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This Week in Humanism 2017–10–30


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/10/30

“Today, just three days before the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967, hearing will commence in a Supreme Court case seeking to bring legal abortions to women in Northern Ireland in some of the gravest of circumstances. Humanists UK, which is intervening in the case, is due to have its oral submissions heard by the court this afternoon.

The case, brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) against the Northern Ireland Government, focuses on whether abortion should be legal in the cases of (i) women with pregnancies where the foetus cannot survive birth, (ii) women whose pregnancies arise from rape or incest, and (iii) women with serious malformation of the foetus. Humanists UK is intervening in support of the Commission — making written and oral submissions, and also providing expert evidence from the eminent moral philosophers and Humanists UK patrons Professor AC Grayling, Professor John Harris, and Professor Simon Blackburn. The evidence builds on Humanists UK’s unique interdisciplinary expertise, at the intersection of medical ethics, moral philosophy and law.”


“Iranian academic, Ahmadreza Djalali, was sentenced to death last Saturday (21 October) and was given only 20 days to appeal against the sentence. Humanist and human rights groups have condemned the process as involving “torture” and the verdict as an outrageous injustice. And now it has been revealed that Ahmadreza was himself approached not by Israel — but by Iranian intelligence.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) strongly condemns the process and the verdict of the Iranian court who sentenced professor Ahmadreza Djalali to death last Saturday. IHEU previously reported on the worsening of Ahmadreza’s health conditions, who was arrested in April 2016 by ministry of intelligence officials on the accusation of “collaboration with a hostile nation” and “enmity against God.” Ahmadreza is a scientific enquirer and in his work seeks evidence-based knowledge. He worked previously with the free-thinking university in Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).”


“(Washington, DC, October 18, 2017) — A federal appellate court ruled today, in a case brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) and three of its members, that a large Christian cross on government property in Bladensburg, Maryland, violates the US Constitution. The ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturns an earlier decision by a federal district court upholding the cross.

“The court correctly ruled that the cross unconstitutionally endorses Christianity and favors Christians to the exclusion of all other religious Americans,” said Monica Miller, senior counsel from the AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.”


“(Washington, D.C., October 13, 2017) The American Humanist Association (AHA) denounced, in the strongest terms, President Trump’s speech at today’s Values Voter Summit as un-American and an attack on all who don’t subscribe to his right wing religious political extremism. Hosted by several organizations listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Trump used that platform to call this a “nation of believers” strengthened and sustained by the “power of prayer.”

“Trump’s blatant contempt for the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment should alarm every American, regardless of their political affiliation or belief,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “This isn’t only an assault on nontheists, but lays the groundwork to further discriminate against those in the LGBTQ community, those who support women’s reproductive rights, and many others committed to improving our nation.””

Source: (Washington, D.C., October 10th 2017) — Leaders at the American Humanist Association (AHA) call out Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to override the Clean Power Plan, as a reprehensible and irresponsible action. In reaction, the AHA Board of Directors issue the following Resolution on Climate Change.

“The consequences of our actions — and inaction — regarding the destruction of our environment for ourselves and future generations demands our attention,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Pruitt’s rejection of the overwhelming scientific evidence that identifies man-made emissions as the primary driver of global climate change, if put into policy, will drag America and the world backward.””



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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