Massive Victory For Religious Freedom Over Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate
In a sweeping and dramatic victory for religious freedom, that the establishment media has refused to cover and Google has all but hidden from search results, a federal court in Fort Worth, Texas permanently blocked the federal government from enforcing the Obama Administration’s “Contraceptive Mandate” against any employer or individual who objects to the provision of contraception on religious grounds.
The court issued this injunction in response to a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of individuals and employers who object to the Contraceptive Mandate based on their religious beliefs. The objecting individuals were represented by four Christian residents of Fort Worth who wish to purchase health insurance that excludes coverage of contraception, but are unable to do so on account of the Obama-era Contraceptive Mandate. The objecting employers were led by Steven F. Hotze, M.D., who operates his company as a Christian business and is unwilling to provide contraceptive coverage in the plan that he offers to his company’s employees.
Federal Judge Reed O’Connor’s 35-page decision is thorough and comprehensive in its reasoning. No American company should be forced to violate its religious beliefs, and no American should be forced to forgo health insurance to avoid subsidizing contraceptive methods that violate his or her religious convictions.
“The Contraceptive Mandate systematically discriminates against the Individual Class by blocking members’ entrance into the marketplace—due to religious exercise—[and] is a substantial burden of the highest order,” the court held in siding with religious freedom. The Court applied and enforced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which is based on the First Amendment, to protect all who oppose the Contraceptive Mandate on religious grounds.
“This is a dramatic, historic victory for religious liberty in our country,” Dr. Hotze declared. “We took a strong stand for our beliefs and it is gratifying to prevail in protecting this fundamental right of Americans to remain true to their religious beliefs.”
The Contraceptive Mandate has forced religious objectors to financially support abortifacients, drugs that cause abortions, despite their opposition to abortion. It has also compelled religious employers to become complicit with the provision of abortifacients. These compelled violations of religious freedom were permanently prohibited by Judge O’Connor’s ruling.
This decision follows on the heels of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision from 2014, and continues the broad protections for religious liberty that were established in that ruling. “The Individual Plaintiffs having demonstrated a substantial burden on their religious exercise, it is again up to the government to demonstrate that the compelling interest test is satisfied,” the court held. It concluded that “the Government cannot do so,” and that religious freedom must prevail over the Contraceptive Mandate.
“I want this decision to encourage Christians to assert their religious liberty rights against the Obama Administration’s regulations,” said Dr. Hotze. He further stated, “There is a war between the secularists who promote a culture of death through the killing of the unborn and those who adhere to a Biblical faith and revere life. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing. It is critical that Christians demonstrate the courage of their convictions and oppose the civil government when it violates their fundamental, God-given rights.”
The unprecedented news blackout of this important decision is in stark contrast to the wall-to-wall coverage of the order of a federal judge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who issued a nationwide injunction blocking a Trump administration healthcare policy that would allow employers to choose whether or not to provide free birth control to employees. The policy was supposed to take effect on Monday.
When U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued the injunction back in January, temporarily preventing the policy from taking effect that would have reversed a mandate from Obamacare forcing employers to provide free healthcare to employees, whether or not they may have a moral or religious objection to birth control practices the major networks gave it substantial coverage and news of the temporary injunction still tops Google search results on the subject.
You may read the order granting the motions for summary judgement and permanent injunction in the case of RICHARD W. DEOTTE et al. v. ALEX M. AZAR II et al. (Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-00825-O) through this link .