Bishops urge Catholics to sign petition against Hyde Amendment’s repeal

Diocesan Respect Life coordinators and the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops are encouraging Catholics to speak out against the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, legislation which bans federal Medicaid funding of abortions. “It is so important for people in our parishes to learn about the Hyde Amendment and the life-saving, conscience-protecting…Read More

Florida Governor Signs “Historic” School Choice Bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, signed a school choice bill Tuesday, allowing families to use public education tax dollars to send children to private schools, to homeschool, or to employ private tutors. Wealthy parents “can make whatever decisions they want” and “have the world as their oyster,” DeSantis said at a televised signing ceremony held at…Read More

Possible brain death law changes pose ethical concerns

Some Catholic doctors and medical ethicists have raised concern about possible forthcoming changes to the legal definition of brain death used in most U.S. states. The issue of whether family consent should be required for brain death testing is of particular importance, especially since a determination of brain death can allow for patients’ organs to…Read More

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice speaks to Assembly of Catholic Professionals

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Edmond, talked on Thursday about faith, family and the issues facing the U.S. Congress at the Assembly of Catholic Professionals in downtown Oklahoma City. Bice, who was elected in November to represent Oklahoma’s 5th District, said her freshman year in Congress has been a whirlwind, including being chosen president of the…Read More

Catholic Schools Beat Public Schools in Reading and Math

Here is one demonstrable fact about the difference between Catholic and public schools: Students who study at Catholic schools do better in reading and math. We know this because students who attended Catholic elementary schools in 2019 tested better in mathematics and reading than students who attended public schools. The latest issue of the Digest…Read More

Landmark lawsuit targets Christian higher education

One of Oklahoma’s largest faith-based universities is among 25 higher education institutions named in a federal class-action lawsuit recently brought against the U.S. Department of Education. Filed by the nonprofit Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP), the lawsuit, Elizabeth Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Department of Education, is being brought against the department on behalf of…Read More

‘Demographic earthquake’? U.S. fertility rates fall again to record-low levels

The U.S. total fertility rate fell to its lowest-recorded level last year and the number of births was the lowest in 42 years, new federal data published on Wednesday revealed. According to provisional data of the National Vital Statistics System published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the total fertility rate in the…Read More

CDC Helped Teachers Unions Keep Schools Closed

House Republicans confronted the Centers for Disease Control this week after newly-released emails revealed the CDC quietly “partnered” with leading teachers unions while crafting the latest school reopening guidelines. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, Morgan Griffith, R-VA, and Brett Guthrie, R-KY, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a strongly-worded letter to CDC Director…Read More

Catholic dioceses appeal to Supreme Court for protection against New York’s abortion coverage mandate

The dioceses of Albany and Ogdensburg and other Catholic and Christian ministries last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against New York’s abortion coverage mandate. The 2017 mandate from the state’s Department of Financial Services required that employers cover abortions in their employee health insurance plans. While the state granted a…Read More

Governor Greenlights Restorative Justice Program

The governor this week signed into law a bill that will allow for a victim-led restorative justice pilot program to be established in the state. The purpose of House Bill 1880, by House Majority Caucus Whip Tammy West, R-Oklahoma City, is to divert non-violent offenders from traditional prosecution and incarcerations models. Instead, cases are referred…Read More

Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Banning Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt today signed a bill into law that that would ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Last Tuesday, the state Senate passed the heartbeat bill and two other pro-life measures and today Stitt signed them into law. “I’m keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation. We now have…Read More

Connecticut Girls Hit Setback, Press Forward Against Unfair ‘Trans’ Policy

A group of girl athletes are appealing a judge’s rejection of their case against a policy that allows male-born “trans” athletes to compete with females in Connecticut high school sports. After a new pro-LGBT policy was introduced to school sports in Connecticut, biological boys began competing with (and defeating) female athletes in 2017. A number…Read More

Gov. Stitt signs bill preventing government from closing places of worship

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Monday signed a bill that would prevent the government from closing places of worship. House Bill 2648 creates the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, which authorities say anything closing places of worship would be considered a substantial burden on people’s freedom of religion. Government officials in Oklahoma and across the U.S. forced…Read More

Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning Biological Males From Competing In Girl’s High School Sports

Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) signed a bill into law on Friday that bans biological males from being able to compete against girls in high school sports. The law states that “no public K-12 school may participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition…Read More

Arkansas Legislature passes bill banning Planned Parenthood from public schools

Arkansas lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed a bill that would, if enacted, prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from providing resources to public schools. Known as the “Arkansas Student Protection Act,” the bill passed the state Senate on Monday in a vote of 27-5, having previously passed the state House of Representatives by a vote…Read More

OSSBA says girls should compete against transgender athletes

The Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) has called on lawmakers to require female athletes to compete against male athletes who identify as transgender, saying a proposed ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports “jeopardizes local control” because it would overrule “the policy school districts have adopted” through the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association “regarding…Read More

Biden Admin Files Appeal To Force Doctors to Perform “Trans” Surgeries

The Biden administration filed an appeal Tuesday against a January federal court order in North Dakota that said the government cannot force doctors to perform controversial “gender reassignment” surgeries against their consciences. Lawyer Luke Goodrich, who serves as chief counsel for the pro-religious liberty law firm Becket, called the move an attempt to establish a…Read More

USCCB: Permitting mail-order abortion pills places women’s health ‘in serious jeopardy’

The pro-life chair of the U.S. bishops’ conference on Friday warned that loosening federal regulations of the abortion pill places women’s health “in serious jeopardy.” Earlier this week, the acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic the agency would allow for the abortion pill regimen to…Read More

More states pass bills aimed at protecting women’s sports

State legislatures of West Virginia and Kansas recently passed bills restricting participation in women’s sports to one’s biological sex and not gender identity. New legislation in West Virginia would require participation in single-sex sports teams and events to be based on the “biological sex of the athlete at birth.” The bill passed the state legislature…Read More

Amazon Reinstates Book Critical Of Trans Identity For Children After Claiming To Have Banned It In ‘Error’

Amazon has reinstated sales of a book critical of transgender identity among children after complaints from the author, who speculates many others might have joined her in the pushback. Earlier this week, Maria Keffler’s new book, “Desist, Detrans, & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult,” had sold less than 100 copies across…Read More

Charleston diocese sues South Carolina for barring Covid-relief funds from private schools

The Diocese of Charleston filed a suit against South Carolina on Wednesday challenging the state’s “Blaine Amendment”, which prohibits public funds from going to private schools. The state supreme court has blocked the governor’s efforts to provide Covid-relief funding to private schools and the parents of private school students, citing the state’s Blaine Amendment. Bishop…Read More

New Mexico’s Dangerous, Discriminatory Assisted Suicide Law

In the midst of a pandemic, the New Mexico state legislature ignored the needs of its constituents—many of whom lack basics like reliable electricity and running water, never mind basic medical care—in favor of passing a dangerous and discriminatory assisted suicide law. This and similar policies in other states have proven the failure of proponents…Read More

FDA Lifts Restriction on Remote Prescriptions of Abortion Drugs

The Biden administration cited the coronavirus pandemic to give the green light to at-home, self-administered abortions on Monday. The FDA said it will allow the prescription of an abortion pill, mifepristone, through the mail, reversing Trump administration restrictions on remote prescription of abortion drugs. The agency wrote that because “the in-person dispensing of mifepristone for medical termination…Read More

California Lifts Capacity Limits on Religious Gatherings Following Supreme Court Ruling

California lifted all capacity restrictions on religious gatherings on Monday, following the Supreme Court’s ruling over the weekend that the state’s restrictions were too harsh. “In response to recent judicial rulings, effective immediately, location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended,” the state announced on Monday. The state’s…Read More

SCOTUS Rules Against CA Restrictions on Home Prayer Gatherings

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of religious complainants against a California COVID restriction on in-home religious gatherings. “…California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise,” the Friday ruling stated in part, “permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts, and…Read More

Crisis: Record Number Of Migrants Taken Into Custody At Southern Border In March, Highest Number Of Child Migrants Ever Recorded

United States Customs and Border Protect (CBP) reported a record number of illegal immigrants taken into custody at the United States-Mexico border in March — the most in nearly two decades, according to an official release. That number includes 19,000 child migrants, the “largest monthly number ever recorded …,” according to the Chicago Tribune. CBP…Read More

