This week will see oral arguments at the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The Heritage Foundation says of the challenge, “Heralded as the case of the century, the oral arguments heard and, ultimately, the Court’s decisions will set the precedent for hundreds of future legal rulings. They also will determine if there are any limits left to what the federal government can require regarding personal and private decisions.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation and four other pro-life law firms filed a friend of the court brief urging affirmance of the ruling by the 11th Circuit that characterized Obamacare as “an unprecedented exercise of congressional power.” Florida v. U.S. Dept. HHS, 648 F.3d 1235, 1311 (11th Cir. 2011).
The brief, written by attorneys with the Bioethics Defense Fund, was filed on behalf of several religious and pro-life medical associations, such as the Christian Medical and Dental Association and Physicians for Life.
Primary arguments in the brief are as follows:
- Obamacare contains a hidden “Abortion Premium Mandate” that compels enrollees in certain health plans to pay a separate abortion premium from their own pocket, while denying enrollees the ability to decline abortion coverage based on moral objection.
- Obamacare and its individual mandate violate the Free Exercise Clause by imposing this “Abortion Premium Mandate” without regard to religious objection.
- Our nation has a long and deeply-rooted history of respecting and protecting the conscience rights of individuals to not be forced into the practice or funding of elective abortions. Our founders’ protection of individual liberty, including religious liberty, is directly undermined by the Obamacare’s transgression of the constitutional limits on congressional power.
“Beyond forcing pro-life individuals to pay for Obama’s pro-abortion agenda, Obamacare will allow the federal government to insert itself into every aspect of our lives,” says Dana Cody, Executive Director of LLDF. “We need to be in prayer for the Court as they make decisions about Obamacare which will impact the future of our Constitutional Republic for years to come.”
A decision on the constitutionality of the Act is expected in June.
Hear (links to audio recordings and transcriptions) oral arguments presented Tues. 3/27/2012