CMA doctors hail Supreme Court mandate ruling, decry ongoing targeting of faith community

News release

Christian Medical Association

Washington, DC – June 30, 2014 – The 15,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org), the nation’s largest and oldest faith-based doctors’ organization, today praised the Supreme Court’s ruling in two Health and Human Services (HHS) Obamacare mandate cases but noted “increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community.” CMA had outlined the medical aspects underlying religious objections to the HHS Obamacare mandate in its friend of the court brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius.

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said in a statement, “We are very thankful that the Supreme Court acted to protect family businesses from government coercion and fines for simply honoring the tenets of their faith.

“This is a much-needed victory for faith freedoms, because this administration continues its assault on the values of the faith community. We are witnessing increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community to adopt the government’s viewpoint in matters of conscience,” noted Stevens.

CMA also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in another Supreme Court case this term, McCullen v. Coakley, to defend First Amendment free speech and assembly rights of pro-life advocates against a Massachusetts law that prohibited many citizens from entering a public street or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion facility.

“There seems to be growing intolerance of the faith community by some government officials who appear to want to extinguish the First Amendment freedoms that allow for a diversity of values,” Stevens observed, “We are seeing this antagonism expressed in coercive government mandates enforced with harsh penalties and discriminatory practices that threaten to eliminate the faith community from the public square.”

Dr. Stevens noted that the Obama administration recently launched another sweeping mandate that appears to target faith-based groups, requiring agreement with same-sex marriage as a condition of receiving federal grants. CMA’s Freedom2Care website (www.Freedom2Care.org) details other violations of faith and conscience rights:

ACLJ: Supreme Court Issues “Landmark Decision Protecting Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience”

News release

American Center for Law and Justice

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, said today the Supreme Court issued a “landmark decision protecting religious freedom and freedom of conscience” in a 5-4 decision striking down the constitutionality of the ObamaCare HHS mandate, ruling that closely-held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees.

“This is a landmark decision protecting religious freedom and freedom of conscience,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “The court clearly recognized that closely-held corporations enjoy religious liberty rights just as they enjoy rights to free speech. American citizens do not lose their religious freedom when they form a corporation and try to live out their religious values in the conduct of their business. Moreover, the court – by holding that closely-held corporations cannot be forced to directly subsidize abortion-pills – dealt a severe blow to the Obama Administration’s ongoing assault on religious liberty and represents a significant setback to the abortion industry.”

The ACLJ filed an amicus brief urging the high court to reject the ObamaCare HHS mandate arguing that the mandate not only imposes “a very real and palpable injury” to those business owners affected but “substantially burdens their religious exercise” as well.

The ACLJ currently represents 32 individuals and corporations in seven pending actions against the government, including two cases currently pending before the high court. The ACLJ has obtained preliminary injunctive relief for its clients in all seven cases. Further, the ACLJ has represented 79 Members of Congress, filed more than a dozen amicus briefs, and stood up for hundreds of thousands who oppose the mandate.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C. and is online at www.aclj.org.

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice issues injunction against federal regulation

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an injunction against the U.S. federal government preventing it from enforcing a controversial regulation that would require Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, a Catholic organization, to authorize their insurance company to provide coverage for contraceptives and surgical sterilization for their employees.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also issued an emergency stay for Catholic-affiliated groups challenging the contraceptive provision.[USA Today]  Meanwhile, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote to President Obama asking that enforcement of the regulation be suspended until the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue in two cases it has agreed to hear.[USCCB]

U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing on federal health care reforms

The U.S. Supreme Court has commenced three days of hearings in a suit brought against the health care reform legislation that is generating significant controversy in the United States, much of it to do with general claims to freedom of conscience and religion. 26 state attorneys general have challenged the constitutionality of the legislation, and amicus briefs have been filed by seven medical organizations.[National Post]

 

Achieving transparency in implementing abortion laws

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. (2007) 99, 157-161

Rebecca J. Cook, JN Erdman, Bernard M. Dickens

Abstract:

National and international courts and tribunals are increasingly ruling that although states may aim to deter unlawful abortion by criminal penalties, they bear a parallel duty to inform physicians and patients of when abortion is lawful. The fear is that women are unjustly denied safe medical procedures to which they are legally entitled, because without such information physicians are deterred from involvement. With particular attention to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, decisions are explained that show the responsibility of states to make rights to legal abortion transparent. Litigants are persuading judges to apply rights to reproductive health and human rights to require states’ explanations of when abortion is lawful, and governments are increasingly inspired to publicize regulations or guidelines on when abortion will attract neither police nor prosecutors’ scrutiny.[Full Text]