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Conscience, News, Statements

AUL Supports Conscience Rights of Catholic Nuns; Files 28th Brief Against Obamacare’s Draconian Anti-Life Mandates

“When the government goes to court – multiple times – to punish nuns who do not want to purchase life-ending drugs and devices, you know that the system is broken,” said AUL President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (08-26-15) — Americans United for Life’s legal team filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief this week in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, now before the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari, demonstrating the coercive, unconstitutional effects of Obamacare’s “HHS Mandate,” which forces non-profit religious employers to facilitate coverage for life-ending drugs and devices against their beliefs. The filing marks AUL’s 28th amicus brief defending the rights of Americans under assault by the landmark anti-life law that is known as Obamacare. “When the government goes to court – multiple times – to punish nuns who do not want to purchase life-ending drugs and devices, you know that the system is broken,” said AUL President & CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

She continued: “The Obama Administration is so deeply committed to advancing its abortion agenda that forcing a group of Catholic nuns to be complicit in providing insurance coverage for life-ending products is its standard operating procedure. This attack on our historic religious liberties must end, and AUL is committed to defending freedom of conscience until the Supreme Court shuts down such coercive, unconstitutional actions.”

Claiming to “accommodate” religious employers, the Obama Administration announced in an August 2014 regulation that those with religious beliefs opposed to facilitating and paying for life-ending drugs and devices must hand over to the federal government the name and contact information “for any of the plan’s third party administrators and health insurance issuers.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made clear that it will use that information to force the religious employer’s insurance carrier to include the objected-to items and services in the policies purchased by the religious employer.

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, a federal trial court denied relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor, an international Roman Catholic Congregation of Religious Sisters, forcing them to cooperate in facilitating insurance coverage of life-ending drugs and devices. The Tenth Circuit rejected the Sisters’ claims under the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), leading the Sisters to file a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

In its brief, available here, AUL demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that so-called “emergency contraception” has post-fertilization effects that can prevent a new, developing human being from implanting in the uterus and thus ending his or her young life, and that forcing the Sisters to provide coverage for such drugs violates their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience.

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

To learn more about life-affirming healthcare, click here.