Four Christian organizations challenge Obamacare abortion-pill mandate

ADF files lawsuit against Obama administration on behalf of pro-life organizations
Friday, October 31, 2014

Attorney sound bites:  Gregory S. Baylor  |  Kevin Theriot

DENVER – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration on behalf of four Christian organizations. The recent rule changes issued by the administration for the abortion-pill mandate do not address the religious objections to coerced participation in providing life-ending drugs, devices, and counseling. This is the latest lawsuit to challenge the mandate since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against it on behalf of two for-profit family businesses in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.

The administration’s mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to facilitate access to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties. The four organizations—Association of Christian Schools International, Samaritan Ministries International, Taylor University, and Indiana Wesleyan University—specifically object to providing coverage for abortifacients.

“The government should not force religious organizations to be involved in providing abortion pills to their employees,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “The best way to respect everyone’s freedom would have been to extend the existing religious exemption to religious non-profits in addition to churches. The administration has failed in its duty to uphold the freedoms guaranteed to every American under the Constitution and federal law. These religious organizations had hoped to avoid this action, but the cause of religious conscience and liberty compelled them to take this step.”

“The Mandate’s narrow exemption for ‘religious employers’ discriminates among religions on the basis of religious views, religious status, or incidental institutional structure or affiliation,” the ADF lawsuit, Association of Christian Schools International v. Burwell, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, explains.

“All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force people—under threat of punishment—to give up their fundamental freedoms in order to provide insurance,” added ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “That’s no different for these Christian organizations, which simply want to abide by the very faith they espouse. The government is forbidden from punishing people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.”

ADF attorneys and allied attorneys are litigating numerous lawsuits against the abortion-pill mandate across the country.
 
  • Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR'-ee-oh)

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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