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Supreme Court of the United States

Joe Biden’s Inauguration Could Mean a Resurgence of the Abortion-Pill Mandate

By Charles Snow posted on:
January 27, 2021

President Joe Biden’s position on abortion is clear—and extreme. And if his administration lives up to its campaign promises, religious liberty and the freedom of conscience will take a huge hit.

The Biden campaign promised to reinstate the controversial “contraceptive mandate” that forced employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in violation of their religious and pro-life beliefs.

Vice President Kamala Harris even grilled one judicial nominee about legal briefs he wrote in lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, in an apparent effort to cast doubt on his candidacy for a federal judgeship.

If Biden makes good on this promise, any religious or pro-life organization that does not want to pay for life-ending drugs and devices in its health care plan will be forced to defend that right once again in court.

A Winning Record Against the Abortion-Pill Mandate

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the Obama-Biden administration, interpreted the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) to force many employers to cover abortifacient drugs and devices in their private health plans. This is more commonly known as the “contraceptive mandate” or the “abortion-pill mandate.”

While churches were exempted, many employers that held religious and pro-life views were not. And under this mandate, these employers were forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs under penalty of massive fines.

Alliance Defending Freedom has an extensive record challenging the contraceptive mandate during the Obama-Biden administration.

In 2014, a number of religious business owners, including Hobby Lobby and our client Conestoga Wood Specialties, challenged the mandate and won at the U.S. Supreme Court. ADF client March for Life also filed a lawsuit against the mandate in 2014 and won in 2015.

In May 2016, the Supreme Court dealt another blow to the mandate in Zubik v. Burwell, which involved five Christian colleges that ADF represented as well as many other religious groups, including the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Court sent these cases back to the lower courts, asking HHS to come to a resolution that did not burden the religious organizations.

In 2017, federal agencies under the Trump administration issued rules exempting nonprofit organizations from paying for contraception and abortions in their health plans if they had a religious or conscientious objection. And in 2018, the federal agencies announced their final rules, stopping the punishment of organizations that could not pay for abortion coverage without violating their beliefs. These new rules were intended to resolve lawsuits and protect religious freedom.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

Several states, including Pennsylvania, filed lawsuits to block the rules. Groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor and ADF client March for Life intervened in these lawsuits to defend the new rules. But lower courts ruled in the states’ favor. Thankfully, in July, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that upheld the HHS rules and protected religious and pro-life groups from being forced to fund or participate in abortion.

All in all, ADF has won more than 20 lawsuits against the abortion-pill mandate. And we continue to represent March for Life in its effort to operate according to its pro-life beliefs by not providing abortion through its health insurance coverage.

In total, the abortion-pill mandate was defeated in 83 cases and prevailed in only 3.

ADF Stands Ready to Defend Life and Religious Freedom

Despite these consistent losses in court, the Biden campaign promised to reinstate the contraceptive mandate, forcing people of faith to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.

Not on our watch.

Where the sanctity of human life and religious freedom are threatened, you can be sure that ADF will continue to provide a strong defense in courts nationwide—including all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. We have defeated the unconstitutional mandate before, and we’re ready to do so again.

It won’t be easy, but we take comfort in knowing that God is in control. And he has equipped ADF to stand for freedom in such a time as this. ADF has won nearly 80 percent of its cases, including 11 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2011.

What Is Religious Freedom For?

America was founded on the fundamental principles that all men are created equal and that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. These rights are grounded in the belief that man is made in God’s image and granted reason, free will, and an eternal soul.

The Founding Fathers understood that a primary task of government is to preserve the freedom for each person to follow his own conscience, so they enshrined religious freedom and freedom of speech in the Constitution to guarantee this God-given freedom.

This freedom means nothing if it is only treated as a freedom to believe, but not a freedom to act. That’s why the First Amendment dictates that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

If this freedom does not protect groups like March for Life and Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to pay for drugs that end human life, who does it protect?

ADF is committed to stand for freedom the next four years and beyond. But your help is critical.

Will you commit to standing for the promises upon which this nation was founded?

Every generation faces a unique moment when it is called on to protect the guarantee of liberty enshrined in our Constitution. This is our moment. Today, you can help defend the American promises of life and liberty.

If you believe these American promises are worth defending, please sign the statement.

  • I stand for America’s founding principles: that all men are created equal with inalienable, God-given rights.
  • I stand against any unlawful effort by the Biden administration to restrict my constitutional liberties.
  • I stand for freedom and will join Alliance Defending Freedom to preserve free speech, religious freedom, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and marriage and family.

Charles Snow, Senior Copywriter & Editor

Charles Snow

Contributing Writer

Charles Snow serves as Senior Copywriter & Editor at Alliance Defending Freedom

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