Leader of Alberta party reverses support for freedom of conscience

Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, has stated that the party will reverse its position on freedom of conscience, instead adopting a policy that health care workers should be forced to facilitate services or procedures to which they object for religious or moral reasons.  Her statements have been contested by one of the party’s elected members [Calgary Sun].

Defeated political party leader considers abandoning support for freedom of conscience

Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, is reported to be thinking of reconsidering the party’s support for freedom of conscience following the party’s defeat in the recent provincial election.  The premier of the province, who stated that she was “frightened” by freedom of conscience, was re-elected with a large majority. [National Post]

Freedom of conscience frightens Premier of Alberta

Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford of Alberta states that she is “very frightened” by support for freedom of conscience expressed by the leader of the Wildrose Party, her principal opponent in the current provincial election campaign.  The Wildrose Party is officially committed to protection of conscience legislation for health care workers.  Danielle Smith, party leader, recently stated that she would apply the same principle to marriage commissioners who object to performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.  Smith’s comments have drawn strident denunciations, equating the exercise of freedom of conscience with discrimination and hate-mongering.  [Canadian Press] [Project letter to Calgary Herald]

HHS mandate, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall

Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference that President Obama’s birth control regulation reminded him of President John F. Kennedy’s statement to the people of Berlin after the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”  Huckabee,a Baptist, said, “In many ways, thanks to President Obama, we’re all Catholics now.”[ABC news]


154 members of US Congress protest HHS regulation forcing birth control coverage

154 members of the US House of Representatives from both Democratic and Republican parties have signed a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stating that the regulation that forces objecting employers to provide insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives, and embryocidal  drugs is “an unprecedented overreach by the federal government that infringes upon rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”  They asked that the regulation be suspended until it is certain that employers and individuals “are afforded their constitutionally protected rights.”