divided Over Birth Control Insurance Mandate
A national survey found that, of the Americans who are aware of the controversy over a proposed federal rule requiring employers to provide coverage for birth control as part of their health care plans, 48 percent of them supported an exemption while 44 percent said religiously-affiliated institutions should be required to cover contraceptives.
The survey was done by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, and it found that only six in 10 Americans were aware of the controversy.
The Obama administration announced in February that it would modify that mandate in response to criticism that the rule would force religious organizations to violate their beliefs.
HPV Vaccine for Boys
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that boys get the controversial HPV vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common type of sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The infection can cause genital warts and certain kinds of cancers. It’s estimated that certain HPV types are responsible for 7,000 cases of cancer in men every year and 15,000 cases in women.
The vaccine is controversial because some people say getting the injection encourages children to be sexually active. Others are cautious because they fear the vaccine is too new, with unknown risks and side effects.
The government moved last year to expand its HPV vaccine recommendations to include boys.
Previously, the AAP only backed the routine vaccination for girls.
Political Candidates and Public Expressions of Faith
Presidential candidates who share their faith on the campaign trail may not be helping their bid for the nomination. That’s what a new survey of American adults by LifeWay Research has found.
According to the survey, only one in six Americans (16 percent) are more likely to vote for a candidate who regularly shares his religious beliefs.
Thirty percent indicated they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who shares his religious beliefs with the public, 28 percent said it would have no impact on the choice of candidate, and 21 percent said it would depend on the candidate’s religion.
The survey also revealed that young Americans, ages 18-29 (24 percent) and those ages 30-49 (24 percent) are more likely to select “depends on the religion” of the candidate.
The survey was conducted online in September 2011 among 2,144 adults from across the United States.
Court Rules in Favor of Pharmacists
Pharmacists in Washington state now have the right to refuse to dispense “emergency contraception” drugs that could take the life of a preborn baby. A federal court ruled that pharmacists may now be guided by their conscience when it comes to abortifacients.
A rule created in 2007 by the state’s Board of Pharmacy said that any Washington pharmacist who didn’t stock and dispense drugs like Plan B or “ella” would lose his job. The federal court ruling trumps the Board of Pharmacy.
A judge ruled that the state’s Board of Pharmacy had violated constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms of prolife pharmacists. Now, pharmacists who object for religious or moral reasons have the right to refer customers to other pharmacies.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.