Sidewalk Counselors Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Review Pittsburgh Censorship-Zone Law

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing pro-life sidewalk counselors asked the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday to weigh in on a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, censorship-zone law that muzzles free speech on public sidewalks outside of abortion facilities. Pittsburgh enacted a law that bans speech and advocacy—even prayer—in painted zones outside medical facility entrances. The city then chose to paint such zones outside only two facilities, Pittsburgh’s two abortion clinics, in the entire metropolitan area and enforced the ban against pro-life sidewalk counselors only.

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The Birth Dearth

While Italy, Spain, Iran, and other countries have been overwhelmed, South Korea seems to have flattened out the spread of the coronavirus. South Korea, though, has a deeper trouble: Its culture no longer supports the formation of families and the virtue of having children. The country currently has the lowest fertility rate of any in the world. Its rate of .88 is less than half of the 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population. In other words, while South Korea is busy slowing the spread of COVID-19, she is on the path to national suicide.

Overstatement? Not according to The National Interest, which ran this screaming headline: “Korea’s Future Is Dying (Thanks to Demographics).” South Korea’s rapidly aging populace, plus her alarming suicide rate and paltry fertility rate, will trigger a rapid population decline in 2020.

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Planned Parenthood Sues Texas to Perform Abortions

Several abortion-advocacy groups including Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Lawyering Project, are suing Texas governor Greg Abbott after the state designated surgical abortion as a non-essential procedure that must be suspended until the coronavirus crisis has passed.

This decision was made in conjunction with the governor’s announcement that all health-care facilities in the state should postpone any procedures that are not medically necessary, so that health-care professionals can handle a surge in COVID-19 cases. In Ohio, lawmakers made a similar decision, and abortion-rights activists have vowed to present a legal challenge there, too.

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Judges Block 3 States from Enforcing Abortion Bans Pegged to Pandemic

Federal judges on Monday lifted restrictions Texas, Ohio and Alabama imposed on abortion during the coronavirus pandemic in decisions that could have repercussions for several more Republican-led states that have deemed the procedure non-essential during the crisis.

In Texas, District Court Judge Lee Yeakel sided with abortion clinics and granted a temporary restraining order through April 13 while arguments on the underlying legality of the state’s order play out.

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Is Euthanasia an Essential Service?

Is euthanasia an essential service? That is the question that Canadian health officials are grappling with in the coronavirus epidemic.

At least two clinics in Ontario have stopped providing euthanasia (or medical assistance in dying, as it is called in Canada) to prevention transmission and to free up health-care resources. Others regard it as essential and are relaxing the rules to allow “virtual assessments of eligibility”.

“It’s not a decision that we have taken lightly,” said Andrea Frolic, of Hamilton Health Sciences, which has shuttered its program. “It’s heartbreaking for us, as it is for patients and families seeking this care.”

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The Stranglehold on Religious Life in China

The level of freedom of religion or belief in China is rapidly and significantly decreasing. There are tangible signs of this, such as the demolition of temples, mosques and churches by authorities, and the removal of religious symbols and pictures from homes and places of worship. There are also less visible changes, however: clergy removed from their positions and replaced with those with government approval; pressure on schools to check up on the religious beliefs of their students and staff; and surveillance cameras installed in and around places of worship. In the most extreme cases, religious adherents are arrested, imprisoned, tortured and even killed in connection with their religion or belief.

This downward trend fits into a broader pattern of increasing human rights abuses under Xi Jinping, accompanied by and manifested through a shrinking space for civil society, a heightened sensitivity to perceived challenges to Party rule, and the introduction of legislation that curtails civil and political rights in the name of national security.

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New York Times falsely smears DOJ religious liberty training as bigoted

In an article covering the recent training the Department of Justice held for its attorneys on religious liberty issues, the New York Times claimed with a blaring headline that the event spurned “concern among lawyers” because the workshops supposedly taught ways to “blunt civil rights protections for gay and transgender people.” This liberal spin on the topic chooses to paint the department as bigoted and discriminatory and overlooks the progress it’s made to bolster religious liberty protections. It’s also a blatant attempt to diminish the importance of religious liberty and mislead the public.

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