Court: Government can’t interfere in Catholic schools’ mission

Catholic schools must be free to uphold the Church’s teachings, lawyers for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said after a federal judge allowed a lawsuit against the archdiocese to proceed. Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana ruled on March 31 that a former counselor at a Catholic school in the archdiocese, who was…Read More

Utah to Require Fathers to Pay for Half of Prenatal Care amd Pregnancy Costs

A new law in Utah will require fathers to pay for half of the mother’s cost of pregnancy, making Utah the first state to mandate prenatal child support from the father. HB 113, sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer, stipulates that the baby’s biological father must pay half of the mother’s insurance premiums while she is…Read More

Arkansas lawmakers override Hutchinson veto on transgender youth bill

The Arkansas State Legislature on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) veto on legislation that bans gender reassignment surgeries and other treatments for transgender youth. The majority-Republican state House voted 72 to 25 to approve the controversial bill before sending the legislation back to the state Senate, which rejected the governor’s veto of the bill in…Read More

Point of view: Public funds for public schools is a hollow slogan

“No public money for private schools.” This slogan, employed against the idea of public funding for parents to choose which schools their children attend, is so void of meaning, so vapid in its reasoning. Such is the wit and wisdom in the Public Funds for Public Schools OK Coalition’s (PFPS) name. This coalition of the usual suspects — unions, insider associations and a couple…Read More

Governor Stitt Signs Most Transformative Education Reform in State History Into Law

Governor Kevin Stitt signed the most transformative education reform legislation in Oklahoma history into law today in a ceremony in the Blue Room at the Capitol. House Bill 2078 and Senate Bill 783 allow for students to attend public schools that best meet their needs and modernize the funding formula to match enrollment counts more…Read More

In a Rebuke to Teachers Unions, School Choice Is Going Gangbusters in the States

School districts are slowly beginning to reopen in-person instruction after being closed for nearly a year—or, in many places, for over a year. While this is a wonderful development, it will never erase what parents experienced last year: uncertainty, inconsistency, and, in some cases, ineptitude from public schools. The events of the last year have…Read More

Arkansas governor signs landmark medical conscience objection law

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Friday legislation allowing doctors to decline to perform non-emergency medical procedures that violate their moral or religious beliefs. The law will take effect by August 2021. “I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny…Read More

Kentucky Legislature Overrides Governor Beshear’s Veto, Becomes 28th State with Private School Choice Program

Tonight the Kentucky Legislature voted to override Governor Beshear’s veto of House Bill 563. The bill will now become law, making Kentucky the 28th state to enact a private school choice program. Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children: “Today lawmakers in Kentucky did the right thing by rejecting a veto by their Governor that would have…Read More

Federal Court: Professor Can’t be Forced to Use Trans Pronouns

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that it was unconstitutional for university administrators to punish a Christian professor who wouldn’t use a “trans” student’s preferred gender pronouns. Dr. Nicholas Meriwether teaches philosophy at Shawnee State University. “The university punished Meriwether because he declined a male student’s demand to be referred to as a…Read More

Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Protecting Women’s Sports

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Friday that prohibits biological males from competing against females in sports. “I signed the bill to preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition,” Lee announced on Twitter. “This legislation responds to damaging federal policies that stand in opposition to the years of progress made under Title IX and…Read More

Agreement means equitable funding for Oklahoma students

The State Board of Education has voted to settle a longstanding lawsuit by requiring that public charter schools be funded on an equitable basis with their traditional public-school counterparts. The agreement provides that charter schools will now receive per-pupil funding from local property taxes based on student enrollment, just like all other public schools. Board…Read More

Federal Judge Ends DC Church Restrictions

A federal judge ruled against Washington D.C.’s onerous restrictions on churches Thursday, freeing up worshippers considerably just ahead of Holy Week. Judge Trevor McFadden wrote that D.C. lockdown orders “discriminate against houses of worship:” The District’s order states that “houses of worship may admit no more than” the lesser of 25 percent of their capacity…Read More

Arkansas Bans Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Thursday a bill banning transgender female-identifying athletes from participating in women’s sports. The new law, meant to preserve the integrity of female sports and protect girls and women from competing against biological males, comes amid a push by state legislatures to enact similar protections. “Today, I have…Read More

ND Law’s Religious Liberty Initiative files amicus brief in support of Maine families in school choice case

Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday (March 11), representing the Council for Islamic Schools in North America, Partnership for Inner-City Education, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. The case is an important parental choice case, Carson et al v. Makin, that seeks…Read More

After Supreme Court victory, Colorado baker in court for declining gender transition cake

Jack Phillips, a Christian cake baker, was again in court for declining to make a cake that expresses messages contrary to his religious beliefs after an attorney who identifies as transgender filed suit over the bakery’s refusal to make a cake to celebrate a gender transition. The civil trial began March 22, conducted virtually by…Read More

Kentucky Governor Vetoes School Choice Bill

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-KY, vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have granted parents and their children more freedom in education choices. Student advocates decried the veto. “We are discouraged by Governor Beshear’s decision to put powerful special interests before children and families in Kentucky,” American Federation for Children CEO Tommy Schultz said in a statement.…Read More

Second Massachusetts city to recognize polyamorous relationships

Cambridge, Massachusetts has redefined domestic partnerships to give relationships involving more than two people the same rights as a married couple. Home to Harvard University, Cambridge is the second city in the state, after its neighbor Sommerville, legally to recognize polyamory. During a March 8 meeting, the Cambridge city council voted to redefine “domestic partnerships,”…Read More

Biden administration moves to reinstate Planned Parenthood funding

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it would rewrite a Trump-era policy that barred federal family planning funding from going to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that refer patients to abortion. The Department of Health and Human Services will rewrite the 2019 rule that withheld federal funding through the Title X Family Planning Program from…Read More

House passes legislation to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants

The House of Representatives Thursday passed immigration bills that would protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and offer them a pathway to stay in the United States permanently. The House approved the Dream and Promise Act, which would help more than 3 million so-called “Dreamers” and others gain legal status and a chance for citizenship, according to a…Read More

Bishops Support Measure to Protect Faith-Based Foster Agencies

Three U.S. Bishops Conference chairmen on March 15 gave their support for First Amendment protections for faith-based foster care and adoption providers with legislation introduced that aims to ensure those institutions continue to receive funding. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2021 would prevent both the federal and state governments from taking action against…Read More

New Mexico Senate passes assisted suicide bill

The New Mexico state Senate has passed a bill to decriminalize assisted suicide, which the state’s Catholic bishops had strongly opposed. The bill, known as the “Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act,” allows licensed physicians, osteopathic physicians, nurses, and physician assistants to prescribe a lethal drug to people with a terminal illness and the…Read More

Utah governor considering law that would block porn on phones by default

The governor of Utah is considering signing a bill that would make pornography filters mandatory and switched on by default on cell phones sold in the state. The bill would require smartphone manufacturers automatically to enable filters on devices “activated” in Utah that prevent “the user from accessing or downloading material that is harmful to…Read More

Merrick Garland faces first death penalty test in Boston Marathon bomber case

Attorney General Merrick Garland faces his first test on federal executions as the Supreme Court considers reinstating a death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber. The court since October has been mulling a Trump-era federal appeal to rehear a death penalty case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, along with his brother, killed three people and injured…Read More

Williams Nominated for Role on Pardon and Parole Board

Governor Kevin Stitt announced he is nominating Scott Williams to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Williams has served with several criminal justice organizations and has been the Campus Pastor at Life.Church. “I am thrilled that Scott Williams will soon join the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board,” said Stitt. “Scott is the perfect fit for…Read More

USCCB urges lawmakers to oppose amendment that could require government funding of abortion

The U.S. bishops’ conference is urging congressional lawmakers to oppose the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, a measure they say could threaten religious freedom and fund abortion. Some members of Congress are pushing for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution. The amendment states that “[e]quality of rights under law…Read More

Poll: most Illinois voters want parental notification for abortion, but lawmakers seek repeal

Some Illinois lawmakers want to repeal a law requiring abortion providers to notify parents of a minor who seeks an abortion, but their effort might not have the sympathy of voters. “Nearly three-quarters of the people in the state of Illinois are opposed to repealing our parental notice law,” said Mary FioRito, an attorney and…Read More

Bishops back bill to protect faith-based foster care, adoption providers

Legislation introduced in the Senate and the House aims to protect “the cherished freedom of religious liberty” of faith-based foster care and adoption providers who believe children “deserve to be placed with a married mother and father,” the chairmen of three U.S. bishops’ committees said March 15. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2021…Read More

