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U.S. Appeals Court

Bars Government's

'Squeal' Rule

A federal appeals court in New York has barred the implementation of a regulation of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department that would have required federally-funded health clinics to notify the parents of minors who request prescription birth control.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the parental-notification regulation violated the "intent of Congress."

The Congress intended to "encourage" parental involvement when it passed family planning legislation, the appeals panel wrote in its Oct. 7 decision, but the hhs regulations "mandate" parental involvement. In doing so, the court said, the regulations illegally circumvent the original intent of the law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia also ruled against the regulations last July in a similar case brought by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Whether or not the department will appeal the court decisions is uncertain, an hhs spokesman said last week, but Planned Parenthood officials said they are expecting the Administration to pursue the issue.

"Ordinarily, when you have the two most prestigious appeals courts decide against you, it is very unlikely that you would appeal," said Eve W. Paul, vice president for legal affairs at Planned Parenthood, "but very possibly Secretary [Margaret M.] Heckler may feel compelled to appeal for political reasons."

Department officials have until Dec. 5 to decide whether they want to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Church Organization

Seeks Opinions

Of 10 Local Groups

The National Council of Churches will seek the opinions of congregations in 10 cities as it considers revising its positions on elementary and secondary education, officials for the organization said.

The issues on which the ncc takes formal positions, said Margaret L. Shafer, a staff associate for the division, include the proper place of religion in public education, federal aid to education, tuition-tax credits, adult illiteracy, and equal access to educational programs.

The organization this month announced the selection of the cities that will be involved in the process. The groups from the cities will meet to answer a set of questions. The answers will be used by the ncc's division of education as it develops proposals for revisions to the ncc education policy.

The governing board of the ncc will consider possible changes in its official positions at its spring meeting next May. The board might not take action on the proposals until 1985, an ncc official said.

Ms. Shafer said the organization's examination of education issues is "part of the whole national anxiety about public education." The cities selected are Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Grand Rapids, Mich., Hartford, Jacksonville, Fla., Memphis, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.

Vol. 03, Issue 07

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