April 8, 2013
The latest faux accommodation is that a "free" insurance policy must automatically be issued for all employees of organizations exempt from providing these items and procedures. It magically is paid for by the insurance company so the religious employers and employees are not supposed to complain. This is sheer nonsense: No amount of bookkeeping sleight of hand changes the cause-effect relationship.
March 11, 2013
"We cannot--we will not--compromise." --nun who runs network of Catholic Hospitals
March 5, 2013
Today, Congressmen Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and John Fleming, M.D. (R-LA) held a press conference to announce the introduction of theHealth Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA). This legislation would protect Americans’ First Amendment rights and would stop the Obama Administration’s assault on religious freedom.HCCRA offers reprieve from ongoing violations of our First Amendment, including full exemption from the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and conscience protection for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply-held, reasoned beliefs. Click here to read the bill text.
February 5, 2013
On the contrary, it is a renewed statement by the administration that it will not allow religious institutions or believers to dissent from the prevailing secularism of the day.
February 1, 2013
So basically, the religious institutions are required by the government to give their workers an insurer and that insurer is required by the government to give those workers abortive and contraceptive coverage, but somehow these religious employers are supposed to imagine that they're not giving their workers access to abortive and contraceptive coverage.
January 17, 2013
President Obama's mandate that most private companies provide health insurance plans that cover the costs of contraceptives has met with considerable headwinds in the legal system, where nine of the 14 federal courts to rule so far have sided with employers who say the mandate violates their beliefs and infringes on their religious liberties.
January 3, 2013
Kyle Duncan, an attorney representing Hobby Lobby in its case, said that the company plans to continue providing health insurance to its employees without paying for the drugs that it finds morally objectionable. To continue following their Christian beliefs, the company's owners now risk fines of $1.3 million per day.
December 26, 2012
St. Louis, Missouri - A federal court has ruled against a newly-enacted Missouri law that sought to block Obamacare's abortion pill mandate by allowing religious-owned businesses to be exempt from the requirement. In September of this year, Missouri legislators enacted the law, overriding a veto from Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. It had initially passed in May, 28-6 in the Senate and 105-33 in the House.
November 27, 2012
Five months after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision upheld the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the high court directed the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to consider a case that challenges two key provisions of the federal health law, including the contraception mandate.
November 16, 2012
Hopes of repealing Obamacare took a beating last week with the election results. For the foreseeable future, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue, including the Department of Health and Human Services‘ (HHS) "contraception mandate" - a frightening glimpse of what we have to look forward to.
November 6, 2012
Many plaintiffs, like Mr. Weingartz and Hercules, have invoked the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That law provides that officials may not burden a person's exercise of religion unless they can show "a compelling governmental interest" and use "the least restrictive means" of advancing that interest.
October 22, 2012
Obamacare won't just ruin health care. It is also a cultural bulldozer. Before the law is even fully in effect, Health and Human Services bureaucrats have begun wielding their sweeping new powers to assault freedom of religion in the name of their preferred social order.
October 15, 2012
On Oct. 5, President Obama came to George Mason University in Virginia, where I teach law, to generate support for the health care mandate requiring employers to buy health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization and drugs that cause early abortions. "Let me tell you something, Virginia," he said. "I don't think your boss should control the care you get. I don't think insurance companies should ... I definitely don't think politicians on Capitol Hill should ... I think there's one person who gets to make decisions about your health care -- that's you." The president can obviously say what he wants, but I wish he wouldn't say that a law means its opposite.
October 5, 2012
Strong pro-choice representatives and senators, women and men, have understood the value of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Until the Affordable Care Act dramatically limited protection, it was seen as essential in a democracy that guarantees religious freedom.
August 21, 2012
Some of the plaintiffs had been misled by President Obama himself. During his Notre Dame speech, the president promised that, notwithstanding his support of abortion rights, he intended to "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause."
August 15, 2012
Louisiana College filed a response in federal court Friday to the U.S. Department of Justice's motion to dismiss the college's lawsuit against the Obama administration's abortion pill mandate. The lawsuit challenges the unconstitutional mandate, which requires religious employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion pills at no cost to employees regardless of religious or moral objections.
August 13, 2012
Most voters still want to see President Obama's health care law repealed, and a plurality believes repeal would be good for the economy. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters favor repeal of the national health care law, while 38% are opposed.
August 10, 2012
The government claims that:
1) Seeking profit is a wholly secularist pursuit;
2) Hence, once we go into business, we lose our religious freedoms in the context of those activities;
3) Meaning that all who engage in such secular undertakings must accede to the precepts of secular ideology;
4) Which the government establishes through the passage of laws and promulgation of regulations.
