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Case

Dobson v. Azar

Last Updated: 6/2/2020

Overview

What's at stake

  • The freedom to operate a non-profit organization according to your deeply held beliefs without the fear of being punished by the government.
  • Christian businesses being forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in violation of their religious, pro-life beliefs.

Summary

For decades, Dr. James C. Dobson has been a leading public advocate of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His biblical plan for marriage, family and the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception/fertilization. In 2010, Dr. Dobson established Family Talk, a new non-profit organization, for the “express purpose of spreading and propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ and specifically to provide Christ-oriented advice, counsel, guidance and education to parents and children and to speak to cultural issues that affect the family.” Based on the Bible’s religious and moral teachings, Dr. Dobson and Family Talk sincerely believe that the termination of the life of a preborn child after its conception/fertilization is an intrinsic evil and a sin against God for which they will be held accountable. But despite its unquestionable religious roots, Dr. Dobson and Family Talk, like many other non-profit organizations in America, was required to facilitate abortion-inducing drug and procedures under a mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mandate forced Dr. Dobson and Family Talk to choose between providing the objectionable items, or paying heavy fines and penalties that would bring the organization to its knees.

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Dr. Dobson and Family Talk filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion pill mandate. The district court granted a preliminary injunction to Dr. Dobson and Family Talk, finding that "providing the coverage required by the Mandate would violate their religious beliefs."

In March 2019, A federal district court issued an order that permanently prevents the federal government from enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s abortion-pill mandate against the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute and its “Family Talk” radio show. The order also declared that the mandate violates the organization’s rights protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom defended the right of Dr. Dobson and Family Talk to operate according to their deeply held religious beliefs.

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Resources

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
{"docs": [{"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Complaint", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/dobson-v.-burwell/dobson-v-burwell---complaint.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 8:57:15 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Brief in support of motion for preliminary injunction", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/dobson-v.-burwell/dobson-v-burwell---brief-in-support-of-motion-for-preliminary-injunction.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 8:57:15 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Preliminary injunction order", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/dobson-v.-burwell/dobson-v-burwell---preliminary-injunction-order.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 8:57:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Order granting motion for permanent injunction", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/dobson-v.-burwell/dobson-v-azar---order-granting-motion-for-permanent-injunction.pdf", "Date": "3/28/2019 4:24:18 PM"}]}

Biographies

Gregory S. Baylor

Director of Center for Religious Schools, Senior Counsel for Government Affairs

Gregory S. Baylor serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Religious Schools and Senior Counsel for Government Affairs.

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