Judge Blocks Religious Exceptions to ObamaCare

Dec 18, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Obama-appointed federal Judge Wendy Beetlestone temporarily blocked the Trump administration's recent rules which exempt nonprofits that have religious objections to the ObamaCare contraception and abortion drug and device mandate. “Courts do not have the authority to order the federal government to force religious nonprofits to provide free contraception and abortion drugs and devices,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

In the lawsuit, filed by the State of Pennsylvania, the judge said the Trump administration’s religious accommodation rules “would cause irreparable harm because tens of thousands of women would lose contraceptive coverage.” Seriously?  

The Trump administration announced in October that employers will now be exempt from the ObamaCare requirement to provide insurance coverage for the contraception and abortion drug and device mandate if it conflicts with their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.

The new rules provided relief to groups like Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious nonprofit organizations. In October, President Trump ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to allow for fairly broad-based religious and moral exemptions to the mandate.

However, a challenge by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Friday succeeded when

Judge Beetlestone blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the exemption. Shapiro contended that the rollback would harm Pennsylvania’s 2.5 million women and cause “serious medical harm, including unintended pregnancies.”

Liberty Counsel filed the first private lawsuit against ObamaCare the day it was signed into law in 2010, and has filed amicus briefs in many other cases.

“President Trump and the Trump administration have the authority to accommodate the religious objections of nonprofits to the ObamaCare contraception and abortion drug and device mandate,” said Staver. “This is just one more court assuming it has more authority than the Constitution provides. Like many other lower courts that have been turned back by the Supreme Court this year, I predict this court opinion will be short-lived,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.