In the news this week, thousands rally in Ireland after woman denied abortion dies, customer sues Muslim barber for refusing to cut her hair, Atheists sue IRS for failure to monitor church politicking, and other stories.
Thousands of people rallied outside Ireland's parliament on Wednesday to demand strict abortion rules be eased after a pregnant Indian woman repeatedly denied a termination died in an Irish hospital.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, admitted to University Hospital Galway in the west of Ireland last month, died of septicaemia a week after miscarrying 17 weeks into her pregnancy. Her repeated requests for termination were rejected because of the presence of a fetal heartbeat, her husband told state broadcaster RTE. MSNBC
In case of competing rights, a Toronto woman has lodged a complaint against a barber who refused to cut her hair because he's Muslim. In June, Faith McGregor requested a man's haircut at the Terminal Barber Shop in downtown Toronto. Co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her that his Muslim faith prohibits him from touching a woman who is not a member of his family. All the other barbers in the shop said the same thing.
"For me it was just a haircut and started out about me being a woman," McGregor, 35, told the Toronto Star. "Now we're talking about religion versus gender versus human rights and businesses in Ontario." She has filed a complaint with Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario because the incident made her feel like a "second-class citizen." Religion News Service
A First Amendment watchdog group is suing the Internal Revenue Service for failing to challenge the tax-exempt status of churches whose pastors engage in partisan politicking from the pulpit.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which advocates total separation of church and state, filed the lawsuit Wednesday (Nov. 14) in U.S. District Court in Western Wisconsin, where the 19,000-member organization is based.
The lawsuit claims that as many as 1,500 pastors engaged in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” on Sunday, Oct. 7, when pastors endorsed one or more candidates, which is a violation of IRS rules for non-profit organizations. The Washington Post
The faith-based Katallasso Family Health Center is set to open in York City's Salem Square neighborhood on Jan. 7. Treatment at the clinic will be free for York County residents, executive Director Brian Kreeger said. The story of Katallasso — a Greek word that means reconciliation — started a few years ago. Kreeger said he had a conviction to share Christ's love in a poor York City neighborhood. So, he headed to South Queen Street. York Dispatch