Manchin poised to deliver crucial support for controversial Becerra nomination

Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is expected to cast a crucial vote in favor of advancing the nomination of Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services, clearing his path to confirmation. Manchin had resisted publicly disclosing whether he will support Becerra, whose nomination deadlocked in the Senate Finance Committee last week…Read More

Educators voice support for school-choice bill

Legislation that would expand an existing tax-credit program and encourage more donations to public schools and scholarship-granting organizations is drawing opposition from establishment “education” groups, such as teachers’ unions and their allies. But the bill is quietly receiving support from many Oklahomans who work on the front lines in schools who have seen the real-world…Read More

Supreme Court allows religious speech violation lawsuit to continue

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a former college student to pursue a remedy against school officials who restricted when and where he could evangelize on campus. In Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, the court ruled 8-1 that Chike Uzuegbunam, who was restricted from evangelizing on a public college campus, could sue school officials for nominal damages due…Read More

States consider restrictions on gender transitioning, transgender participation in girls’ sports

Lawmakers in Mississippi and Alabama have been debating bills concerning children who identify as transgender. The governor of Mississippi pledges to sign a bill that would prohibit males who identify as females from participating on girls’ sports teams. “I will sign our bill to protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males…Read More

Equality Act Could Force Doctors to Perform Abortions

The White House refused to deny that the Equality Act’s “pregnancy discrimination” clause would require doctors to perform abortions, sex change operations, or sterilizations. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered no reassurances Tuesday when EWTN White House correspondent Owen Jensen asked if the Equality Act would violate doctors’ conscience rights. “Pro-life groups right now…Read More

Biden mentions Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows rosary beads, in meeting with Mexican president

President Joe Biden cited Our Lady of Guadalupe and displayed his rosary beads in a conversation with the president of Mexico on Monday. In the virtual conversation with Mexico’s President López Obrador, Biden—a Catholic—claimed a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe from his previous travels to Mexico as vice president. “During my visits, I got…Read More

Amid COVID shutdown, almost half of Tulsa students flunking

For almost a year now, several major Oklahoma school districts have not provided full-time, in-person instruction to students. Parents and state officials alike have wondered how that is impacting academic progress. A midyear report recently released by Tulsa Public Schools provides the answer in that district. Nearly every other student in Tulsa schools was recently…Read More

Oklahoma House passes bill for family to visit long-term care facility residents

It’s been nearly one year since long-term care facilities in Oklahoma closed their doors to visitors. Some families have gone almost that long without seeing their loved ones. While they are now getting a bit more access with outdoor visits, a new bill would make sure this isolation never happens again. “It’s terrible,” said Paula…Read More

Oklahoma Senate passes bill allowing students to transfer between any district year-round

Oklahoma lawmakers debated and passed a bill Tuesday that would allow students to transfer between any school district year-round. The bill has been a work in progress for some time, with supporters arguing it gives parents the freedom to choose what school they think is best for their child. Opponents claim it does nothing to…Read More

Oklahoma House passes bill to limit abortion providers to OB/GYNs

The Oklahoma House of Representatives’ Republican majority took another swing at restricting abortion access on Tuesday with a measure that would limit providers to board certified obstetricians and gynecologists. House Bill 1904, by Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay, ostensibly would protect women undergoing the procedure, but Roe readily admitted that her bill’s primary objective is to…Read More

SCOTUS Order Quashes California Effort to Restrict Worship

A Supreme Court order issued Friday reiterated that houses of worship in the State of California are free to gather at 25% capacity. The unsigned order spoke for the majority, with Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting. The news comes days after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opted to allow California’s…Read More

Iowa religious freedom bill sets ‘highest standard’ for government, backers say

An effort to restore strong religious freedom protections in Iowa has the backing of the state Catholic conference and others who say there should be a high threshold for any state interference with the free exercise of religion. While the legislation does not mention LGBT issues, LGBT advocates have tried to portray it as harmful…Read More

Supreme Court rejects California county’s continued ban on indoor worship

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a California county’s continued ban on indoor worship services due to the coronavirus pandemic, drawing the praise of a local bishop. “I join all Catholics and people of faith in Santa Clara County in expressing our satisfaction in tonight’s U.S. Supreme Court decision,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of San…Read More

House passes Equality Act, which bishops warned would ‘punish’ religious groups

The House on Thursday passed the Equality Act, a bill that the U.S. bishops have warned would trample religious freedom protections while codifying gender ideology in federal law. By a vote of 224 to 206, the House passed the Equality Act only six days after it was introduced on Feb. 18. The legislation, sponsored by…Read More

Oklahoma House lawmakers vote to keep ‘ghost students’ at bay, expand school transfers

House lawmakers voted to expand transfers between public schools and to limit the “ghost students” that could appear as a result. House Bill 2074 and 2078, written as complimentary bills, passed votes on the House Floor on Wednesday. Both bills now move on to the state Senate. Republicans hailed the legislation as education reform that…Read More

‘3F’ scholarship bill narrowly advances

Members of a state House committee have narrowly approved legislation that would allow students at Oklahoma’s worst public schools to receive state scholarship funding to attend private schools. Opponents said those students should not be allowed such options and argued school-funding increases are more important than parental control, voting against the bill even though it…Read More

Lankford, Colleagues to President Biden: Withdraw Becerra Nomination to Serve as HHS Secretary

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), Representative Dan Bishop (R-NC), and 73 other Members of Congress today in a letter urging President Joe Biden to withdraw California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s nomination to serve as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). In part, the members wrote, “We write…Read More

USCCB: Equality Act would ‘punish’ religious groups opposed to gender ideology

The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) has come out in opposition to the Equality Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House on Thursday. The bill, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), would recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as protected legal classes in a variety of areas including housing, education, and public spaces. Critics have…Read More

Judge halts South Carolina fetal heartbeat abortion ban after Planned Parenthood sues

A federal judge on Friday temporarily halted South Carolina’s law banning most abortions if fetal heartbeats are detected roughly 24 hours after it was signed by the governor. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis placed a two-week temporary restraining order on the law ahead of a March 9 hearing that will determine a preliminary…Read More

What to know about Oklahoma’s redistricting process as Census delays create complications

One of the most important issues Oklahoma lawmakers face this year is redrawing the state’s congressional and legislative districts for the next decade. But it’s likely the redistricting process won’t be complete during the regular legislative session that runs from February through May. Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, predicted it could take months…Read More

South Carolina Legislature Passes Bill to Ban Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Begins

A South Carolina bill that bans abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable may become law this week. WMBF News reports the state House passed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act in a 79-35 vote Wednesday following its approval in the state Senate in late January. The pro-life bill prohibits abortions…Read More

New York’s commercial surrogacy legalization will exploit women, critics say

New York state this week legalized commercial surrogacy, prompting concerns about the exploitation of women and commodification of children. The law, passed during April 2020, took effect Feb. 15. Prior to the law’s implementation, New York was one of only a few states including Louisiana, Nebraska and Michigan that did not allow commercial surrogacy. The…Read More

Effort to ease public-school transfers advances

Legislation to ease the state’s open-transfer process for students wanting to attend another public-school district has gained committee approval. The legislation was prompted, in part, by the refusal of several major school districts to provide parents with the option of full-time, in-person instruction. “I would support this policy no matter what year, but I think…Read More

Schools use parents’ tax dollars to fight pro-parent bill

Fed up with local school boards that have been unresponsive to parental requests for full-time, in-person student instruction, parents across Oklahoma have urged state lawmakers to change Oklahoma law to allow recall elections for school-board members. While parents anticipated opposition to that effort, few expected to have their own education taxes diverted from the classroom…Read More

Democrats Block the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill

For the third year in a row, Senate Democrats have blocked a bill that would require doctors to care for newborn infants who survive an attempted abortion procedure. Late Thursday night, the Senate voted on an amendment from Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) containing his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which he has introduced each…Read More

Texas judge extends suspension of Biden deportation moratorium plan

A federal judge in Texas extended the suspension of President Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportation through Feb. 23. U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in the Southern District of Texas extended his suspension of the White House’s deportation moratorium for 14 days, which the judge says will give parties more time to “provide for a…Read More

Movement to ‘Fund Students Instead of Systems’ Hits 21 States

West Virginia legislators have introduced a bill to secure direct funding to students through Education Savings Accounts (ESA). Education Savings Accounts allow parents to use money set aside for their child on many different possible approved K-12 expenses, including private school tuition, technology, home tutoring, and online schools. Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal…Read More