August 1, 2012
We cannot let this day pass without a reckoning of what has been lost and without a statement of resolve to restore our freedom, rights, and security. President Obama's mandate constitutes a raw use of political power to subsidize services and organizations to which his Administration is ideologically committed.
July 30, 2012
Most voters continue to support repeal of the health care law, and the number who fears they will have to change their health care coverage has jumped to its highest level since October of last year. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 41% who Strongly Favor repeal.
July 27, 2012
“Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith. For the time being, Hercules Industries will be able to do just that,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, the Arizona-based organization representing the Newlands. “The bottom line is that Congress and the Constitution explicitly protect all religious freedom. They don’t exclude family businesses.”
July 26, 2012
Ashley McGuire with the Catholic Association, a group that promotes activism against the mandate, said Catholics see the policy as "bullying" their faith. "People in the pews may not agree with all of the Vatican's teachings," she said. "But they love their priests and they love their bishops. They see the mandate as a violation of the church's authority to act according to its conscience."
July 24, 2012
A charitable interpretation may be that Obama just doesn’t understand this. After all, he grew up unchurched, so how would he know Christians who live to serve? A more cynical reading of the situation is that Obama wants to compel religious hospitals and colleges to set aside their religious principles in order to follow his pelvic politics.
July 19, 2012
On Wednesday, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the trustees of Wheaton College joined The Catholic University of America in filing a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services. They did so because the HHS mandate requiring the college to provide and subsidize insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs violates the conscience of the school and its members, and denies their First Amendment freedom of religion.
July 17, 2012
Today’s decision by a federal district court in Nebraska to dismiss one of the many pending lawsuits against the HHS abortion-drug, contraception and sterilization mandate is unfortunate (and in one respect, seriously mistaken). But the decision turns on technicalities and doesn’t decide the merits of the dispute. Bear this context in mind if you should hear anyone trumpeting this decision as some sort of “victory” for the federal government on the religious-liberty questions at the heart of the HHS mandate litigation.
July 13, 2012
Christian Medical Association CEO Dr. David Stevens interviews Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the HHS mandate in the Affordable Care Act, conscience rights and religious liberty.
July 13, 2012
On Thursday, June 28 at 10:00 AM, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) joined Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN), Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Congressman Dan Lipinksi (D-IL) for a public forum at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall. The topic: the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and its implications for individual liberty and religious freedom. Rep. Fortenberry also discussed his Freedom2Care-supported bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179).
July 6, 2012
When people are not virtuous there is more and more government control of everybody. As the moral capital of the past disappears, more and more bad things happen, and human misery increases. Moral capital must be continuously renewed in the hearts and minds of men and women.
July 6, 2012
Fifty-six plaintiffs have filed 23 lawsuits against the Health and Human Services Department mandate, including three Protestant educational institutions. "We have seen an incredible intensity on this issue," said Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser at the Catholic Association, told Roll Call in an article published Thursday.
July 5, 2012
Reforming health care is unquestionably challenging, but it's not brain surgery. It works best when following basic principles most kindergartners learn: Help others up when they've fallen, keep your hands off other people's stuff and save your lunch money for when it's needed.
July 3, 2012
In her separate opinion – joined by Justice Sotomayor, Justice Breyer, and Justice Kagan – Justice Ginsburg notes that beyond the provisions directly at issue in the healthcare case, other constitutional provisions limit the power of the federal government: “A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.”
June 29, 2012
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List: "From the outset, Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children. Today's decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing."
June 29, 2012
Christian Medical Association director David Stevens warned that forcing employers and individuals with faith-based convictions to subsidize abortion or life-ending contraceptives would lead to “huge faith fines on those of us who resist.”
June 29, 2012
Dr. Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), says the high court decision basically endorses the healthcare law, which will lead to a severe encroachment on the rights of conscience and the exercise of religion.
June 29, 2012
The first of Obamacare's hammers has already fallen, targeting religious freedom. And attention must now turn to the dozens of cases around the country aimed at stopping what is known as the Health and Human Services, or HHS, mandate -- the requirement that qualifying insurers and self-ensuring employers pay for sterilizations, abortifacient drugs and contraception, or else pay a fine.
June 29, 2012
June 29, 2012
Nothing in the court’s opinions directly addressed the religious-freedom challenges brought in the 23 lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate that all employers must provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and drugs and devices that cause early abortions. In fact, every justice who voted to uphold the law was quite clear that Congress’ exercise of its taxing power remains subject to other constitutional guarantees like the right to religious freedom.
June 28, 2012
“The Becket Fund’s religious liberty lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors.”
