“Obamacare’s punishing life-ending mandates represent the abortion industry’s move from ‘choice’ to coercion, and AUL won’t give up the fight to protect Americans’ freedoms,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (01-11-16) – Americans United for Life’s legal team filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief today in seven consolidated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that challenge the Obama Administration’s “HHS mandate” that forces religious non-profit employers to facilitate insurance coverage of life-ending drugs and devices.  The filing marks AUL’s 29th amicus brief defending the rights of Americans under assault by the landmark anti-life law that is known as Obamacare.

“The Obama Administration’s commitment to advancing an abortion agenda is so perverse that it has spent several years in court attempting to force nuns, priests, and religious schools to be complicit in providing insurance coverage for life-ending drugs and devices. AUL is committed to defending freedom of conscience and urges the Supreme Court to put an end to this coercive, unlawful, and unconstitutional mandate.” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

She continued: “The Obama Administration has known from day one that its HHS Mandate violates religious freedom guarantees, which is why it crafted a narrow exemption for churches. But it is equally unlawful and unconstitutional to demand that religious non-profits, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor and Priest for Life, which share the same religious objection as those churches that were granted exemptions, comply with the mandate.”

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 November 2015, the Supreme Court granted review in seven cases challenging the Obama Administration’s mandate that forces these religious non-profits to facilitate insurance coverage of life-ending drugs and devices. The now-consolidated cases of Zubik et al. v. Burwell, Priests for Life et al. v. Department of Health & Human Services, Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Burwell, East Texas Baptist University vs. Burwell, Little Sisters of the Poor et al. v. Burwell, Southern Nazarene University et al. v. Burwell, and Geneva College v. Burwell, are on appeal from the Third, Fifth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits.

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 religious employers such as Little Sisters of the Poor and Priests for Life to facilitate and provide coverage for such drugs violates their freedom of conscience guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law.

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

Dr. Yoest remarked that “federal law and the Constitution do not support the Obama Administration’s shell-game of selective respect for religious freedom.  The Supreme Court has already rightly held in Hobby Lobby that the Obama Administration cannot punish family-run businesses with crippling fines for being pro-life. It is basic commonsense that the law likewise protects nuns, priests, and religious schools from similar coercion.”

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