A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Obamacare mandate for abortion-inducing drugs is being praised by critics as an opportunity to protect the right to exercise one’s faith in the United States.
“If government can put Americans out of business for keeping their faith, there is no limit to what freedoms it can take away,” said Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Matt Bowman today after the court affirmed that it would review two cases on the issue.
“Bad laws that force good people to do bad things belong in the shredder, not on the books.”
The mandate in Obamacare forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.
One of the plaintiffs, according to an appellate review, would be required to pay $95,000 a day in penalties if the owners would refuse to live contrary to their Christian convictions.
“We’re extremely pleased that the Supreme Court will hear these critically important cases,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. The group has filed numerous challenges against the HHS mandate, and in fact, there have been dozens of lawsuits filed over the issue.
Many of them have been decided in favor of the plaintiffs, including one of the cases accepted Tuesday, which was brought on behalf of Hobby Lobby and its owners.
“For the government to mandate that a company or its owner acquire a health insurance product that violates their religious beliefs is not only offensive but unconstitutional as well. Such a mandate is an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government, and we’re hopeful that the high court will move to protect the religious freedom of Americans,” Sekulow said.
The cases accepted by the high court today are Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius. Different appellate courts found for Hobby Lobby and against Conestoga.
“Americans are awakening to the fact that Obamacare is far from a done deal,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The courts are just now beginning to respond to the many constitutional challenges, including the constitutionality of the employer mandate and also the free exercise of religion that applies to individuals. Obamacare, the biggest funding of abortion in history, is on a collision course with the sincerely held religious beliefs of many individuals and businesses. The HHS mandate presents a classic conflict with the free exercise of religion. I think it is apparent that the Obamacare abortion mandate will be struck down because it violates the free exercise of religion.”
The owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, the Hahns, are a practicing and believing Mennonite family, records show, and they desire to run the company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood kitchen cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.
Their faith aligns with that of the owners of Hobby Lobby.
Dozens of states and other parties have filed friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs in the cases.
“The government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” said ADF senior counsel David Cortman. “The administration has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free. We trust the Supreme Court will agree. A government that forces any citizen to participate in immoral acts – like the use of abortion drugs – under threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.”
Penny Nancy, president of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, said, “What the president and his administration fail to realize is that one’s religious beliefs don’t stop at the church walls. The president still seeks to nullify the religious liberties granted to all Americans by the U.S. Constitution. We applaud Hobby Lobby and others for holding true to their beliefs. When religious groups are forced to deny their deeply held religious convictions, it is not called ‘balance’; it is called ‘tyranny.’”
She continued, “The president’s health-care law (also known as Obamacare) continues to attack and assault religious liberty and common sense. Requiring employers affiliated with the Christian faith, like Concerned Women for America and Hobby Lobby, to include free potential abortion-inducing drugs in their health insurance plans runs contrary to both Christian doctrine and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. Concerned Women for America and others will not tolerate this unprecedented trampling of our First Amendment rights.”
WND earlier reported on the extent of the outrage over Obama’s demands of Christian business owners – with one pro-life official saying the White House, through its support for abortion, is doing the work of Satan.
That comes from a top executive for America’s leading pro-life organization, the American Life League.
Jim Sedlak, vice president of the pro-life group that faithfully follows Catholic teaching and opposes not only abortion but other death-related agendas such as euthanasia, made the comments only a day after the Washington Post quoted “Exorcist” author William Peter Blatty calling a graphic abortion procedure “demonic.”
“We have always described the work of Planned Parenthood as Satanic,” Sedlak told WND on the issue of abortion and Blatty’s reference.
“If you look around the country, if Satan were to establish an organization today, what organization would be most like that one?” he asked. “The answer is Planned Parenthood, which does the work of Satan with its attacks on our young people … with sexual sin.”
It also promotes the “total devaluation of human life,” he said.
“We frequently refer to those that are radical pro-abortion as doing the work of Satan,” he said.
“In this regard, certainly the [Obama] administration is doing the work of Satan.”
Blatty’s comment came during a conversation about his petition to the pope to instruct Georgetown University to follow the teachings of its founder, the Roman Catholic Church, or lose its Catholic identity.
According to the Washington Post, Blatty said the last straw for him regarding Georgetown was its invitation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was radically pro-abortion even when she was the governor of Kansas, to speak at commencement.
“Sebelius has a record of supporting abortion rights, and abortion is the issue that really sets Blatty’s nerves on fire,” the newspaper said. “He describes, his voice trembling, a particular abortion procedure in graphic detail. He pauses. His voice is nearly a whisper. ‘That’s demonic.’”
A counsel to Blatty explained to WND that the graphic abortion procedure was partial-birth abortion, often done by Sebelius’ friends in the abortion industry. In the process, the live baby’s body is delivered, but before the head emerges, the skull is crushed and the brains vacuumed out.
Lila Rose of the activist Live Action organization also spoke to WND on the issue.
Live Action is known for its undercover video stings of abortion facilities, which have been caught violating laws regarding covering up and facilitating the sexual exploitation of minors, providing medical misinformation, using manipulative coercion and facilitating race- and sex-based abortion.
Rose told WND that Obamacare was written for the benefit of the abortion industry.
“The architects of Obamacare have a clear, extreme pro-abortion goal, including abortion coverage in many different ways. Some are public … Others, I fear, we will discover as the massive government takeover of health care continues,” she said.
Already required are payments for abortifacients, she said. Another funding mechanism for abortionists will be the relationships with the “community health partners,” a position for which Planned Parenthood already is lined up, she said.
Obama’s plans “represent the greatest expansion of the abortion industry since Roe v. Wade,” she said. “There’s a whole world out there of other avenues where people can people can receive money.”
She commended Blatty’s comment.
“If you believe that evil exists in the world … what could be more evil than the dismemberment of an unborn child, a child when they’re the most vulnerable and defenseless?” she asked.
She said for American culture to be “free from this evil,” the nation needs to confront it.
“Voices like Blatty’s are refreshing, calling out evil for what it is.”