FOUNDATION FOR MORAL LAW SUPPORTS PREGNANCY CENTERS IN FIGHT OVER OBAMACARE ABORTION-COVERAGE MANDATE
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MONTGOMERY, AL: Real Alternatives, Inc. administers programs in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana that offer life-affirming alternatives to abortion to women dealing with unplanned pregnancies. They are challenging Obamacare mandates that require them to violate their religious convictions by providing abortion/contraception coverage for their employees, or enabling a Third-Party Administrator to provide that coverage. A federal district court and a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit have ruled against them.
The Foundation for Moral Law, an Alabama-based nonprofit that fights for religious liberty, has filed an amicus brief in support of their request for the entire Third Circuit to take up their case and protect their religious rights. The brief argues that the panel’s decision that the Obamacare mandate is not a substantial burden on their religious rights is no different than telling them what to believe.
Foundation President Kayla Moore noted, “It is ironic that Obamacare is being interpreted to require a pro-life pregnancy center to provide abortion coverage for employees who neither want nor need it. We hope Congress will soon eliminate Obamacare, but until they do, the Foundation will stand squarely with those who have the courage to fight it.”
Foundation Attorney Matt Clark explained further: “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits the government from imposing a substantial burden on religion without a compelling interest achieved by the least restrictive means. Forcing Real Alternatives to indirectly provide abortion coverage when they believe that abortion is the murder of an unborn child definitely constitutes a substantial burden on their religious beliefs.”
Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe added: “Two landmark Supreme Court cases, Ballard v. United States and Thomas v. Review Board, preclude the government from intruding into the religious beliefs and practices of individuals. To challenge the plaintiffs’ claim that this burden is substantial, the government and the court would have to study and analyze in great depth the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs and the degree to which their pro-life convictions are central to their religion. Governments and courts have neither the jurisdiction nor the competence to undertake that kind of analysis. As the Court said in Thomas: ‘Courts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation.’”