Atticus Finch Teaches a Lesson in Conscience Rights

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule,” he says in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, “is a person’s conscience.”

National Catholic Register

Andrea Piciotti-Bayer

Atticus Finch Teaches a Lesson in Conscience Rights

When my dearest friend asked me to join her virtual book club, I said “Sure!” She’s the kind of friend for whom I’d walk over broken glass — but, moments after I said yes, I thought to myself: “What was I thinking? I’ve got seven school-aged kids still at home, mountains of laundry to do every day, and a full-time job.”

But, because our friendship means so much to me and I am not one to walk away from a “Sure!”, I’ve stayed in the book club. And I’m glad I did.

Thank goodness for audiobooks. I’ve been able to keep up with the “reading” as I walk the family black Labrador puppy. (Again, what was I thinking?) The third book in our list is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know everybody’s supposed to have read this in high school, but I can’t honestly remember whether I did. For me, Atticus Finch had always been the irresistible Gregory Peck. . . [Full text]

Reproductive Health bill passes Philippines congress

The Philippines Senate and House of Representatives have passed a Reproductive Health Bill by signficant margins.  Bills of this kind have been proposed repeatedly over the past 13 years and have always been highly controversial because of oppostiion from those opposed to contraception and other contentious aspects of the bills.  However, it is unclear exactly what the new law will say, as the houses passed it in two different versions, and will have to compile an agreed-upon text before it can be signed into law by the president.  [Modern Medicine]

Re: Washington State Board of Pharmacy Regulation

  •  Carrie Severino* | My organization, the Judicial Education Project, in conjunction with two leading Jewish Orthodox Groups, Agudath Israel of America and the National Council of Young Israel, has filed an amicus curiae brief in a Becket Fund case, Stormans Inc. v. Mary Selecky, et al. . . .  Stormans challenges the constitutionality of Washington State’s Board of Pharmacy regulations that require pharmacists and pharmacies to dispense emergency contraceptives. Unfortunately, this regulatory burden falls—due to secular regulatory exemptions and the Board’s selective regulatory enforcement—exclusively on religious objections to emergency contraception, while passing over similarly situated non-religious objectors. . .
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UN Population Fund makes rights claims

The U.N. Population Fund’s annual report claims that access to birth control is a human right.  The report has no legal significance, but activists like the American based Center for Reproductive Rights have pursued a strategy of seeking such declarations, or “soft norms,” in the hope that they will eventually lead to binding “harde norms” that can be enforced against governments and objecting health care workers. (See Secret Memos Reveal Worldwide Pro-Abortion Legal Strategy)


Debate ends on Philippines bill

The Philippines House of Representatives has voted to end 19 months of debate on the Reproductive Health Bill.  It is expected to pass before the end of the month[Philippine Star]. The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)  intervened in the controversy in the, insisting that the bill should be passed.  The country is divided on the bill.  It is strongly opposed by the Catholic Church. [Philippine Star]