Another Victory Against the Abortion Pill Mandate | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Victory Against Abortion Pill Mandate

By CeCe Heil1355954835000

Yesterday, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued a major victory in the ongoing litigation battle against the HHS Mandate, the government edict mandating that employers pay for abortion-inducing drugs in employee health plans.

The case involved two religious institutions: Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic college in North Carolina, and Wheaton College, an Evangelical college in Illinois. The colleges independently sued the federal government earlier this year claiming that, among other things, the HHS Mandate is an unconstitutional encroachment on their ability to follow their religious beliefs. In short, the schools asked the court to strike down the HHS Mandate because it forces them to provide their employees with abortion-inducing drugs in violation of the schools’ deeply held belief in the sanctity of human life. The American Center for Law and Justice filed an amicus brief in this case, arguing that the Mandate violated long-held traditions of religious freedom and that the Colleges had standing to challenge the Mandate because they are currently suffering injury due to the Mandate’s terms.

When the Obama administration promised to consider changing the Mandate by August 2013, the lower courts decided that was enough to dismiss the cases. This meant that religious institutions like Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College would have to wait a year to determine whether they would be subject to heavy fines for refusing to violate their consciences. It also meant that the government could avoid litigation by simply promising to consider changing the Mandate, a tactic it has employed in nearly all the cases currently filed against the Mandate. The lower courts dismissed both cases on technical grounds only and did not say one way or the other whether the Mandate survives constitutional muster.

The D.C. Circuit on appeal, however, unlike the lower courts, did not simply accept the government’s promises to consider a modification to the mandate wholesale. Instead, the appeals court required the government to show that it is serious about accommodating religious objectors by reporting regularly on the status of the promised new rule. The court warned, “We take the government at its word and will hold it to it.” In other words, when the government sought to avoid litigation by simply promising to make a new rule, the D.C. Circuit basically said, “Prove it.” This order marks the first time a court has required accountability regarding the government’s continued, yet unrealized, promises to take religious entities into account.

There are over 40 challenges—including over 100 plaintiffs—to the HHS Mandate currently filed. Hopefully the judges hearing those cases will take notice of this important decision and require more than an empty promise before dismissing serious constitutional violations.

Latest in
ObamaCare

U.S. House Acts to Jettison ObamaCare

By Harry G. Hutchison1494010533262

We are on the verge of decisive victories for the American people. Yesterday , the U.S. House of Representatives voted to overhaul ObamaCare and eliminate nearly half a billion dollars of funding for Planned Parenthood by passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as part of its Budget...

read more

Breaking: House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare

By Jay Sekulow1493922151355

The House of Representatives has just voted to repeal ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. This is a tremendous pro-life, pro-freedom victory for all Americans. We’ve been fighting for this for the better part of a decade. We're very pleased that the House has followed through with one of...

read more

Trump Admin Starts to Dismantle ObamaCare

By Harry G. Hutchison1485291594293

On President Trump’s first day in office, the ACLJ has already achieved a significant victory as the President adopts a key ACLJ recommendation aimed at bringing down pro-abortion ObamaCare. As one of his first acts, President Trump issued an Executive order directing the Secretary of Health and...

read more

Seven Steps to Dismantle Obamacare

By Harry G. Hutchison1479228324786

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was enacted with great fanfare and unrivaled deception in 2010 as part of a duplicitous plan to destroy America’s private health care system as we know it. The Speaker of the House at the time, Nancy Pelosi, infamously said in March 2010 that, “we have to pass...

read more