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US Supreme Court upholds HHS rules protecting nuns from funding abortion

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday upholding U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rules which protect organizations with religious or moral objections to abortion, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, from being subject to a federal requirement that employer health plans cover abortifacients:

“The government has no business forcing pro-life and religious organizations to provide drugs and devices that can destroy life. HHS designed its protections to be consistent with previous Supreme Court rulings and ensure that such organizations can pursue their missions consistent with their beliefs as the First Amendment allows. The high court was right to reject each and every one of the grounds that the court of appeals used to strike down those protections. The states that challenged the HHS rules were unable to find a single individual plaintiff who was allegedly harmed by the religious and moral exemptions. That shows that contraceptives are widely available, and that no compelling reason exists for the government to violate the religious and moral convictions of organizations who don’t wish to provide abortifacients and artificial contraception.”

ADF attorneys presenting pro-life organization March for Life Education and Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court in the two cases it decided, The Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Trump v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Through its ADF attorneys, March for Life filed its own petition in a separate case on which the high court has not yet taken action but is likely to do so now that it has ruled on the other two cases.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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John Bursch
John Bursch
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom.