(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) The Trump administration dismissed an appeals case Tuesday against a Catholic law school over Obamacare’s mandate to provide abortions and contraception.
The dismissal of the appeal, made by the Obama administration against the Ave Maria School of Law, is considered by many a victory for the school and religious freedom. They were represented by Liberty Counsel and Alliance Defending Freedom.
“The Obamacare contraceptive mandate seriously threatened the missions of countless Christian schools, hospitals, and other institutions that provide invaluable benefits to our country but could not compromise their fundamental beliefs to appease President Obama’s ambition to lead the sexual revolution,” said Liberty Counsel’s Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs Roger Gannam on Wednesday. “Bit by bit, religious liberty is being restored by President Trump.”
This comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released two new guidelines Friday, “that provide conscience protections to Americans who have a religious or moral objection to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services,” according to the HHS website.
“Entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services would no longer be required to do so. The second rule applies the same protections to organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief.”
The changes came as a result of President Trump’s executive order on Friday, which required HHS to reevaluate the 2010 Affordable Care Act employer requirements in light of “conscience-based objections.”
“The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate,” President Trump’s executive order read.
The HHS guidelines are only for only about 200 organizations, ones that have filed lawsuits for religious or moral objections.
“The mandate as defined by the previous administration suffered defeats in court after court, including the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government cannot punish business owners for their faith,” the HHS website says.
Ave Maria filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Kathleen Sebelius, then the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, over the Affordable Care Act mandate for employers to provide abortifacients and contraception.
“Our school believes in living out our religious convictions,” said Ave Maria School of Law President and Dean Eugene R. Milhizer in a press release, when the school filed the lawsuit in 2013.
“The First Amendment protects Americans from mandates that require us to act against our deeply held religious convictions,” Milhizer said. “But the mandate leaves us with no real choice: We must either comply and abandon our religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for our faith.”
In 2014, the law school won an injunction against the ACA requirements, but the Obama administration filed for an appeal, the same one that was dismissed on Tuesday.
The dismissal is viewed as a win for religious freedom for organizations like Ave Maria.
“The Trump Administration’s decision to reverse the federal requirement for employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion drugs and devices upholds religious freedom for Ave Maria School of Law and other nonprofit organizations who cannot and will not participate in killing innocent children,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, in a press release on Wednesday.
“A Catholic university cannot teach students to stand for Christian values while it violates those same religious beliefs,” Staver said. “The dismissal of this case is a great victory for the sanctity of life and for religious freedom.”Click here for reuse options!
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