D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination ActApril 2015• The D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act of 2014 (RHNDA) is about basic fairness. People should be judged at work based on their performance, not on their personal, private reproductive health care decisions. Everyone should have the ability to make private health decisions including whether, when, and how to start a family, without fear of losing their jobs or facing retribution from their employers. • The RHNDA was passed by the D.C. Council to protect employees and their families from discrimination. Members of Congress who are not accountable to the residents of the District should not interfere with D.C.’s local laws.• Freedom of religion and belief is a core American value. Religious freedom protects the right to both believe and act on religious beliefs, but does not authorize actions that discriminate against or harm others. Bosses are entitled to their religious beliefs, but that does not mean that they can use those beliefs to discriminate against their employees based on their personal reproductive health care decisions.
What is and how did the Religious FreedomRestoration Act (RFRA) come into being?by Toni Van Pelt
RFRA places religious tenets above the rule of law. The use of RFRA by theCongress, the Supreme Court and the White House threatens and is well on itsway to destroying U.S. democracy.The beginning…The Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon vs. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), is a United States Supreme Court case thatdetermined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired forviolating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, on the job, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. The Court ruled although states have thepower to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.
OPPOSE TITLE I PORTABILITY TO PRIVATE SCHOOLSStates Should Not Have the Option to Authorize Federal School Vouchers
Turning Title I into a Voucher Harms Students in Poverty and Public Schools Recognizing the compounded impact of poverty on student learning, Congress designed Title I to fund public schools with high concentrations of students in poverty. Under the program, high-poverty districts and schools benefit from increased federal investment by taking advantage of “economies of scale” to combine resources for school-wide services and whole school reforms targeted at economically and academically needy groups of students. Allowing the funds to instead “follow the child” to that student’s private school, regardless of whether the school needs those funds, dilutes the funds, stretches the dollars thinner, and diminishes the effectiveness of the funding. Furthermore, tuition at a private school will far exceed the amount of a Title I voucher. It is unlikely, therefore, that students in poverty will be able to use the voucher to attend a private school. Taxpayer Money Should Support Public Schools Not Private Schools Open and non-discriminatory in their acceptance of all students, American public schools are a unifying factor among the diverse range of ethnic and religious communities in our society. Public schools are the only schools that must meet the needs of all students. They do not turn children or families away. They serve children with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities, those who are extremely gifted and those who are learning challenged. Vouchers undermine these goals by taking taxpayer money out of the public school system and funneling it to private schools.
Women Who Rely on the Military for Their Health Care DeserveComprehensive Contraceptive Coverageand Family Planning Counseling:Support the Access to Contraception forWomen Servicemembers and Dependents ActThe Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2014 ensures that allservicemembers and their dependents who rely on the military health care system have comprehensive contraceptive coverage and family planning counseling. Access to this basic preventive health service will benefit servicemembers, their families, and the military broadly.
Charitable Choice and Faith-based CampaignCharitable Choice, The Clinton/Ashcroft Legacy, the Faith-Based and Community Initiative,courtesy of Bush and now the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Obama’s SpinInconsistent with the constitution:"Charitable choice" and "faith based initiatives" allow government funds to flow directly to houses of worship and other pervasively religious organizations. Government subsidies for religion violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The Institute for Science and Human Values has, since its inception, (and prior due to the work of its current public policy director) worked to end Charitable Choice provisions in Congressional bills and Faith Based Offices in the Executive Branch of government since charitable choice was first introduced in Congress during the Clinton administration. Secular and religious groups joining together prevailed in the Congress during the George Bush presidency in stopping or deleting Charitable Choice provisions in bills and acts. The struggle moved to the White House where George Bush, determined to satisfy radical religious supporters opened the first office of Faith-based andCommunity Initiative funding religious organizations to provide taxpayer’s beneficial programs with taxpayers dollars via federal government agencies. It was our hope that President Obama would end this cozy relationship between government and religion. Instead he put his own stamp on it; first by changing the name to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership. He constituted the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This council was originally created by President George W. Bush, and reorganized under President Obama by executive order on February 5th 2009. The President has tasked them with the creation of several new initiatives to find new ways for both secular and faith-based organizations to better serve their communities.