Secular March for Life Files Supreme Court Brief to Support Religious Organizations in Pro-Life Cases

Secular pro-life organization March for Life didn’t want to offer health insurance coverage for birth control drugs that could induce abortions. But under Obamacare, only certain religious organizations were exempt.

March for Life, whose mission is to protect unborn babies, hosts a high-profile “march for life” in the nation’s capital every January. The so-called Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate would require it to play a role in abortions.

The organization filed a lawsuit, and a federal court permanently barred the government from enforcing the mandate against March for Life. The court contended that March for Life shouldn’t be denied an exemption for its values if religious organizations are exempt for similar reasons.

March for Life has filed an amicus brief in support of pro-life cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule to protect Americans with religious and moral objections to terminating life in the womb, whether through drugs or instruments. Groups like Little Sisters of the Poor object to the mandate.

From Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents March for Life:

The HHS protections at issue in the two cases the Supreme Court is considering, The Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Trump v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are also at issue in a separate case in which March for Life filed its own petition with the high court.

The friend-of-the-court brief argues that the Little Sisters of the Poor have sufficient legal standing to defend the HHS rules, since they provide broader conscience protections and greater flexibility in providing health insurance, and that the states challenging the rules do not have such standing, because they “have no right to a federal subsidization of abortifacients and contraceptives.” Additionally, “the fact that these States were unable to find a single individual plaintiff who is allegedly harmed by the religious and moral exemptions shows that contraceptives are widely available and that the federal government lacks a compelling reason to violate the religious and moral convictions of organizations who oppose abortifacients and artificial contraception.”

As ADF noted, March for Life is involved in another case:

The petition filed with the court in March for Life Education and Defense Fund v. California asks it to wipe out a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision. The Supreme Court is already considering a 3rd Circuit decision in two similar cases that the high court accepted in January. The same HHS protections are at issue in both sets of cases.

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