A federal judge has ruled that existing accommodations from the ACA’s contraception coverage regulations unconstitutionally distinguishes between religious and nonreligious pro-life organizations.
From The Blog of Legal Times:
"The federal government can’t provide an exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception-coverage requirement for religious organizations but not for a nonreligious nonprofit that similarly opposes abortion, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said in a ruling on Monday.
Leon sided with March for Life, a nonreligious nonprofit, in a suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The judge also found that the contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, based on a claim brought by two March for Life employees with religious objections to supporting an insurance plan that included contraception coverage...
March for Life was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. The group released a statement saying it was the first time a court issued an order blocking the government from enforcing the contraception mandate to a group that objected 'for pro-life reasons based on moral convictions instead of religion.'"
We’ll have to wait and see whether this decision is upheld on appeal, but the interesting part of this situation is that March for Life is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. So while in this case, ADF claims that providing a religious accommodation is unconstitutional, in several other cases Alliance Defending Freedom is pressing for broader and broader religious exemptions from the same contraceptive coverage regulations.
If you think that’s inconsistent, you are not alone:
"For the past three years, ADF has been attempting to deprive women of contraceptive coverage by pressing for broader and broader religious exemptions," says Greg Lipper, Senior Litigation Counsel at Americans United. "Now it is arguing that non-religious objectors should also be exempt because religious exemptions improperly favor religion over non-religion. The name of that game is “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” – it illustrates that these contraception challenges are less about actual religious liberty and more about taking away contraceptive coverage from women."
Sounds like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too, ADF.