US Federal Appeals Court Rules For-Profit Must Cover Contraception
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that Autocam Corporation - a for-profit entity that provides manufacturing services for automotive and medical industries - must comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage mandate.
Autocam claimed that providing contraception coverage in its health care plans at no extra cost for employees would violate its rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In a unanimous opinion, the Sixth Circuit rejected Autocam's argument and determined that secular, for-profit corporations are not "persons" protected under the the Act.
Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, praised the decision. "Religious liberty is for people, not Big Business," Lynn said. "No corporation should ever be able to tell its employees that they can't have access to contraceptive coverage simply because it offends the boss' religious views." Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .