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AUL Defends Americans’ First Amendment Rights in 17th Amicus Curiae Brief Challenging Obamacare’s Punishing Mandates

“In Obamacare we see a national policy that adopts a prejudice against healthcare focused on protecting life and against people’s Constitutional rights and freedoms,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-21-13) – Americans United for Life filed its 17th amicus curiae brief in a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, as AUL attorneys defended Americans and their time-honored freedoms from punishing, anti-life mandates. AUL argues that the Obama Administration’s “HHS Mandate”—which forces employers to provide insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices without regard to the employers’ consciences or religious beliefs—is unconstitutional.

“The Affordable Care Act forces an abortion agenda on the American people unlike anything seen since Roe v. Wade,” said AUL’s President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Despite clear and continuing public opposition, President Obama’s healthcare law contains numerous anti-life provisions and mandates. Congress must repeal these provisions and ensure that any healthcare law respects life.”

AUL’s brief was filed in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius, a legal challenge filed by a private wood component business in East Earl, Pennsylvania. The business is owned by Christians and operated according to the owners’ Mennonite Christian beliefs, including the belief that it would be immoral for them to pay for a contraceptive drug that may induce an abortion, ending a life.

“Forcing a private business to pay for insurance covering life-ending drugs is a constitutional violation unprecedented in American history,” said Dr. Yoest. “Not only does it violate the First Amendment freedom of conscience, it also tramples on the entrepreneurial spirit that is a fabric of American economic life.”

The HHS Mandate forces Conestoga to choose between providing coverage for life-ending drugs and devices or facing ruinous penalties. In January, a federal district court in Pennsylvania denied Conestoga’s request for an injunction, exposing the family-owned business to the full coercive impact of the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional mandate. In July, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, leading Conestoga to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

AUL’s brief, available here, demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that anti-life drugs like ella have a post-fertilization effect that can prevent a new human being from implanting in the uterus and even cause death after implantation, and that forcing employers to provide coverage for such life-ending 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, The 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.