It puts a new focus on how the law also takes aim at the Bill of Rights –
John Grimaldi – WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 15 – “We can thank God that there are still judges out there who seek to protect religious freedom, namely those at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago who decided a few days ago that Obamacare infringes on that freedom,” rights advocate Dan Weber said.
Weber is president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, which early on “picked a fight” with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require all Americans to subsidize contraception and abortion. He pointed out that Freedom of Religion is guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitution, which states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
“The bungled debut of Obamacare exposed its unwieldy nature, the deceitful way in which it was enacted and its true purpose of redistributing the nation’s wealth. And now, the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court has put a new focus on how the law also takes aim at the Bill of Rights—the very principles upon which our country was founded.”
The Court’s decision on two suits brought by separate faith-based, family-owned companies means that challenges to the law’s contraceptive mandate may ultimately proceed until there is a final decision in the Supreme Court.
The majority opinion noted that: “These cases, two among many currently pending in courts around the country, raise important questions about whether business owners and their closely held corporations may assert a religious objection to the contraception mandate and whether forcing them to provide this coverage substantially burdens their religious-exercise rights. The plaintiffs are not asking the government to pay for anything. They are asking for relief from a regulatory mandate that coerces them to pay for something – insurance coverage for contraception – on the sincere conviction that doing so violates their religion. They have made a strong case that RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993] entitles them to that relief.”
Under Obamacare, the health insurance a business provides its employees must cover birth control devices and medications, including the controversial “day after” abortion pill. If the owners of that business object on moral grounds, they face fines steep enough to promptly put them out of business– $100 a day for each employee. For example, Hobby Lobby, one of the first private companies to challenge the mandate, faces tens of millions of dollars in fines if it loses its case.
“If that isn’t coercion, I don’t know what is,” Weber noted. “You don’t have to be a priest or a rabbi to exercise your right to avoid participating in what you consider a sinful act such as subsidizing abortion.”
Weber added that: “Ironically, proponents of Obamacare have taken the position that while religious people have no right to impose their views on non-believers, non-believers have the right to force their views regarding contraception and abortion on them.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call.