OSDE directs teachers to controversial organization

During the week of the 2020 presidential election, the official Facebook page of the Oklahoma State Department of Education encouraged teachers to use materials produced by an organization that critics say has actively worked to brand orthodox Christians and mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups.” On Nov. 3, 2020, the Oklahoma State Department of Education…Read More

Supreme Court rules California must allow churches to reopen at 25% occupancy

The Supreme Court issued a ruling late last Friday night that California must immediately allow churches to reopen at 25% of occupancy — ending the state’s ban on indoor worship. The court’s splintered ruling leaves in place some of California’s restrictions, like a ban on singing during worship. Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that California favors…Read More

Virginia House advances bill repealing protections for faith-based adoption agencies

The Virginia House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to remove conscience protections for child-placing agencies, prompting worry that the state’s Catholic adoption and foster care agencies could be forced to shut down because of their views on marriage. HB 1932 would repeal a section of the Code of Virginia which reads, in part:…Read More

CDC: Schools Can Reopen Safely Without Vaccinating Teachers Against COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reiterated on Wednesday that schools can safely reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Last week the CDC weighed into the ongoing debate over whether to reopen schools for in-person instruction, noting that schools that are currently welcoming students into classrooms with certain safety precautions…Read More

Oklahoma Senate panel approves 4 abortion bills, rejects 1

An Oklahoma Senate panel approved four anti-abortion bills on Wednesday but defeated one far-reaching abortion measure that would give a fetus equal protection under the law. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a so-called ” trigger bill ” that would make abortion illegal in Oklahoma if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe…Read More

Oklahoma Senate Bill 704 – Sentence Enhancement Reform

Authored by Senator Dave Rader, SB704 is OCJR’s most ambitious legislation this session. SB704 has the potential to help Oklahomans serving excessive sentences for truly non-violent crimes while saving the state over $100 Million dollars over the next ten years. Oklahoma has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the country, driven by long sentences…Read More

Kansas lawmakers advance constitutional amendment to exclude ‘right to abortion’

The Kansas Senate on Jan. 28 passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would amend the state’s constitution to exclude a “right to abortion” and reserve the right to regulate abortion in the state to the legislature. The proposed “Value Them Both” amendment would codify that “the constitution of the state of Kansas does…Read More

As heartbeat bill passes key hurdle, Charleston diocese welcomes progress

A proposed South Carolina ban on abortion after an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected has won approval from the state senate for the first time, drawing praise from the Catholic Diocese of Charleston. “The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston fully supports legal protection for unborn children, so we are extremely pleased that the South…Read More

Iowa lawmakers advance constitutional amendment to exclude ‘right to abortion’

Lawmakers in Iowa this week passed a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution which would exclude a “right to abortion” or to public funding for abortion. House Joint Resolution 5 would amend the Iowa state constitution to clarify that it “does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require…Read More

Despite being virtual, “Rose Day” hopes to make a difference

‘Rose Day,” a series of activities aimed at promoting and supporting anti-abortion legislation in Oklahoma, will be virtual this year. Brian Hobbs, Rose Day committee chairman, said the 2021 rally will be a video livestreamed program at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday but instead of taking place at the state Capitol, Oklahomans are being encouraged to…Read More

Courts side with Catholic groups over transgender mandate

Last week, a federal ruling in North Dakota flew under the radar that allows Catholic medical professionals, hospitals and organizations the right to refuse performing or providing insurance coverage for gender transition procedures, or insurance coverage for gender transition drugs, if it violates their religious beliefs. The ruling was on a 2016 lawsuit filed by…Read More

U.S. bishops welcome Biden’s order not to release census citizenship data

The leaders of two U.S. bishops’ committees applauded President Joe Biden’s executive order reversing a policy of the previous administration that excluded unauthorized immigrants from the census count. “We welcome this return to more than a century of American precedent that ensures all residents will be counted and included in the census and apportionment,” said…Read More

Iowa Senate Passes Educational Choice Legislation

This evening, the Iowa State Senate passed SF 159 by a 26-21 vote. The legislation is a comprehensive education reform package which expands charter schools and public school open enrollment, doubles the tuition tax credit for parents, and creates an Education Savings Account program which will allow families to customize their child’s education. Statement from…Read More

Senators speak out for the unborn on the day before the March for Life

The day before the March for Life, several senators emphasized protecting the human dignity of the unborn. In remarks on the Senate floor on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that “being pro-life isn’t just the right to be born; it also means the right to live and to thrive,” arguing that policies like an…Read More

Appeals court rules on California churches that challenged Covid restrictions

An appeals court last week ruled for a second time against a California church which challenged the state’s rules barring in-person worship services for much of the state, deciding that a total ban on indoor worship services in most areas of the state is justified to block the spread of coronavirus. The same court ruled…Read More

Pro-Lifers Pleasantly Surprised at Kentucky’s Enactment of ‘Born-Alive’ Bill

A Kentucky bill requiring appropriate medical care for babies surviving attempted abortions became law on Friday. Gov. Andy Bashear, D, neither signed nor vetoed the “Born-Alive” bill that passed the state legislature. The bill, SB9, requires that infants who are born alive after an attempted abortion be given appropriate medical care. Kentucky’s legislature passed the…Read More

Sens. Lankford, Inhofe Pledge Support for Student’s Right to School Choice

“Every child deserves the opportunity to dream of a bright future regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic status,” said Lankford. “Students should not be limited in their educational opportunity as they wait for improvement in their local school. I support the right of every parent and student to have open access to the best classrooms that…Read More

Oklahoma school district says diploma is no indicator of learning

In a court filing, an Oklahoma school district has declared the issuance of either a passing grade or a high school diploma is not—“and never has been”—an indicator that a student mastered state-mandated core courses. Lone Grove Public Schools also stated that any court order tethering a high-school diploma to mastery of high-school core course…Read More

School choice program proves dramatic success

The “Stay in School” program launched by Gov. Kevin Stitt last summer, which used some federal COVID-19 funds for private-school scholarships, has allowed over 1,000 low-income Oklahoma students to attend private schools at substantially lower cost than what would have been spent on those same students in traditional public schools, a new report shows. “Critics…Read More

Court: Vermont can’t exclude Catholic school student from college tuition program

A federal court of appeals has sided with a Catholic high school student who challenged a State of Vermont policy that excludes students at private religious secondary schools from a no-cost college credit program. “Today’s decision levels the playing field by ensuring that Vermont parents and students who have chosen a faith-based education can enjoy…Read More

Catholic saints among those to be honored in garden of American heroes announced by Trump

The National Garden of American Heroes will include statues of many notable Catholic figures, including five saints and numerous people who are on the path to sainthood. President Donald Trump announced in an executive order Jan. 18 that a garden will be built to “reflect the awesome splendor of our country’s timeless exceptionalism,” and to…Read More

US Supreme Court directs Nevada governor to respond to Covid church limit challenge

The Supreme Court has given the governor of Nevada eight days to file a response to a church which argued that the state’s COVID-19 protocol was discriminatory against houses of worship. In an order published Jan. 11, the Supreme Court directed Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) to respond to Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley before noon on…Read More

Sen. Standridge files school choice legislation to better protect students

State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, has filed legislation aimed at providing greater educational choice for families dealing with bullying and health issues, particularly during the pandemic. “The physical and mental health of Oklahoma students is the focus of each of these bills. We should always put children, their futures, and what their parents believe is…Read More

Biden’s Electoral College victory certified — hours after Capitol chaos

The U.S. Congress early Thursday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden his presidential victory — after a day in Washington that was marred by pro-Trump protesters storming the U.S. Capitol. Vice President Mike Pence, who had announced he would not overturn the will of voters, confirmed the Biden victory at 3:41…Read More

Analysis: Pro-lifers will have to fight hidden abortion funding battles in the Senate

With Democrats projected to win Tuesday’s Senate races in Georgia, the political landscape for pro-lifers is now clear—they will be defending on multiple fronts against an emboldened abortion lobby. With Democrats holding 50 Senate seats plus Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote, they will have the slimmest of majorities in the Senate. While 60 votes…Read More

Catholic advocates against death penalty urge clemency for woman on federal death row

The execution date of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, is currently undecided. In late December a federal judge said the Justice Department unlawfully rescheduled her execution while there had already been a stay in effect, granted because one of her attorneys tested positive for the coronavirus. The federal government is appealing…Read More

