WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans United for Life, having filed 19 amicus curiae briefs related to life and conscience issues raised in Obamacare, noted that oral arguments today before the U.S. Supreme Court address in part "a fundamental shift in tactics by abortion advocates, moving Americans from 'choice' to coercion as people are forced to fund and facilitate life-ending drugs and devices or face punishing, crippling, job-killing fines," noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. "This administration put 'The Con' in contraception, by hiding an anti-life agenda in the construction of the Affordable Care Act and forcing Americans to fund anti-life drugs mislabeled as contraception." In this case, AUL filed an amicus curiae brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius in defense of freedom of conscience. A decision is expected by the end of the Court's term in June.
Dr. Yoest addressed the issues in a national column and made these remarks during a news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. She continued:
"The pro-abortion intent of the Affordable Care Act is seen clearly. Hobby Lobby actually faces more debilitating fines by providing its employees with life-affirming health insurance than it would if it provided no health insurance at all," said Dr. Yoest. "Neither Conestoga nor Hobby Lobby oppose all contraception, but filed suit because the HHS mandate forces them to provide drugs and devices mislabeled by the FDA as 'contraception' but are actually known to have life-ending effects."
Notably, advocates of these drugs and devices, including Dr. James Trussell of Princeton and the Guttmacher Institute, recently authored an article "Embracing post-fertilization methods of family planning: a call to action" in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. In the article, cited in our brief, they assert, "we should openly acknowledge" and even "celebrate" the post-fertilization, life-ending mechanisms of action of these drugs and devices.
In November, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the Conestoga case after the Third Circuit denied a Mennonite business owner a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the mandate. Simultaneously, the Court agreed to review the Hobby Lobby case after the Tenth Circuit granted the Hobby Lobby family business an injunction against the coercive HHS mandate. Although these cases come before the U.S. Supreme Court as one win and one loss for religious freedom, 52 of 59 lower federal court decisions on the merits of these cases have supported freedom of conscience.
Dr. Yoest noted: "In AUL's two briefs, we continue the fight to preserve the freedom of conscience in the United States. It is a complete affront to the Constitution to force private companies to violate their conscientious beliefs in order to maintain and grow their businesses. This is truly the battle of our time to protect the liberties guaranteed to us over 200 years ago. And this Constitutional conflict should come as no surprise to anyone, as AUL and others repeatedly argued for conscience rights protections while the healthcare laws were being drafted by abortion advocates."
Conestoga Wood Specialties is a Pennsylvania business owned by a Mennonite family and operated according to the owners' Christian beliefs. Hobby Lobby is an Oklahoma-based national arts and crafts retailer founded and run by David Green and his family. The Greens attribute God's grace for Hobby Lobby's success and over the course of four decades of expansion the Green family's Christian faith has remained an integral part of the business.
AUL's brief, available here, demonstrates that the life of a new human being begins at fertilization (conception), that so-called "emergency contraception" has a post-fertilization effect that can prevent a new human being from implanting in the uterus, and that forcing employers to provide coverage for such drugs violates their constitutionally protected freedom of conscience.
The brief was filed on behalf of AUL's clients, Drury Development Corporation, Drury Southwest, Inc., Drury Hotels Company, LLC, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro Life Nurses, and National Association of Catholic Nurses.
To learn more about "The Con in Contraception" and life-affirming healthcare, click here:
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SOURCE Americans United for Life