New HHS rule ends punishment for pro-life beliefs in Obamacare abortion-pill mandate


Friday, October 06, 2017

The following quotes may be attributed respectively to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor and March for Life President Jeanne Mancini regarding a new rule that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued Friday that expands protections in the Obama-era abortion-pill mandate for organizations with pro-life religious or moral convictions. That mandate had forced many employers, regardless of those beliefs, to provide abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies if the mandate’s requirements weren’t met:

“The beliefs that inspire Christian colleges and universities and the Little Sisters of the Poor to serve their communities should be protected,” said Baylor. “During his campaign, President Trump promised that protecting religious liberty would be a top priority and people of faith would not be bullied on his watch. We are pleased that this rule is a major step forward in keeping that promise and restoring back to people of faith their constitutionally protected freedom. We are also pleased the rule protects the conscience convictions of organizations like March for Life, an organization that bases its pro-life beliefs on science and philosophy, and hosts the largest pro-life gathering in the world every year in Washington, D.C.

“Although organizations that filed civil rights lawsuits will still need final relief from the courts, it is encouraging to see the Trump administration affirm the principle that all Americans should be free to peacefully live and work according to their faith and conscience without threat of government punishment. Access to contraception and other drugs and devices will continue to be as widely and readily available as it always has been for those who want these items. We commend the president for his commitment to freedom and restoring the choice of religious and pro-life employers and their female employees to work at organizations consistent with their convictions. We expect that the Department of Justice will work with us to quickly resolve these cases in a manner that fully and permanently protects the freedom of conscience of our clients."

“The March for Life Education and Defense Fund exists to protect and defend life from conception,” said Mancini, a litigant against the mandate. “When we were forced by the Obama administration to carry drugs and devices that destroy life in its early stages, we were appalled and ultimately needed to seek legal protection. It is un-American to force nonprofit organizations to defy their very reason for being on something as important as life. We are grateful to the Trump administration for this rule, which will allow pro-life organizations to freely operate according to their beliefs on something as important as the protection of life and look forward to final resolution of our case in court that is consistent with this rule. Our nation has a rich history of protecting conscientious objectors, and pro-life organizations must be free to operate according to their beliefs.”

ADF hosted a press call discussing the rule, which you can listen to here.

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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