ND Catholic pharmacist challenges Biden mandate to dispense abortion drugs
MIDLAND, Texas – In an effort to defend the legally protected rights of religious pharmacists to work in a manner consistent with their beliefs, on Tuesday Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys added their client, a North Dakota pharmacy, to a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s attempt to require pharmacies that receive federal funding to dispense abortion-inducing drugs. ADF attorneys joined with the state of Texas to file an amended complaint in State of Texas and Mayo Pharmacy v. Becerra on behalf of Mayo Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Bismarck, North Dakota, run by Catholic pharmacist Kevin Martian, PharmD.
In July 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate that requires pharmacies that serve patients with Medicare, Medicaid, or other federally funded coverage to stock and dispense elective abortion drugs. The Biden administration threatens legal action against any pharmacy or pharmacist that does not comply, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs, as is the case of Mayo Pharmacy and its owner, Martian. In the amended complaint, ADF’s and Texas’ attorneys explain that the administration’s pharmacy mandate directly conflicts with multiple federal statues as well as Texas’ pro-life laws.
“Unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t be forcing Americans to dispense abortion-inducing drugs against their conscience. The Biden administration’s repeated attempts to impose a federal right to abortion continue to fail because that right has never existed,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “We urge the court to affirm the interest states have in protecting unborn children, their mothers, and the freedom of pharmacists to abide by their faith practice at work.”
“The Biden administration’s pharmacy mandate is illegal, directly conflicts with federal and state law, and violates the religious exercise rights of pharmacies across the nation, including Mayo Pharmacy,” said ADF Legal Counsel Andrea Dill. “We urge the court to reject this unlawful attempt by the executive branch to usurp the right of states to protect innocent, unborn lives.”
As a devout Catholic, Martian has operated his pharmacy in accordance with Catholic ethical and moral principles, including the teaching that human life begins at conception. As such, Mayo Pharmacy does not dispense drugs for abortion purposes; however, if the administration’s pharmacy mandate takes effect, the pharmacy will be forced to either stop serving customers who receive federal assistance or violate its religious beliefs.
ADF attorneys, working with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed the amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland/Odessa Division.
ADF attorneys are litigating a separate case, Texas v. Becerra, where the state of Texas is challenging the Biden administration’s attempt to use federal law to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions, even if doing so violates their conscience or religious beliefs. In another lawsuit, ADF attorneys are suing the FDA for illegally approving chemical abortion drugs that harm women and girls.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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