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A digest of articles, interviews, and (Compiled by Robert Tapp)  
Public Policy Postings
© Institute for Science and Human Values
Please Donate Support ISHV Inspired by Empathy and Creativity, guided by Reason Paul Kurtz, Founder    Jonathan Kurtz, Chairman
Congress Should Lift the Ban on Abortion on Military Facilities Because it Harms Service Members and Their Families All women deserve access to safe abortion care in their communities, including members of our military and their families. Unfortunately, since 1996, federal lawi has prohibited the Department of Defense from providing abortion care at military treatment facilities (MTFs) except in cases of rape or incest and where the woman’s life is endangered. This restriction, known as the facilities ban, increases the hardship that service women and dependents face in accessing abortion care within the United States and overseas. (Read More)
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Toni Van Pelt interviewed on First Coast Connect radio show hosted by Melissa Ross. Listen Now 
Marlo Blue, KPFT NEWS host & Toni Van Pelt Listen to Religious Freedom Restoration Act interveiw on
The Achievements of Paul Kurtz by Bill Cooke Paul Kurtz was born into a family with relatively recent memories of Russia and with a great enthusiasm for American society and what it could offer those who worked hard. Martin Kurtz, a businessman, and his wife Anna, lived in Newark, New Jersey when their son Paul was born on December 21 1925. The value of education was well understood and  Paul was destined for a university education. But soon after enrolling at Washington Square College at New York University, he volunteered for military service. Not quite 19, his unit was rushed to the front during the height of the Battle of the Bulge. A few months later he was among the forces that liberated Dachau concentration camp. He stayed with the American forces in Germany for eighteen months after the war before being demobilized. Once again a civilian, Kurtz resumed his studies at New York University before moving on to Columbia University, where he took his PhD in 1952. He was a student of Sidney Hook and retained a lifelong relationship with the older philosopher. And through Hook, Kurtz stands in direct line from John Dewey. It is not overstating things to say that Kurtz’s work cannot be understood without appreciating how comprehensive the influence of Dewey and Hook has been. Like Hook, Kurtz has always been keen to distance humanism from dogmatic interpretations and unsavoury allies. And like Dewey, Kurtz has wanted to emphasize the positive elements of nonreligious living. Having said this he has also been more willing to criticize religion than either of his mentors. (Read More)
Bill Cooke
Oppose the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (S. 304)   The undersigned organizations oppose the Conscience Protection Act (S. 304) and urge you to vote “NO” when the bill comes to the House floor, expected on Wednesday, July 13. The Conscience Protection Act would allow employers, insurance companies, and hospitals to discriminate against women seeking reproductive health care, seriously undermining women’s ability to obtain safe, legal abortion care. The Conscience Protection Act would significantly expand and make permanent the so-called “Weldon Amendment,” an annual appropriations rider that is intended to restrict women’s access to abortion care. Opponents of safe, legal abortion around the country have invoked the Weldon Amendment in attempts to block pro-women’s health policies at the federal, state, and local levels by pressuring policymakers with the potential loss of critical federal health and education dollars. These dollars fund programs like health  research, job training, community service, and education. Some have even invoked the Weldon Amendment to argue that hospitals could refuse to provide an abortion in emergencies, even when a woman’s life is at risk. The Conscience Protection Act would allow even more discrimination against women seeking health care by creating a new right for health care entities—defined broadly to include insurance companies, employers and others well outside a normal understanding of the phrase—to refuse to engage in an extremely broad range of activities related to abortion care. The Act would not only interfere with a woman’s ability to access comprehensive health insurance coverage that enables her to make personal medical decisions with those she trusts, but it would also put a woman’s health at serious risk in emergency situations. For example, a hospital could rely on the Conscience Protection Act to turn away a woman in a serious emergency situation who needs an abortion or even to refuse to provide a woman information about her treatment options. (Read More)
Sexism in Organized Non-Theism Sexual harassment and sexual assault in organized non-theism continue to be serious problems. Major scandals occur with disturbing regularity. The latest major controversy centers on atheist scholar Richard Carrier. Women at non-theist conferences have routinely accused Carrier of inappropriate behavior. Carrier has even admitted to over- stepping boundaries. The situation has become so bad that skeptics have gone so far as to ban Carrier from Skepticon, a major gathering of skeptics, in order to protect women from his alleged predatory behavior. (Read More)