WASHINGTON - Religious freedom is only one consideration out of many in the battle between retail craft giant Hobby Lobby and the Obama administration, according to the amici curiae brief filed by Life Legal Defense Foundation in the United States Supreme Court. "
The Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion and abortion inducing drugs puts women at risk," said Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. "It's unbelievably irresponsible and sexist," Cody added.
Catherine Short, Legal Director at Life Legal Defense Foundation and author of the brief, explained, "The HHS contraceptive mandate is a political tool masquerading as 'evidence-based' science. Neither family-run businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties nor any other employer should be forced to pay for drugs and devices that do nothing to promote health but instead end human lives."
As the Supreme Court considers Kathleen Sebelius et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al., Life Legal Defense Foundation argues that forcing all health plans to provide contraceptives at no cost will not promote women's health. The brief highlights the HHS mandate's key faults:
- Research does not support the government's assertion that increased use of contraceptives will promote women's health.
- There is no evidence that the mandate will lead to increased contraceptive usage among those at risk of unintended pregnancy, or to a decrease in unintended pregnancies.
- The mandate's assumption that unintended pregnancies automatically have negative health consequences for women is erroneous.
- The government's ostensible "gender equity" does not relieve women of an inequitable financial burden related to health care, but rather increases that burden through exposure to serious health hazards.
- Mandatory contraceptive coverage for women does not in any way serve the mandate's supposed interest in "gender equality."
The Life Legal Defense Foundation brief, filed on behalf of Beverly LaHaye Institute and Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., urges the Court to affirm the Tenth Circuit decision for Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, granting the private business a protective injunction against the mandate. It also asks the Court to reverse the Third Circuit decision in Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, which denied that private business the same protections.
Read Life Legal Defense Foundation's amici curiae brief filed in the Supreme Court of the United States here