June 28, 2012
From the perspective of social justice, this law jeopardizes the principle of subsidiarity, which, like the principle of federalism upon which our Constitution was written, holds that services ought to be provided by those social agencies and instrumentalities of government that are closest to the point of delivery. Tremendous dangers lie in health care being orchestrated by the highest level of social organization, our federal government.
June 28, 2012
This morning, the Supreme Court didn’t just miss the opportunity to protect individual liberty. It also failed to defend religious freedom. The Court’s ruling to uphold the health care law doesn’t mean it has cleared its legal challenges, however. Twenty-three federal lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate—which goes into effect on August 1—now take on added urgency.
June 27, 2012
As a matter of policy substance, the individual mandate is peripheral, not central, to the Left's approach to health-care reform. It is necessary to the system envisioned by Obamacare precisely because that larger system is at odds with basic economics. Left to itself, the system would quickly self-destruct, since it would create strong incentives for people to remain uninsured until they were sick.
June 21, 2012
"You knew it was bad, but it's worse than you think. ObamaCare includes plans that fund elective abortions, charges people for life-saving drugs while making life-ending drugs free, and seriously fines those who do not comply..."
June 18, 2012
The Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. How does this impact the HHS lawsuits? This graphic illustrates the three different scenarios.
June 6, 2012
ObamaCare is not content with forcing coverage of abortion-inducing drugs against people's consciences. Now the administration has made its attack on conscience even worse: by forcing abortion-drug coverage onto children against their parents' objection.
June 4, 2012
Priests, rabbis and pastors, as well as ministry and faith leaders across the spectrum, are speaking out against this policy. The mandate impacts people of all faiths. Forcing a religious institution to provide and pay for services that violate its own faith goes against our nation’s history of religious liberty.
May 23, 2012
Imagine the church's surprise, then, to be told by the federal government that when a Catholic organization serves its neighbors, it isn't really practicing its religion. That is the unacceptable principle at the heart of a mandate, issued in February by the Department of Health and Human Services, that requires religious organizations to provide health-care coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, even if their faith teaches that those drugs and procedures are wrong.
May 23, 2012
Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell has seen a lot of media abuse in his time as the master monitor of the liberal press. Now, he's seen the very worst: The broadcast networks "all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our constitutionally protected religious freedom," the analyst says, citing CBS, ABC and NBC for skimming over news that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit Monday against the Obama administration.
May 23, 2012
Republican leaders might be trying to avoid getting re-entangled in the culture wars, but Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt on Tuesday said he is considering intervening in a legal challenge to a proposed federal contraception rule brought by Catholic organizations.
May 23, 2012
This week my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, was one of more than 40 plaintiffs to file suit against the Department of Health and Human Services regarding its mandate that private health insurance plans cover life-ending drugs and devices, including the abortion-inducing drug ella.
May 23, 2012
In January, the Obama administration hit Catholic employers with arguably the most religiously-oppressive government directive in modern American history: Provide free abortion drugs and birth control pills in your health insurance plans, in flagrant violation of your religious beliefs, or face legal punishment. This week the bishops of the Catholic Church hit back. In one of the largest legal actions to defend religious liberty in U.S. history, Catholic organizations filed a dozen lawsuits across the country claiming the Obama Health and Human Services Department rule violates the right to religious freedom set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
May 23, 2012
Greg Baylor, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, says the outcry against the mandate is justifiable and understandable. "They're basically saying, Hey, if you're a religious organization that's out there in the world, serving the world, hiring people who don't necessarily share your religious commitments, you're not entitled to freedom of conscience."
May 22, 2012
In the most comprehensive survey conducted on the issue yet, Washington-based public opinion firm QEV Analytics recently found that some 50% of regular churchgoing Catholics heard a statement during Mass setting forth the bishops' serious misgivings about the insurance mandate. Of all the Catholics who heard this statement, most apparently agreed with it.
May 22, 2012
HHS is further suggesting that rather than allowing female employees of religious institutions to seek contraceptive coverage, a government-approved entity will simply provide it to them and all their female beneficiaries (minors included) “automatically” — and without any co-pay to tip off minors’ parents. This isn’t freedom. This is coercion, along with the undermining of parents’ duties and rights respecting their children.
May 22, 2012
Chancellor Jane Belford of the Archdiocese of Washington explains the significance of the lawsuit filed to protect freedom to practice religion. Chancellor Belford details why the suit is necessary in light of the attempt of the government to redefine what is a religious institution. She explains that under the new definition that the work of Mother Teresa no longer would qualify as the work of a religious institution.
May 21, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) - Dozens of Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and other institutions sued the Obama administration Monday over a government mandate requiring most employers to provide birth control coverage as part of their employee health plans.
May 21, 2012
ADF attorneys file suit against administration's 'abortion pill' mandate on behalf of Denver's Hercules Industries.
