Mandating pro-death ‘healthcare’
Abortion | Court battles continue over Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandate
by La Shawn Barber
Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, at 4:45 pm
Real Alternatives—a non-profit, non-religious, pro-life organization—provides “life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services.” It hires like-minded people and even requires subcontractors to agree to promote the protection of the unborn over killing them. Real Alternatives doesn’t want to offer its employees health insurance coverage that includes drugs and devices that could induce abortions.
The organization argued in federal district court last December for a moral exemption to the Obamacare contraceptive and abortifacient mandate, but the court rejected the request. Real Alternatives appealed, and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last week.
“Pro-life organizations should be free to operate according to the values they sincerely believe and practice,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Matt Bowen, who represented Real Alternatives in court. “Real Alternatives was founded to provide real help and hope to pregnant women and to oppose the tragedy of abortion—the very thing the government is forcing the organization to provide through its health insurance plan. The government cannot selectively punish organizations that simply wish to abide by their deepest convictions.”
In a similar case, March for Life, a secular organization, argued for a moral exemption to the contraceptive and abortifacient mandate last year, and a federal district court ruled in its favor, saying that if the “purpose of the religious employer exemption is, as [Health and Human Services] states, to respect the anti-abortifacient tenets of an employment relationship, then it makes no rational sense—indeed, no sense whatsoever to deny March for Life that same respect.” Can you imagine March for Life, which holds an annual rally to protect the unborn on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, offering drugs to women that might kill these babies?
In the case involving Christian retailer Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby were exempt from the mandate. The case was decided 5-4. One vote in the other direction, and Hobby Lobby would have faced a moral crisis. With a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, the court hopefully will skew even more pro-life in the years to come.
Obamacare was a bad idea in general, and an even worse one for Christians and other pro-lifers. Killing unborn babies isn’t morally neutral, and it shouldn’t be a right, despite what the Supreme Court said in 1973. The result of an abortion is the death of a human being, an irreversible, shameful, and mostly convenience-based act. We’re already complicit in abortion every time Planned Parenthood receives part of our income, even if the money goes toward fixing an abortion center’s roof.
People of faith in this country deserve the protection their hard-won Constitution guarantees. The First Amendment protects not only our freedom to believe and worship, but also our right to live by the tenets of our faith. Christians and other pro-lifers have to keep pushing federal and state lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood. And Congress must repeal Obamacare to protect pro-lifers against any government retaliation for refusing to violate their consciences and their religious beliefs.
La Shawn Barber
La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications