Obama v. Religious Liberty: How Legal Challenges to the HHS Contraceptive Mandate Will Vindicate Every American’s Right to Freedom of Religion

The following is from John Malcolm at the Heritage Foundation:

Abstract: James Madison once wrote that “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” Yet this sacred property is now under assault from an increasingly avaricious federal government. The contraceptive mandate—a regulatory mandate issued pursuant to Obamacare—requires that religiously affiliated institutions provide contraceptives or abortifacients. Providing such services would require these institutions to violate their religious convictions and would give unprecedented power to the federal government to dictate how religiously affiliated institutions must behave. If HHS does not reconsider its ill-advised decision or it is not overridden by Congress, or if the Supreme Court does not invalidate the entire health care law first, the courts should invalidate the contraceptive mandate and reaffirm every American’s right to religious freedom.

In his 1792 Essay on Property, James Madison wrote, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”[1] Several years later, in 1809, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.”

These prophetic words are at the heart of a series of lawsuits challenging one of the regulatory mandates issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) pursuant to the Obamacare law. Unless the regulation in question is rescinded or overridden by Congress, or the Supreme Court invalidates the entire health care law first, the legal challenges should prevail, vindicating this nation’s cherished right to freedom of conscience.

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Click here to also read “Back Fired: A nation founded for religious tolerance no longer tolerates the religion of its founders.