May 18, 2012
This radical policy change will be devastating to religious organizations who are working to provide critical services to Americans in need. These institutions may now be forced to pay huge fines, be subject to unelected bureaucrats' defining their status, limiting their work, or even shutting them down altogether. This would not just impact the organizations themselves, but the millions of needy Americans whom these organizations serve.
May 18, 2012
The controversy over the Obama Administration's anti-conscience mandate and the fight for religious liberty only serves to highlight the inherent flaws in Obamacare. This conflict is a natural result of the centralization laid out under Obamacare and will only continue until the law is repealed in full.
May 3, 2012
The federal website Regulations.gov released the first round of public comments on the administration's proposed anti-conscience mandate on Wednesday. The comments were overwhelmingly opposed to the measure: out of 211 comments submitted, only six, less than 3%, offered support for the mandate.
May 1, 2012
"[Insurers] think it will raise pharmacy costs and won't lower medical costs," says Rhonda Greenapple, chief executive officer of Reimbursement Intelligence. "The idea that preventive care is going to reduce overall health care costs, they don't buy it."
April 19, 2012
We insist upon the civilly-protected freedom for the practice of religion and freedom for the free exercise of conscience because they are inherently human freedoms. No person may become the pawn of the State no matter how small or diminished; no matter how inconvenient. If we loose sight of the dignity of the person, all else will unravel. Peace will not last, for the violation of conscience makes any other human violation and tyranny justifiable.
April 15, 2012
During his final illness Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, stating, "I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field, and I'll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone."
April 8, 2012
Influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Sunday that he is not satisfied with the Obama administration's compromise on a requirement that religious-affiliated organizations provide contraception coverage to employees, and said religious freedom is at stake. "The issue here is not about women's health," Warren said on ABC's This Week. "There is a greater principle, and that is do you have the right to decide what your faith practices?"
April 2, 2012
Last week's Supreme Court arguments over the Affordable Care Act focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the expanded Medicaid entitlement. Could those cases also affect the religious-liberty lawsuits challenging the HHS abortion/sterilization/contraception mandate, which are now pending in many federal district courts? The short answer is: Maybe.
March 29, 2012
That HHS ruling brought home what everyone already suspected about the president's healthcare law: that it is confusing, unnecessary, massive in scope, full of coercive mandates, and will increase costs. And as the implementation stage of the law unfolds, this mandate will be only the tip of the iceberg.
March 7, 2012
The Washington Times persists in reporting that the Obama administration has "agreed to exempt religion-affiliated universities, charities and hospitals" from its contraceptive coverage mandate ("Limbaugh apology garners bipartisan approval," Web, Sunday). However, this is not the case. On Feb. 10, the administration's controversial mandate and its incredibly narrow religious exemption were finalized "without change."
March 1, 2012
Rep. Murphy: Who is going to pay for it? There’s no such thing as a free service.
Sebelius: The reduction in a number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception. The overall plan according…
TFM: Now I just want to get this on the record, Mr. Chairman. So you’re saying by not having babies born, we’re going to save money on healthcare?
Sebelius: Providing contraception as a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children reduces healthcare costs.
To view video, click "Read more" below
February 28, 2012
The Judiciary Committee held a hearing Feb. 28, 2012 entitled, "Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty" Watch video clips:
- Rep. Sandy Adams' exchange with witnesses Jeanne Monahan, Asma Uddin & Bishop Lori
- Witness Jeanne Monahan's exchange with Chairman Lamar Smith
- Witness Bishop Lori's exchange with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner
- Witness Asma Uddin's exchange with Rep. Trent Franks (Part 2)
- Witness Bishop Lori's exchange with Rep. Ted Poe
February 21, 2012
Religious liberty isn't even the only thing at risk; the mandate also threatens the financial viability of any organization that disagrees with the administration's politics. They could be forced to stop offering health insurance and be saddled with fines, which are immense competitive disadvantages. They'll have to take money away from their core missions to pay fines. They'll lose employees who can't afford to work for employers who offer no health insurance. They'll lose donors who are scared off by the penalties. The end result: organizations that agree with the administration or are willing to compromise their beliefs will thrive. Organizations that don't will shrink or die.
February 13, 2012
The initial policy was a disaster. The partial retreat was more skilled. Obama's goal was not resolution but obfuscation. The contraceptive mandate was shifted from Catholic employers to insurance companies. Instead of being forced to buy an insurance product that violates their beliefs, religious institutions will be forced to buy an insurance product that contributes to the profits and viability of a company that is federally mandated to violate their beliefs. Creative accounting, it seems, can cover a multitude of sins.
February 8, 2012
FOX News host Greta Van Susteren interviews Florida Senator Marco Rubio about the administration's coercive contraception mandate.