November 2 2013

Court Strikes Down ObamaCare Birth Control Mandate

Vicki E. Alger

On Friday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (the most powerful court after the U.S. Supreme Court) ruled 2-1 that forcing companies to cover employees’ birth control through health insurance violates religious freedom. As The Hill reported:

Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.

Legal analysts expect the Supreme Court to ultimately pick up an appeal on the birth-control requirement and make a final decision on its constitutionality.

Meanwhile, Georgetown University—a private Catholic institution—is planning to teach students how to promote and protect abortion coverage under ObamaCare. The College Fix reported:

The course, “Regulatory Advocacy: Women and the Affordable Care Act,” is set to be taught at Georgetown Law, and it has upset staunch Catholics, according to The Cardinal Newman Society, which first reported on the new academic offering. …

The course will hone in on “regulatory advocacy as it pertains to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and women’s health,” and calls on students to work with the National Women’s Law Center “to develop projects that will assist in the organization’s regulatory advocacy efforts.” The law center publicly supports Obamacare and its mandate requiring religious institutions provide insurance coverage for abortions and other birth control.

Forcing taxpayers to subsidize programs that violate their religious beliefs should not be tolerated, and hopefully the Supreme Court will side with religious freedom. In the meantime, Georgetown students, parents, alumni, and donors—Catholic or not—should reconsider their support of an institution of “higher” learning that won’t remain true to a core tenet of the faith it purports to follow.

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