Court blocks abortion pill mandate against Pa. family business


Friday, April 19, 2013

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Bowman

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman regarding a federal court order issued Friday that blocks the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate from being enforced against a Pennsylvania family-run lumber business and its owners, the Hepler family:

“All Americans, including job creators and providers, should be free to live according to their faith rather than be forced into violating their own consciences. The court has done the right thing in issuing an order against the administration’s abortion pill mandate, just as many other courts have done. For the many family-run businesses affected by the mandate, the court stated it well: ‘the mandate’s requirements impose a substantial burden on their exercise of religion.’”

Selected quotes from the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law in Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co. v. Sebelius:

p.16: “It is not, as defendants suggest, merely a question whether plaintiffs object to third parties’ decisions with respect to using or purchasing the objected to services. Instead, plaintiffs’ objection relates to whether the Heplers and SHLC will be forced to provide coverage for the objected to services in the first place. This is a quintessential substantial burden, and plaintiffs demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits with respect to the substantial burden issue.”

p. 18: “In light of the myriad exemptions to the mandate’s requirements already granted and conceding that the requirement does not include small employers similarly situated to SHLC, the requirement is ‘woefully underinclusive’ and therefore does not serve a compelling government interest.”

p. 20: “The court notes…that the scheme set forth in the proposed rules calls into serious question whether the mandate is the least restrictive means of achieving the government’s allegedly compelling interest.”
 
  • Resource page: Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co. v. Sebelius
  • Resource page: Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuits challenging the abortion pill mandate
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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