Pro-Life Groups Tell Supreme Court: Don’t Make Hobby Lobby Obey HHS Mandate

National   Steven Ertelt   Jan 28, 2014   |   12:29PM    Washington, DC

Leading pro-life groups have submitted amicus briefs to the Supreme Court supporting Hobby Lobby in its case against the Obama administration and its HHS mandate, which forces religious groups to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs.

Americans United for Life’s legal team filed an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief today in the U.S. Supreme Court defending pro-life Americans from the mandate.

Filed in two consolidated cases currently pending before the Supreme Court, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, this brief represents AUL’s 19th amicus brief opposing Obamacare’s anti-life policies, and AUL’s 17th brief specifically opposing the Health and Human Services “Mandate.”

hobbylobby5AUL says the HHS “Mandate” requires insurance coverage for “all FDA-approved contraceptives,” including drugs and devices that can destroy living human embryos. In this brief, AUL argues in support of First Amendment Freedom of Conscience Rights and argues that the Obama Administration’s HHS “Mandate,” is patently anti-American.

“The Obama Administration—through its draconian HHS Mandate—is crushing the fundamental rights of the American people for the sake of advancing its pro-abortion agenda,” Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews. “For years, companies like our clients—Drury Hotels—have provided quality healthcare coverage to their employees in a manner that does not conflict with their own consciences or religious principles. But now the Obama Administration is trampling on those religious principles, and on the American dream, by requiring such companies to provide healthcare coverage for life-ending drugs and devices or face crippling fines.”

“It is unconscionable for the government to force privately-owned companies—the backbone of our nation—to pay for life-ending drugs or risk going out of business,” said Yoest.

In Hobby Lobby, the government is appealing a Tenth Circuit decision that ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s challenge of the Mandate, while in Conestoga, a Pennsylvania wood component business is appealing a Third Circuit ruling denying it relief from the Mandate.

In the brief, AUL demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that “emergency contraception” has a post-fertilization effect that can prevent a new human being from implanting in the uterus, and that forcing employers to provide coverage for such life-ending drugs violates their constitutionally protected Freedom of Conscience.

Meanwhile, Liberty Counsel is filing an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores. Ignoring the free exercise rights, the Obama administration has enacted regulations that compel employers to choose between their sincerely held religious beliefs or face enormous fines.

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“At issue is the fundamental right to free exercise of religion and intrusive governmental regulation. Employers such as Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and Liberty University, which operate their businesses in accordance with religious principles that respect the sanctity and dignity of human life, are being told by the government that they must either abandon their principles and provide free abortion-inducing drugs to their employees or pay exorbitant fines,” the pro-life legal firm told LifeNews.

“Ignoring the free exercise rights, the Obama administration has enacted regulations that compel employers to choose between their sincerely held religious beliefs or face enormous fines,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“Subjecting employers to such extortion is antithetical to the free exercise protections recognized by the First Amendment,” Staver said.