CHICAGO, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote.org, issued the following statement this morning as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood religious liberty challenges to the HHS mandate:
"The wrecking ball called Obamacare today confronts a core freedom protected by the First Amendment - the right of every American to the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment right to religious freedom does not end when you start a business, a church, or a private organization. We urge the justices to affirm this time-honored principle in our law.
"In many ways, the Obamacare HHS mandate is an insult to women. Contraceptive drugs are available at nearly every drugstore on every street corner in America. No woman is being denied access to these drugs. Yet the Obama Administration will argue today that employers must be coerced to pay for controversial 'health' services including abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilizations. The coercive coverage requirement increases costs, and unnecessarily pits the religious freedom of employers against the perceived benefit to women's health. Women deserve better.
"The Supreme Court decided to hear these cases on March 25 – which is the same day that Catholics worldwide celebrate the feast of the Annunciation. How ironic that the day Catholics celebrate when the Word became flesh in Mary's womb, the Supreme Court will ponder whether businesses can be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.
"We launched CatholicVote.org's National Prayer Campaign for Religious Liberty last month with a view to this critical day. Tens of thousands of our prayer cards were delivered to Catholic schools, parishes, and families all across the country. The prayer reflection is based on a Marian consecration by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle of Washington which was prayed in parishes nationwide in 1959.
"We call on Catholics – and all people of good will – to pray today for the lawyers, justices, and all those fighting to protect religious freedom for all."
The full text of the prayer card can be found at www.catholicvote.org/prayonmarch25