How Catholic Hospitals Flout the Law

I've often written about the life-endangering refusal of Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, even when a pregnant woman is facing sepsis or hemorrhage and nothing can be done to save the fetus (see here, here and here). Now the ACLU in partnership with MergerWatch has released a new report, Health Care Denied, that reveals the full scope of the problem (HT: Butterflies and Wheels):Today, one in six hospital beds in the United States is in a Catholic hospital. In some places, such as … [Read more...]

Why Do Anti-Choice Christians Believe Abortion Is Bad?

The Colorado courts have unsealed some documents in the case of Robert Lewis Dear, the Christian terrorist who attacked a Planned Parenthood in Colorado and murdered three people. (Since it seems clear that Dear isn't denying his guilt, I think we can dispense with words like "alleged".)The new documents confirm that Dear's motivations were explicitly religious. Among other details, we're told that he repeatedly quoted the Bible, "called President Barack Obama the antichrist" and "thought … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: March 27

• With all the stealth and haste of a coup d'etat, North Carolina's Republican government rushes through a vicious and willfully mean-spirited pro-discrimination bill. Transgender people are targeted the worst, but the bill also nullifies all local ordinances that protect LGBT people, blocks private individuals from suing over racial or sexual discrimination, and prohibits municipalities from raising the minimum wage.• But North Carolina is getting a run for its money from Indiana, … [Read more...]

My Birthday Wish: Support Bowl-a-Thon ’16

Happy birthday to me! Today's my 34th birthday, which means I totally outlived Jesus.I'm not a materialistic person, so I'm not looking for presents. But if you have some spare cash, I'd be happy if you made a donation to Feminist Coffee Hour's Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser for the New York Abortion Access Fund.And if you need a further reason to donate, this cat in a bowtie also wants you to: … [Read more...]

Support Bowl-a-Thon 2016

As long as reproductive choice is under threat in the United States, there'll be a need for the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon.This year, the stakes are especially high, as Catholic hospitals continue to deny critical care to pregnant and miscarrying women, and the Supreme Court will soon hear a case over a dreadful, bad-faith law that effectively end abortion access for most of Texas - and even with the absence of Antonin Scalia, there's no guarantee of how they'll rule.We can't … [Read more...]

When Catholic Dogma Fuels Medical Negligence

Despite its public image as the faith of kindly Pope Francis, Roman Catholicism still enforces cruel, medieval rules that kill women. Witness this story from the Guardian on how Catholic hospitals' abortion ban forces women to endure life-threatening infections:The woman inside the ambulance was miscarrying... As the vehicle wailed toward the hospital, a doctor waiting for her arrival phoned a specialist, who was unequivocal: the baby would die. The woman might follow. Induce labor … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: December 13

• An editorial on Charisma News accuses atheists of "the height of intolerance" for, basically, existing during the Christmas season.• Mormon Feminists on the Brink: The LDS church has a long record of fierce and diehard opposition to feminism. Their resistance to LGBT rights is well in line with the church's reactionary history.• Hampton Beach, Virginia is an epicenter of the American religious right, the home of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent … [Read more...]

Christian Terrorism in Colorado

You probably don't need me to fill in the details of the latest shooting rampage in gun-sick America. This time, the target was a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. After a multi-hour gun battle with police, the attacker was captured alive, but not before he'd killed a police officer and two civilians.By now, these slaughters are a drearily familiar story. Other than the city and the number of people killed, they all follow pretty much the same template, and all you have to do is fill … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 15

This is part 15 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hi Andrew,I think Haidt's work on the five foundations of morality has a lot of validity, although I'd argue that the conservative, "beehive" values tend to work better in smaller and more homogeneous societies. Large, multicultural civilizations, by their nature, need to rely first and foremost on the "contractual" values of harm/care and … [Read more...]

New on the Guardian: Atheists Fighting for Choice

You may detect a theme this week. My latest column on the Guardian is up: "Abortion opposition is a religious stance. Atheists must help fight for choice".Under an onslaught of anti-choice legislation, abortion rights in the U.S. are threatened as never before. But an ally is beckoning from an unexpected quarter: in spite of our image as a male-dominated and sometimes obliviously sexist community, atheists are by far the most pro-choice demographic in the nation, and some large secular … [Read more...]


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