The Becket Fund announces that lawsuits against Obamacare's abortifacient and contraception mandate are moving forward:
“The court’s opinion today did not decide the issues in our cases,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “We are challenging the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on religious liberty grounds which are not part of today’s decision. We will move forward seeking vindication of our client’s First Amendment rights.”
The Court’s decision leaves untouched the controversial HHS mandate, a regulation based on other provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the Court was not asked to review in this case. The mandate compels employers to provide drugs and services in their employee health care plans regardless of religious objections to those services. Employers who fail to comply face staggering financial penalties.
“The Becket Fund’s religious liberty lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue,” said Smith. “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.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty led the charge against the HHS mandate, representing 4 separate clients: Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), and Ave Maria University. There are currently 23 lawsuits pending in 14 states and the District of Columbia against the HHS mandate.
It's not clear how soon courts will begin to take up these cases, but the mandate kicks in August 1 of this year for most people. Religious schools, hospitals, and charities have been given an extra year to comply with this particular mandate.