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Conscience, News, Statements

AUL Files Twelfth Brief Supporting First Amendment Freedom of Conscience

In this brief, we are targeting the Achilles heel of Obamacare – using the law to compel compliance
with an abortion agenda is clearly unconstitutional
,”
said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-30-13) — For the twelfth time, Americans United for Life has filed an amicus curiae brief in a legal challenge to Obamacare.  In a brief filed today in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,AUL argues that the Obama Administration’s “HHS Mandate”—which forces many employers to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices without regard to the employers’ consciences or religious beliefs—violates the First Amendment freedom of conscience.

“In this brief, we are targeting the Achilles heel of Obamacare—using the law to compel compliance with an abortion agenda is clearly unconstitutional,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “This is the liberty issue of our day. Americans should not be punished for refusing to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices or be subjected to politically motivated threats to their businesses, careers, and ability to provide for their families.”

She continued: “AUL is representing conscientious, hard-working Americans and defending the freedom of conscience in our nation.  Forcing employers to choose between providing life-ending drugs or facing ruinous fines for noncompliance is illegal coercion and underscores that the Obama Administration will stop at nothing—even trampling the Constitution—to advance its pro-abortion agenda.”

AUL’s brief was filed in Legatus v. Sebelius, a legal challenge filed by a group of plaintiffs, including Legatus, a non-profit organization for Catholic business leaders, and Weingartz Supply Company, a family-owned company in Michigan which is operated according to the family’s devout Catholic beliefs, including the belief that “emergency contraception” and abortion involve the intentional destruction of innocent human life.

Previously, a federal district court in Michigan granted a preliminary injunction to Weingartz Supply Company, but denied a similar injunction to Legatus because that organization qualifies for the government’s alleged “safe harbor”—a one-year period of time that certain entities have been given to come into compliance with the HHS Mandate.  Legatus has appealed the denial of the injunction, while the government has appealed the preliminary injunction granted to Weingartz Supply Company.

AUL’s brief, available here, 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 drugs violates their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience.

The brief was filed on behalf of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, and National Association of Pro Life Nurses.

For more information on life-affirming healthcare, visit AUL’s unique project, Real Healthcare Respects Life, here.