Christian colleges to Supreme Court Wednesday: Govt can’t mandate abortion pill coverage

ADF attorneys, clients to participate in press conference following oral arguments in consolidated nonprofit HHS mandate cases
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Attorney sound bite:  Gregory S. Baylor

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys; students and staff from ADF client universities

WHAT: Commenting on oral arguments in consolidated nonprofit abortion-pill mandate cases, including the ADF cases Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell and Geneva College v. Burwell

WHEN: Wednesday, March 23

  • Two students from ADF client universities will speak at the “Women Speak for Themselves” rally as oral arguments begin at 10 a.m. EDT
  • ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor, Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper, Geneva College faculty member Millie Johnson, and Geneva College student Elsa Spear will participate in a press conference immediately following oral arguments

WHERE: Outside U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington

WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and representatives of ADF clients will participate in a press conference Wednesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in several consolidated cases concerning the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate as applied to religious non-profit organizations.

ADF attorneys represent four Oklahoma Christian universities in Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell and one Pennsylvania Christian college in Geneva College v. Burwell. Students from two of the universities will also participate in the “Women Speak for Themselves” rally, which will take place outside the Supreme Court building as oral arguments begin.

“Religious organizations have a legally and constitutionally protected freedom to peacefully operate according to their beliefs without fear of severe punishment by the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “These schools simply want to continue to operate according to the faith on which they were founded and the faith that still inspires them to serve their communities and the world today.” (#LetThemServe)

“Nuns, priests, and Christian schools shouldn’t be forced to go to the Supreme Court to plead for freedoms that every American is promised,” added ADF Legal Communications Director Kerri Kupec. “The government should be allowing these organizations to focus on serving the poor, the elderly, and the next generation. The freedoms guaranteed under federal law and the First Amendment are civil rights, not special gifts that the government can give or withhold when it chooses.”

A broad array of parties—including more than 200 members of Congress and 20 states—filed briefs in January with the Supreme Court in support of the colleges and other nonprofits who oppose the mandate and its religious non-profit compliance mechanism. The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception through their health plans under threat of heavy penalties.

Geneva College in Pennsylvania and the four universities in Oklahoma—Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Mid-America Christian University—specifically object to providing abortifacients. ADF attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating numerous other lawsuits against the mandate.
 
  • Case snapshot: Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell
  • Case snapshot: Geneva College v. Burwell
  • Pronunciation guide: Kupec (CUE’-peck)

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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