Catholic bishop in Iceland appeals for lifting of 10-person Mass limit

Iceland’s only Catholic bishop has called on the government to lift the country’s 10-person limit on Mass attendance, arguing that it is an “unfair discrepancy” within the current coronavirus measures. Bishop David Tencer of Reykjavik, the country’s sole Catholic diocese, issued a statement on Jan. 4 calling for the COVID-19 restrictions to be changed “where…Read More

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Signs Bill Recognizing Humanity of Unborn Babies Killed in Abortions

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed into law a new pro-life bill recognizing the humanity of unborn babies killed in abortions. The legislation requires the Ohio Department of Health to establish rules for the proper and humane burial or cremation of unborn babies who are killed in abortions. It creates penalties for violations and requires…Read More

After abortion is legalized in Argentina, Catholic bishops decry chasm between politicians and the people

After the senate in Argentina legalized abortion in the early hours of Wednesday, December 30, the Argentinean Bishops’ Conference released a statement accusing the country’s political leadership of being far away from the sentiment of the people and vowed to continue working “with firmness and passion in the care and service of life.” The long-debated…Read More

Trump signs executive order expanding school choice for in person classes due to pandemic

President Trump signed an executive order Monday aimed at expanding school choice options during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing “emergency learning scholarships” for any child without access to in-person learning. The money will be offered through block grants under the Health and Human Services Department to cover tuition and fees for private or parochial schools;…Read More

Congressional COVID-19 Relief Bill Brings Urgent Aid for Catholic Schools in New York

Private Catholic schools will be eligible for federal pandemic aid through the COVID-19 relief bill approved by Congress yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops confirmed today. Congress has approved $82 billion for public and private K-12 schools, and the vast majority of those federal dollars will go to a $54.3 billion fund for public…Read More

Citing timing, SCOTUS declines to allow in-person learning to resume in Kentucky

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a Kentucky Christian school’s plea to reopen for in-person learning, upholding a health order from the governor that barred in-person K-12 education in most areas until January. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s Nov. 18 executive order, which applied to both public and private schools, closed elementary, middle, and high schools…Read More

After long delay, Christian school’s application approved

After months of delay, the State Board of Education has quietly approved Christian Heritage Academy’s application to serve children who are beneficiaries of a state scholarship program. The approval was part of a consent docket voted on by board members at the group’s regular December meeting and came after an opinion by Oklahoma Attorney General…Read More

US Supreme Court: government agents violating religious liberty liable for monetary damages

Three Muslims who claim the FBI wrongly pressured them into becoming informants on Muslim communities may seek monetary damages as part of their lawsuit under a federal religious freedom law, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a decision that strengthens legal action on religious freedom problems. “This unanimous decision from the Supreme Court makes…Read More

Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Block Abortion of Fetuses Capable of Feeling Pain

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would outlaw abortions for fetuses capable of feeling pain. The pro-life group Democrats for Life in America announced the content of the bill on Facebook and in an online petition. Formally known as the Late Term Abortion Ban Act, the bill would outlaw abortion…Read More

US bishops approve use of coronavirus vaccines with ‘remote connection’ to abortion

The United States bishops’ conference has said that Catholics can take two of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, even though they were developed with a “remote connection” to “morally compromised” cell lines. In a statement released Monday, the bishops also said it is morally permissible in some circumstances to receive a third vaccine, developed in…Read More

DC archdiocese sues over Christmas Mass restrictions

The Archdiocese of Washington is suing the District of Columbia over restrictions on public worship during the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. “From the start of the pandemic,” the lawsuit argues, “the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington has worked with the District of Columbia…Read More

Gov. Kevin Stitt announces new COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, youth sports

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday announced new restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In a news conference at the state Capitol, Stitt detailed new limits on public gatherings and indoor sporting events. Public gatherings, including weddings, funerals and holiday parties at event centers, will be limited to 50% capacity. Churches will be exempt from…Read More

US bishops praise judge’s decision to reinstate DACA, call for path to citizenship

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) applauded a federal judge’s recent decision to restore the full Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including the resumption of new applicants. Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, praised the decision in a Dec. 8 statement. He emphasized the Church’s…Read More

Federal Executions Pit The Trump Administration Against The Catholic Church

For the ninth time in six months, the Trump administration is preparing to put a federal prisoner to death. Brandon Bernard, 40, is due to be executed Thursday evening at the U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute in Indiana, as punishment for the murder of a young couple in Texas in 1999. The Justice Department plans another…Read More

After adding major abortion expansions, Mass. lawmakers send budget bill to governor

Legislators have sent to the Massachusetts governor a $46.2 billion full-year budget plan that includes provisions to expand access to abortion, additions which have drawn strong pro-life criticism. An amendment to the budget bill would allow 16-year-olds to obtain an abortion without parental consent, a change from the current age of 18 years. Minors under…Read More

Pro-life leaders react to Biden’s ‘extreme’ HHS pick

Pro-life leaders have warned against Joe Biden’s “aggressively pro-abortion” pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has a long track record in taking legal action against pro-life organizations. Early Monday morning, President-elect Joe Biden announced he would tap Becerra as the next Health Secretary. If confirmed, Becerra…Read More

GOP legislative leaders open to altering Oklahoma’s initiative petition process

Republican legislative leaders on Wednesday said Oklahoma’s constitution is too long and agreed they’re open to changing the state’s initiative petition process to make it harder for citizens to amend the governing document. Altering the initiative petition process could be a priority during the 2021 legislative session that begins Feb. 1, 2021, Senate Pro Tem…Read More

Attorney General: Oklahoma Department of Education acted illegally

An official opinion issued by the office of Attorney General Mike Hunter concludes the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) acted illegally when it imposed new regulations on a state scholarship program for children with special needs. To serve beneficiaries of the Lindsey Nicole Henry (LNH) Scholarships for Students with Disabilities program, the OSDE regulations…Read More

Biden admin plan takes aim at faith-based adoption agencies, to press Equality Act

Following the media’s projection of his victory in the 2020 presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden has made “sweeping promises” to LGBT activists, according to The Associated Press. Biden, a Democrat, plans to “carry out virtually every proposal” that LGBT activists have pushed for in recent years, the AP said. Biden’s agenda includes allowing individuals…Read More

Kentucky dioceses keep Masses open despite governor’s request

Kentucky’s four Catholic dioceses will not suspend public Masses despite the governor’s request that religious services be held online only until December 13. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) requested that houses of worship stop having in-person services in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Kentucky has been experiencing a spike in the number…Read More

US Bishops announce team to address divergencies with next US President

Archbishop José Gomez said Tuesday evening that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is setting up a team to deal with policies the future president may put in place which diverge from Church teaching. He announced the move at the conclusion of the public portion of the USCCB Fall plenary assembly, which was…Read More

US Bishops renew call to stop executions

In the wake of more federal executions scheduled in coming weeks, two bishop chairmen have issued a statement calling on the Administration to act as a witness to the dignity of all human life. Archbishop Paul S Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and…Read More

Bishop Daly: Catholic schools should embrace faith, never compromise

The U.S. bishops’ new chairman-elect for Catholic education says he hopes to bring his experience as a Catholic school teacher and president, as well as pastor of two parishes, into his new position. In an increasingly secular society, when people’s lives seem more and more to lack meaning, “our schools remind us of Christ’s love…a…Read More

State board of education on shaky legal ground

One of the bright spots in Oklahoma’s education system is the Lindsey Nicole Henry (LNH) Scholarship program, which provides private-school vouchers to children with disabilities, children in the foster care system, and children adopted out of state custody. Named after former-Governor Brad Henry’s daughter, the program has more than 1,000 students and 62 schools participating.…Read More

State Education Department under fire for ‘hiding memo’ warning of illegal activity

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has stripped its website of a memo issued by the state attorney general, which warns that the agency has acted illegally in its administration of a state program for children with special needs. An OSDE spokesperson said the document is shielded from public view by attorney-client privilege. The…Read More

Government restrictions on religion reach new peak, Pew Research Center says

Government restrictions on religion are at their highest since tracking began in 2007, the Pew Research Center has said in its new report, finding that 56 countries reached “high” or “very high” levels of restrictions on religion in 2018. “In 2018, the global median level of government restrictions on religion – that is, laws, policies…Read More

Governor says he will work with lawmakers who want audit of Oklahoma Department of Education

Gov. Kevin Stitt is vowing to heed a call by 22 GOP lawmakers Wednesday to seek an investigative audit into state education officials’ oversight of public school cost accounting. The move comes on the heels of State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd’s recent findings, which questioned the oversight of Epic Charter Schools’ use of taxpayer…Read More

