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Obama-Appointed Judge Strikes Missouri Law Targeting HHS Mandate

by Steven Ertelt | Jefferson City, MO | LifeNews.com | 3/18/13 5:55 PM

State

A Federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama has struck down a Missouri law targeting the pro-abortion HHS mandate.

Last year, Missouri lawmakers ignored the warnings of the Obama administration and overrode their governor’s veto to enact religious exemptions to the abortion pill mandate.

The bill, which passed through the state senate on a 26-6 vote and through the house on a 109-45 vote, is now law in Missouri and provides citizens of that state with serious religious freedom protections. Not only that, but the new law actually provides the extra safeguard of giving Missourians grounds on which to sue should their religious exemptions be violated.

The new law would allow individuals, employers and insurers to cite religious or moral exemptions from mandatory insurance coverage for abortion, contraception, and sterilization. It also gives the state attorney general — or other individuals and entities — grounds to file lawsuits claiming an infringement of rights if they are compelled to cover contraception.

However, the law faced a legal challenge and now,

a federal judge has struck down the law protecting the religious freedoms of Missourians:

A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage because it conflicts with an insurance requirement under President Barrack Obama’s health care law.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig cites a provision in the U.S. Constitution declaring that federal laws take precedence over contradictory state laws. But Fleissig emphasized that she was taking no position on the merits of the Obama administration policy, which requires insurers to cover contraception at no additional cost to women.

It was not immediately clear Monday whether the Missouri attorney general would appeal the ruling, which was dated Thursday but not publicized.

Dana Loesch, a Missouri-based conservative radio talk show host, responded to the decision this way:

Judge Fleissig’s ruling is even more offensive when you consider that it’s based on the presupposition that Missouri entities who opt out of Obamacare face a conflict by way of fines and penalties. Prop C, which passed by an overwhelming 74%+ margin in August 2010 specifically protected individuals and entities from fines and penalties if they chose to opt out of Obamacare. So it’s moot. Why was this not taken into consideration? Why was our law ignored? And will AG Chris Koster defend Missouri’s laws?

Sam lee, of the Missouri pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeNews, “Having followed this case very carefully, I know that SB 749 was ably defended by the Missouri Attorney General’s office – despite the bad outcome. However, the defense of law would be unfinished and wasted if the Attorney General fails to continue a vigorous defense of the law enacted by more than two-thirds of Missouri’s lawmakers.”

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“Pro-life lawmakers and prolife Missourians citizens must contact Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and insist that he appeal this dreadful decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The federal judge’s ruling is a radical departure from America’s tradition of religious freedom,” he said.

Please contact Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster today, telling him that he must appeal this decision. He can be contacted here:

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster

Supreme Court Building

207 W. High St.

P.O. Box 899

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone: 573-751-3321

Fax: 573-751-0774

attorney.general@ago.mo.gov