Women’s Bodies, Ducey’s Choice

By Sami Al Asady | March 30th 2022

Governor Doug Ducey just signed three bills violating constitutional principles: SB1164, banning abortion after 15 weeks; SB1165, prohibiting trans girls from sports; and SB1138, restricting gender transitions. Each is a reminder that there are lawmakers who pay no regard to the constitutional separation of church and state, the Establishment Clause, nor our founding principles. Prejudicing marginalized communities and perverting scientific findings to accord with religious beliefs is dangerous to the security of Arizona. Continue reading

HB2507 Puts “Religious Freedom” on Steroids

HB2507, titled “religious services; essential services,” goes way beyond declaring religion an essential service in a pandemic (see the previous article in this series). It makes the practice of one’s religion an allowable defense in any civil or criminal case.[1]

We already have a law that does this, ARS 41-1493 through ARS 41-1494 (FERA)[2].  The existing law prevents the government from burdening a person’s free exercise of religion unless there is a compelling government interest and the restriction is as narrow as possible. “Person” is defined to include organizations, so FERA already protects religious organizations as well. Continue reading

The Startling Truth About Religious Refusals: What Your Healthcare Providers Aren’t Telling You

The intersection of law, medicine and so-called “morality” in the U.S. healthcare system poses a serious threat to patients’ access to healthcare and information. That’s the overarching message sent by a panel of experts in medicine and law we convened in December of 2021. As part of our annual Secular Summit event, Secular AZ organized a discussion on refusals of service based on religious beliefs, featuring the following experts and moderated by Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne Post:

  • Atsuko Koyama, MD, MPH, Clinical Asst Professor University of AZ, COM, Creighton University; Dpt of Child Health and Emergency Medicine, Valleywise Health Medical Center
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix

You can see the full video here. Let’s summarize what these experts working in the fields of medicine and law have to say about how refusals of service based on religious beliefs affect patients.

Continue reading