Public School Enrollment Plummets as Private Schools See Gains

Ongoing and renewed shutdowns of public schools across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in astonishing public school enrollment drops. NPR recently reported that public school districts in at least 20 states have seen shrinking numbers of students this fall, with Orange County and Miami-Dade County in Florida down 8,000 and 16,000…Read More

Planned Parenthood abandons lawsuit challenging Arizona pro-life laws

Planned Parenthood on Tuesday dropped a lawsuit challenging several abortion restrictions in Arizona, including a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, laws that bar non-physicians from carrying out abortions, and state laws against telemedicine abortions. In a notice dated Nov. 3, Planned Parenthood Arizona voluntarily and without explanation dismissed its lawsuit against Arizona attorney…Read More

Opinion: Another flip in Oklahoma’s 5th District

Oklahoma’s 5th District representative in Washington next year will once again be a Republican, the result of a solid campaign, considerable outside financial support and perhaps a little good luck. State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn by 4 percentage points Tuesday, ending Horn’s tenure after one term. Horn had…Read More

Washington approves sex-ed measure, despite objection from state’s bishops

Voters in Washington approved a ballot measure that will require “comprehensive sex education” in public schools. Washington’s Catholic bishops opposed the measure. Nearly 60% of Washington voters approved the measure. The Catholic bishops in Washington said the measure promoted an educational program detrimental to young people, and contrary to the truths of human dignity, human…Read More

Despite concerns raised, New Zealand voters back assisted suicide

A strong majority of New Zealand voters approved the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia for the terminally ill Oct. 30. Foes of legalization said many voters appeared confused about the measure’s far-reaching effects and warned that the move will have consequences for the vulnerable. The nationwide referendum passed with support from 65% of voters…Read More

Opinion: Our Anti-Catholic Administrative state

Notwithstanding the all-consuming salience of the election, one day afterward the Supreme Court will consider another fateful question in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. On the surface, the case concerns a city commissioner’s candid animosity toward traditional Catholicism. But it also involves a much deeper problem—the systemic administrative slant against orthodox Americans. In Fulton, the…Read More

Citing pope’s warnings about drugs, Catholic bishops speak on ballot proposals

This Election Day, voters in multiple U.S. states will consider several proposals to legalize drugs, ranging from medical and recreational marijuana to harder drugs. Catholic bishops in several states have said voters should look to Pope Francis’ warnings that legalization is ‘highly questionable,’ as it becomes a compromise with drug addiction. The Oregon Catholic Conference…Read More

As Coloradans consider late-term abortion ban, statistics shed light on Colorado clinic

Coloradans are preparing for a ballot referendum that would ban abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy in the state. While abortion advocates argue that such abortions are “extremely rare,” statistics recorded by a longtime Colorado abortionist shed light on the late term abortions performed at one Boulder clinic. The data reveals hundreds of late-term abortions…Read More

Oklahoma lawmakers consider changing laws surrounding capital punishment as the state prepares to resume executions

It’s been five years since Oklahoma has executed a death row inmate after the botched execution of Charles Warner; now, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering making changes in capital punishment trials and the execution process. On Wednesday, several people embedded in the process spoke to the House Public Safety Committee for an interim study. “I have…Read More

Pro-life, no apologies, no partiality: Amy Coney Barrett praised on day 3 of hearings

Sen. Lindsay Graham hailed Judge Amy Coney Barrett for her convictions and religious beliefs Wednesday morning, while emphasising her ability to be an impartial judge. Graham spoke at the opening of the third day of Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think it’s pretty clear to everybody that’s been watching…Read More

Appeals court rules against Texas ban on ‘dismemberment abortions’

A three-judge appeals court panel on Tuesday struck down a Texas law that bans dilation-and-evacuation abortions. Judge James Dennis, writing for the 2-1 majority on the 5th Circuit panel, said the Texas law “unduly burdens a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to obtain a previability abortion.” He said the law “confers no medical benefit for women patients while…Read More

Judge rules DC COVID restrictions ‘substantially burden’ religious freedom

A Protestant church suing the District of Columbia over coronavirus restrictions held an outdoor service on Sunday, following a court injunction permitting the socially-distanced service. Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which is one of the largest in Washington, DC, sued the district in September, saying that it unfairly targeted religious institutions by capping outdoor gatherings at…Read More

Federal judges decline to block New York worship restrictions

Two federal judges on Friday declined to block new restrictions on public worship in New York City, which both Catholic and Jewish leaders in the city had challenged in court. The restrictions by Gov. Andrew Cuomo cap indoor religious services in Brooklyn and Queens at 10 people in the areas deemed most seriously affected by…Read More

US Catholic bishops urge resumption of coronavirus stimulus talks

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday urged the Trump administration to resume negotiations for further COVID-19 financial relief, after President Trump reportedly ordered negotiations to cease Tuesday. The bishops on Oct. 7 urged reconsideration “in light of the acute needs of millions of Americans for immediate assistance.” “In this moment of crisis, let…Read More

Supreme Court judges say Obergefell a ‘problem’ for religious liberty

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito on Monday said that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling is already posing problems for religious freedom. “By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right [to same-sex marriage] over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem…Read More

Catholic Mobilizing Network Lauds Denunciation of Death Penalty in “Fratelli Tutti”

In “Fratelli Tutti,” the latest papal encyclical released by Pope Francis on Oct. 4 on the topic of “fraternity and social friendship,” the Holy Father makes an unequivocal reaffirmation of the inadmissibility of capital punishment in the eyes of the Catholic Church. “There can be no stepping back from this position,” Pope Francis writes. “Social…Read More

Lankford Denounces Attacks on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Faith

Lankford: “Faith is not something that Americans should demand nor the Senate should demand that people have to take off to be able to serve the American people.’ Senator James Lankford (R-OK) recently addressed the Senate with an impassioned affirmation of the US Constitution’s protections for all Americans to have a faith and live that…Read More

Dolan says Barrett is ‘best candidate’ for SCOTUS seat

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York called Judge Amy Coney Barrett the “best candidate” for the Supreme Court vacancy, and said she, like her potential predecessor, faces biases due to her sex, family, and faith. Speaking on his Sirius XM show “Conversations with Cardinal Dolan” on The Catholic Channel September 29, Dolan…Read More

After litigation, new HHS policy ends prohibition on abortion for undocumented minors in federal custody

Federal officials announced on Tuesday a new policy that will make it possible for undocumented teenage immigrants in federal custody to procure abortions, after nearly three years of litigation regarding the matter. In a memorandum released on Tuesday, the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that…Read More

School district can’t hide student gender identity ‘transition’ from parents, Wis. judge says

A temporary injunction has halted the Madison School District from following gender identity guidance that critics said concealed from parents whether teachers and staff were affirming students in transgenderism. Judge Frank Remington of the Circuit Court of Dane County issued a Sept. 28 court order barring the district “from applying or enforcing any policy, guideline,…Read More

U.S. Bishops Decry Exclusion of Catholic Schools, Students in Revised HEROES Act

As soon as today, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider House Democrats’ new COVID-19 aid package, the revised Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The bill includes $225 billion for education, including $182 billion for K-12 schools. However, the bill provides no equitable services for students in non-public schools and maintains…Read More

State may face lawsuit for anti-Christian discrimination

A member of the Oklahoma State Board of Education suggested Thursday that private schools should not be allowed to participate in a state program for children with special needs unless they substantially abandon their Christian identity. During the board’s monthly meeting, Altus Christian Academy and Christian Heritage Academy both applied to participate in the Lindsey…Read More

With schools closed, school-choice support surges

With several large Oklahoma schools remaining closed for in-person instruction, parental opposition to school closures has become more vocal as parents sign petitions and hold protests. A new national poll indicates Oklahoma parents are not alone as support for school-choice policies has surged nationwide amidst school shutdowns. The American Federation for Children, which advocates for…Read More

Trump announces ‘Born Alive’ executive order for abortion survivors

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced an executive order that would require medical care be given to infants who are born alive after failed abortion attempts. “Today I am announcing that I will be signing the Born-Alive Executive Order to ensure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care…Read More

Catholic Amy Coney Barrett front-runner as Trump signals Supreme Court nomination plans

President Donald Trump on Saturday signaled he would soon nominate a potential replacement to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday evening at 87. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, is widely reported to be the front-runner in the president’s deliberations regarding a nominee. “.@GOP We were…Read More

