Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- House Passes Bill to Give Disaster Relief to Religious Groups
- 'Morning After' Pill Used by 5.8 Million Women
- CDC: Teen Births Hit Record Lows in 2011
- Marco Rubio: Only One Savior, and It's Not Me
House Passes Bill to Give Disaster Relief to Religious Groups
The House on Feb. 13 overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy, the Religion News Service reports. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups. Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency excludes religious organizations but assists privately owned nonprofits. If the bill becomes law, it would make houses of worship eligible for relief on the same terms as other nonprofits. It would cover houses of worship affected not only by Hurricane Sandy, which struck Mid-Atlantic states in October, but also future natural disasters.
'Morning After' Pill Used by 5.8 Million Women
As many as 11 percent of women ages 15 to 44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used a "morning after" pill at least once, according to the first federal report on emergency contraception, released Thursday, USA TODAY reports. That's 5.8 million women -- half of whom said they used it because they feared their birth control method may have failed, and the rest who had unprotected sex. The National Center for Health Statistics analysis is based on responses collected through in-person interviews with 12,279 women from 2006 to 2010. Of those, 10,605 said they were sexually experienced. The report found that 23 percent of sexually experienced women ages 20 to 24 had ever used emergency contraception, compared with 16 percent ages 25 to 29, 14 percent ages 15 to 19 and 5 percent ages 30 to 44. Emergency contraception was most common among women 20 to 24, the never married, Hispanic and white women, and the college-educated.
CDC: Teen Births Hit Record Lows in 2011
The number of U.S. babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jim Liebelt reports. Fewer women gave birth in their 20s as well than in prior years, the researchers said in findings published in Pediatrics -- but the birth rate increased for those in their late 30s and early 40s. The new data showed an 8-percent drop in teen births between 2010 and 2011, with just over 3 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds having babies during that period. CDC statistician Brady Hamilton, lead author of the report, and his colleagues calculated that 3.6 million more babies would have been born to women in that age group over the last two decades had the teen birth rate not been falling since a peak in 1991. Hamilton said the decline in teen births, in particular, is especially welcome news and reflects the efforts of programs and policies targeting that age group.
Marco Rubio: Only One Savior, and It's Not Me
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has made many headlines in recent weeks, first for his high-profile efforts to pass an immigration overhaul, then for his selection as the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. Though the next presidential election is still years away, Rubio is already being seen as a potential GOP frontrunner for the nomination. But after a new TIME magazine cover story dubbed him "The Republican Savior," Rubio took to Twitter for his response, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rubio tweeted Feb. 7: "There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus."
Publication date: February 15, 2013