AUL Will Continue Fight to Protect Conscience as Supreme Court Returns Challenges Brought By Religious Nonprofits to Lower Courts
“Today’s decision implicitly recognizes that the Obama Administration does not need to violate the First Amendment and hijack the health insurance plans of pro-life Americans to push life-ending drugs,”
said Clarke D. Forsythe, Acting President and Senior Counsel of Americans United for Life.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-16-16) In a three-page per curium opinion issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded Zubik v. Burwell and multiple other challenges by religious non-profits to the coercive HHS Mandate. While the Court explained that it was not deciding the merits of the cases, including whether the government even has a “compelling interest” for the Mandate, it acknowledged that the federal government has finally conceded it has other options besides its current scheme that hijacks the healthcare plans of nuns and priests. Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke D. Forsythe noted, “The Obama Administration does not need to violate the First Amendment and hijack the health insurance plans of pro-life Americans to push life-ending drugs. It is disgraceful that the Administration has spent years trying to bully the Little Sisters of the Poor, Priests for Life, and the other plaintiffs in these cases, to force compliance with an anti-life agenda. Under the directives of the Supreme Court’s decision today, the lower courts should put a stop to this unconstitutional and unconscionable scheme.”
In support of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other religious non-profits, AUL filed our 29th amicus brief against the coercive HHS Mandate, which requires most insurance plans to provide coverage for life-ending drugs and devices. In its brief, available here, AUL demonstrates that pro-life Americans are correct in objecting to the life-ending drugs included in the Mandate, detailing how the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that so-called “emergency contraception” has post-fertilization effects that can prevent a new, developing human being from implanting in the uterus and thus ending his or her young life, and that forcing the religious employers such as Little Sisters of the Poor and Priests for Life to facilitate and provide coverage for such drugs violates their First Amendment freedoms.
AUL’s brief was filed on behalf of Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, National Association of Catholic Nurses, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center.
“Before Obamacare became law, AUL warned that the conscience rights of pro-life Americans were at risk from the proposed mandates. In fact, AUL testified multiple times about the violations of conscience and religious liberty that would result. Sadly, these cases are evidence of the Administration’s determination to manufacture a fundamental break with our nation’s longstanding tradition of respecting faith and religious beliefs. We are grateful for all of our friends and allies who have stood side-by-side with us in this over six-year battle to protect our cherished freedoms, and we will redouble these efforts as these cases return to the lower courts,” said AUL Staff Counsel Anna Paprocki.
Abortion is woven into the healthcare law at multiple levels, making repeal of the law a pro-life necessity, including:
· Failing to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortion, abortion coverage, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
· Pretending that the Hyde Amendment protections were enough to prohibit direct payment for abortions.
· Permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through the state insurance exchanges required in all 50 states.
· Failing to prohibit all multi-state qualified health plans from providing coverage for abortion.
· Including a “preventive care” mandate that is being used in an attempt to force coverage of drugs and devices known to end life.
· Failing to provide comprehensive First Amendment conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to abortion.
To learn more about life-affirming healthcare, go to AUL’s unique project, RealHealthcareRespectsLife.com