Opinion: OSF scholarships – not everyone wants the good news

Most people, one hopes, appreciated the public efforts of my colleague Rob Sellers, the executive director of the Opportunity Scholarship Fund, to inform families seeking better school options for their children about available opportunities to apply for scholarships that enable children to attend a private school. These privately funded scholarships and the organizations that administer…Read More

Court sides with Trump on right to end TPS

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided Sept. 14 with President Donald Trump’s plan to end a particular immigration protection status that would have allowed people from six countries that have suffered disasters to remain in the United States. The court said the president was within his rights to revoke what’s called…Read More

US bishops commend HUD plan to allow homeless shelters to serve on basis of sex

The US bishops’ conference on Friday applauded the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposal to allow single-sex homeless shelters to serve only those whose biological sex aligns with that of their residents. The proposal would reverse an Obama-era rule that requires single-sex homeless shelters to accommodate clients based on their gender identity. The…Read More

Petition to legalize recreational marijuana withdrawn

Proponents of an initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana and implement sweeping criminal justice reforms say they have withdrawn the measure. Although proponents of State Question 807 were given the go-ahead to collect signatures, they say collecting the 177,958 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot is unfeasible given the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic also…Read More

Court halts Education Department’s rule for pandemic relief money to private schools

A federal judge has blocked a rule by the Department of Education for allocating pandemic relief money to private schools. U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the rule Thursday. He said the Education Department had exceeded its authority in issuing guidelines for funding distribution beyond what Congress had…Read More

Texas asks court to allow dismemberment abortion ban until further ruling

Texas officials have asked the Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals to allow the state to enforce its ban on a certain type of second-trimester abortions, pending further court decisions. The rule in question bars “dismemberment abortions,” known medically as “dilation and evacuation” abortions. The procedure uses forceps and other instruments to kill and remove the…Read More

Catholics denounce federal execution of Navajo tribe member

Catholic leaders have joined their voices with members of the Navajo Nation in opposing the Aug. 26 scheduled execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row. “The federal government’s planned execution of Mr. Mitchell violates the Navajo Nation’s cultural values, serves as a manifestation of the racial oppression inflicted upon Native…Read More

Justice Department: Vermont college tuition program can’t exclude Catholic school student

The U.S. Department of Justice has sided with a Vermont Catholic high school student who has said a state program wrongly excluded her participation in a college credit coursework program because she attends a religious private school. The Vermont Education Agency’s Dual Enrollment Program allows high school students to take college courses with tuition paid…Read More

Infanticide ok with 90% of NICU docs and nurses in Belgian survey

A new survey of neonatal medical professionals in the Belgian region of Flanders has found that nearly nine out of ten approve of euthanizing newborn children diagnosed with serious, non-lethal, medical conditions. The article, titled, “Healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards termination of pregnancy at viable stage” was published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica…Read More

US Senators issue call to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of healthcare

Citing that abortion is not healthcare, Senator Mike Braun and Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin calling for new regulations to end tax breaks for abortion under the guise of healthcare. Joining Senator Braun and Representative Davidson are 101 other signers: 22 Senators and 79 Representatives. “Abortion is not healthcare.…Read More

Nebraska passes dismemberment abortion ban

The Nebraska legislature on Thursday passed a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions in the state, a move hailed by the Nebraska Catholic Conference. “Life has won today in Nebraska. By ending dismemberment abortion, our state has demonstrated and reaffirmed its deep respect for the human dignity of preborn children and their mothers,” said…Read More

More than two dozen senators call for federal government to investigate Planned Parenthood

A group of senators is calling upon the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury to investigate abortion provider Planned Parenthood over its alleged misuse of coronavirus stimulus funds, with the politicians also requesting updates on the government’s investigations into Planned Parenthood’s purported sale of fetal tissue in violation of federal law. Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler…Read More

Boston archdiocese pushes back after Trump says Boston bomber ‘deserves death’

After President Donald Trump said Sunday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, perpetrator of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, should be put to death, the Archdiocese of Boston said justice calls for life in prison, not the death penalty. “Catholic teaching does not support the taking of life as a means of achieving justice,” in Tsarnaev’s case, a…Read More

State Question 805 qualifies for November ballot

A controversial state question that would reform the state’s criminal justice system has qualified for November’s general election ballot, supporters say. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that State Question 805 qualifies for the Nov. 3 ballot because supporters gathered enough signatures. Also, the initiative petition didn’t face any challenges within the prescribed window. Supporters…Read More

US Supreme Court upholds Nevada’s coronavirus rules for houses of worship

By a 5-4 vote last Friday the Supreme Court upheld Nevada’s coronavirus regulation that limits attendance at indoor religious services to 50 persons. Some businesses in the state, such as casinos, may admit 50% of their capacity. Chief Justices John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan decided July…Read More

OCPA Blog: OEA’s bogus math

The Oklahoma Education Association’s national parent, the National Education Association, is known for bizarre actions like working to give boys access to girls’ bathrooms and endorsing Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. Recently the OEA added to the bizarre by trying to give the impression that public schools are receiving only half of Oklahoma’s education-related federal…Read More

Americans agree: abortion is not a ‘desirable good’

A new abortion study has revealed the complexity of Americans’ views on abortion, and an openness to discussion. But among the report’s key findings was a unanimous agreement that abortion is not a “desirable good.” The interview study “How Americans Understand Abortion” was published on Monday by the University of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for…Read More

Transgender lawsuit against Catholic hospital cites new US Supreme Court precedent

A Catholic hospital in Maryland faces a lawsuit from a person who presents as a transgender man because it would not perform a hysterectomy on the person’s healthy uterus. The lawsuit, whose backers have for decades opposed Catholic ethics in Catholic-run hospitals, cites a 2020 Supreme Court decision that holds employment discrimination on the basis…Read More

Planned Parenthood acknowledges Margaret Sanger’s ‘racist legacy’, continues abortions

The New York affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider said Tuesday it will remove the name of its founder, Margaret Sanger, from its Manhattan building because of her support for eugenics. “The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge…Read More

Education opportunity to increase statewide under Stitt plan

In an announcement that gained praise from national education leaders, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced last week he will use millions of dollars in federal COVID funds to increase educational opportunity across Oklahoma, boosting financial resources for students, families, and schools across the state. Among other things, Stitt’s plan will boost online course offerings in rural…Read More

US Catholic bishops lament end to federal limits on payday loans

The revocation of restrictions on payday lenders by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exposes poor and vulnerable persons to ‘predatory and abusive lending practices’, the US bishops’ conference said last week. On July 7 the CFPB removed requirements that lenders ensure borrowers can repay a loan before issuing it, and limited how many successive loans…Read More

Judge shoots down Indiana abortion reporting law, upholds clinic inspection requirement

A federal judge ruled against an Indiana law requiring medical providers to inform the state if they treat any complications connected to a prior abortion. U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled Wednesday that the law was “unconstitutionally vague.” He said the legislation was unclear about how and when doctors should report potential complications, as well…Read More

Catholic bishops join 1,000 faith leaders to oppose federal executions

Several U.S. bishops, along with clergy and religious brothers and sisters from around the country, have signed a statement opposing federal executions that are scheduled to resume this month. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Bishop William Medley of Owensboro, Kentucky, Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City, Bishop Thomas Zinkula of Davenport, Iowa, and Bishop Richard Pates…Read More

Trump to seek funds for private, religious school scholarships in COVID recovery bill

The White House plans to ask Congress to earmark money in the next stimulus bill for scholarship programs for private and religious schools, which the administration is promoting as a way to help families affected by COVID-19 pay their children’s tuition this fall. President Donald Trump will ask for a “one-time, emergency appropriation” for a…Read More

What the SCOTUS decision on anti-trafficking rules means for pro-life policies

The Supreme Court is deciding major life and religious freedom cases this term, but one less-recognized ruling could impact billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid. In USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International, the court ruled on Monday in a 5-3 decision that foreign entities of international humanitarian organizations do not have free speech…Read More

Oklahoma voters approve Medicaid expansion at the ballot box

Oklahoma voters narrowly approved a state question to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income residents. With all precincts reporting Tuesday, State Question 802, which asked voters to expand Medicaid, passed by 6,488 votes. The question will enshrine Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma’s constitution — effectively preventing Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican governor from limiting or undoing…Read More

Supreme Court makes religious school education eligible for public aid

The Supreme Court delivered a major victory Tuesday to parents seeking state aid for their children’s religious school education. The court’s conservative majority ruled that states offering scholarships to students in private schools cannot exclude religious schools from such programs. The decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who has joined the liberal justices in…Read More

Bishops: ‘No justice, no peace’ reflects Catholic principles for police reform

As police reform legislation is currently stuck in the Senate, leading U.S. bishops wrote members of Congress on Wednesday outlining Catholic principles of policing. Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux sent a joint letter to members of Congress on Wednesday “in the…Read More

Lankford Leads Effort to Expand Federal Tax Deduction for Charitable Giving

U.S. Senator James Lankford is leading a bipartisan group of Senators hoping to expand the federal tax deduction for charitable giving. The bill is called the Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act. It expands the above-the-line deduction for donations to non-profits, houses of worship, religious organizations  and charities. “Nonprofits uphold Americans in our times of greatest…Read More

Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration In DACA Case

A narrowly divided Supreme Court extended Thursday a life-support line to some 650,000 so-called DREAMers, allowing them to remain safe from deportation for now, while the Trump administration jumps through the administrative hoops that the court said are required before ending the program. The vote was 5-to-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the decisive…Read More

Trump calls school choice the civil rights issue of ‘all-time in this country’

President Trump on Tuesday said school choice is the civil rights issue of “all-time in this country.” Speaking to reporters while announcing an executive order on law enforcement reform, Trump said: “We’re fighting for school choice, which really is the civil rights [issue] of all-time in this country. Frankly, school choice is the civil rights…Read More

1889 Institute: America’s Public Schools Fail Black Children, School Choice Empowers Them

A consistent feature of racists through history is that they have fully understood the power of education, or the lack of education, as a tool of oppression. Extraordinary efforts were taken to keep black slaves illiterate, including killing those who deigned to learn to read. After the Civil War, black schools were frequent targets of…Read More

US Catholic bishops: Supreme Court has ‘redefined’ the meaning of ‘sex’

The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference on Monday lamented the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a case that considered whether federal civil rights law considers sexual identity and gender identity to be covered by laws prohibiting employment discrimination based upon sex. “I am deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively redefined the…Read More

Pa. Catholic Conference appeals diversion of coronavirus relief from private schools

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is asking the U.S. Department of Education to reverse state authorities’ decisions that the conference says gives insufficient coronavirus relief funds to Catholic and other private schools. “We are appealing the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s decision because Congress was clear when it unanimously passed the CARES Act education funding,” Sean McAleer,…Read More

Sen. McConnell condemns First Amendment ‘double standard’ for churches

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that a “constitutionally dubious” double standard is being applied to religious communities and protestors during a Senate session on Tuesday. “I have no criticism for the millions of Americans who peacefully demonstrated in recent days. Their cause is beyond righteous,” said McConnell. “It is the inconsistency from leaders that…Read More

Trump signs order on international religious freedom after JPII shrine visit

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order “to advance international religious freedom,” after he visited the St John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC. The order calls religious freedom “a moral and national security imperative” and declares it “a foreign policy priority of the United States.” The order calls for “robust” engagement…Read More

Critics: Briefing shows ACLU has abandoned religious freedom for ‘culture wars

Longtime critics of religious freedom protections, among them the American Civil Liberties Union, have formed a partnership to oppose the Trump administration policies and actions that aim to protect several Catholic institutions. But for Matthew Franck, a Princeton University politics lecturer and senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, this course will advance conflict and coercion,…Read More

Inhofe, Lankford want COVID-19 aid to Planned Parenthood investigated

U.S. Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe were upset last week because of what they say were improper COVID-related Small Business Administration loans to Planned Parenthood. On Friday, Lankford joined 32 Republican senators and more than 90 Republican House members in demanding an investigation into how 37 Planned Parenthood local affiliates were approved for $80…Read More

Planned Parenthood Admits in Court That It Sold Body Parts From Aborted Babies

The preliminary hearing for undercover journalist David Daleiden began Tuesday in California with Planned Parenthood admitting that it harvested aborted babies’ body parts and supplied them to human tissue procurement companies, according to the Center for Medical Progress. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt face 15 felony charges for invasion of privacy because they exposed the abortion…Read More

US Coronavirus Relief Bill Would Discriminate Against Private Schools

Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton lamented Thursday that the U.S. Congress’ latest coronavirus relief bill would bar private schools’ access to financial relief. The New Jersey Catholic Conference is encouraging Catholics to ask their senators and representatives to include aid for private school families in the stimulus. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions…Read More

Oklahoma may launch marijuana breathalyzer pilot program

Oklahoma could launch a pilot program to conduct marijuana breathalyzer tests to determine if people are driving under the influence. Oklahoma’s Legislature passed legislation last week to require the Department of Public Safety use $300,000 to pay for a medical marijuana pilot program to test out marijuana breathalyzers. Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, said Oklahoma could…Read More

Bishops Bashing Pornography to Barr Have the Facts to Back It Up

On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop Paul Coakley, and Bishop David Konderla recently wrote to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, asking him to vigorously enforce the obscenity laws. They also called upon him to launch an “investigation of pornography producers and website owners for criminality.” “The current…Read More

Hofmeister announces nearly $145 million headed to Oklahoma schools as part of CARES Act

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced on Monday that nearly $145 million in emergency federal relief is headed to Oklahoma school districts. The funds are Oklahoma’s portion of the $13 billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) designated for states after the CARES act was signed into law in March. Like…Read More

Helen Alvare: Where Are the Women?

This week’s Supreme Court argument in the Little Sisters of the Poor case featured an impassioned statement by Justice Ginsburg about contraception. Several times during the argument, she claimed that the federal regulations offering religious freedom for the Little Sisters and others “tossed to the wind” congressional intent to provide women free contraception. She invoked…Read More

White House: Planned Parenthood was excluded from COVID19 rescue funds

White House officials told Fox News on Thursday that steps were taken to ensure Planned Parenthood is excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to provide coronavirus relief funds to small businesses. “Through the Paycheck Protection Program, President Trump is delivering vital relief to help small businesses keep employees on payroll,” a senior…Read More

Planned Parenthood president hails ‘silver lining’ to coronavirus

Planned Parenthood’s president has hailed an increase in telehealth services, including access to chemical abortions, as a “silver lining” of the coronavirus pandemic. “It is actually a silver lining in this pandemic, that Planned Parenthood and many other health providers have actually been able to really lean into telehealth infrastructure and provide service,” said Alexis…Read More

Lankford Urges Discretion, Relief for Refugees and Immigrants During COVID-19 Crisis

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are urging Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to exercise discretion and automatically extend the validity periods of critical documents for refugees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders approved for resettlement in the United States until COVID-19…Read More

Archbishop Coakley, pro-life leaders call for coronavirus vaccine without abortion ties

Development of an effective, safe and widely available vaccine for the novel coronavirus is deeply important, but its development should avoid unethical links to abortion, said pro-life leaders in a letter to the Trump administration. “It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced…Read More

Medical groups express strong reservations about elective surgeries

The Oklahoma Hospital Association on Thursday came out against Gov. Kevin Stitt’s goal of resuming elective surgeries next week, saying the focus should remain on preserving resources to fight the pandemic. Because models are now predicting a later surge in Oklahoma hospital patients with COVID-19, “we believe it is too soon to consider resuming elective…Read More

California churches sue governor to allow public worship services amid coronavirus

Three Southern California ecclesial communities have filed a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom, alleging that social distancing orders he imposed amid COVID-19 violate their first amendment right to freedom of religion. Newsom imposed a stay-at-home order for the state March 19, mandating that nonessential businesses close their doors and restricting gatherings. Newsom’s order does not…Read More

Christian leaders united in support of Oklahoma abortion order

Catholic dioceses in Oklahoma joined other Christian leaders on Monday to ask a federal court to let stand a state order halting elective abortions during the pandemic. “Abortion is not an absolute right,” said a friend-of-the-court brief filed April 6 by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Diocese of…Read More

Abortions can continue despite Gov. Stitt’s Executive Order judge says

U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin has blocked Gov. Stitt’s order that abortion is an elective surgery. Judge Goodwin wrote in his decision that the state “has acted in an “unreasonable,” “arbitrary,” and “oppressive” way – and imposed an “undue burden” on abortion access.” It was decided that the benefit of a ban on medication abortions…Read More

Legislature approves emergency declaration, gives Stitt unprecedented power

Oklahoma’s Legislature on Monday gave Gov. Kevin Stitt sweeping power to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a special legislative session, legislators approved Stitt’s declaration of a health emergency in Oklahoma, which grants the governor additional powers under the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act. This is the first time an Oklahoma governor has invoked the…Read More