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June 29, 2014

CMA Statement on Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision

Bala Cynwyd, Pa.—The Catholic Medical Association welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell et al. v. Hobby Lobby. Once again, the Supreme Court has curtailed the Obama administration’s abuse of executive power and unprecedented attacks on religious liberty.

At the heart of the Hobby Lobby and related cases is the right of Americans to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of government punishment. Americans should never be forced to surrender their religious beliefs when Opening a business. The Supreme Court upheld that principle today.

The Catholic Medical Association was particularly gratified by this decision since it filed an amicus curiae brief in this case in conjunction with the Becket Fund, refuting the claim that a new human life begins at implantation and clarifying the fact that existing federal laws protect parties such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods from discrimination based on their opposition to abortion.

While the Obama administration’s coercive HHS mandate has been rejected, it is important to note that this is only a partial victory, applicable only to closely held corporations (e.g., family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby). The Supreme Court has yet to decide cases involving not-for-profit corporations and churches. Moreover, Americans should continue to be deeply concerned about other problems with the HHS mandate—including a deep underlying unfairness in treatment under the law. Not enough people know that Obamacare provides exemptions for 100 million people for non-religious reasons but severely punishes people of faith. For example, the federal government will fine companies that don’t provide health insurance at all $2,000 per year per employee, but will crush companies which otherwise provide excellent employee health coverage with fines of $36,500 per year per employee if they do not pay for abortion-causing drugs, FDA-approved contraceptives, and sterilizations.

Even apart from the attack on religious liberty and unequal treatment under the law, there are significant problems with the HHS mandate. President Obama’s HHS mandate improperly defines and promotes as “preventive services” drugs, devices, and interventions which undermine the nature and goals of authentic preventive medicine. Moreover, the HHS mandate will channel abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to millions of young girls, increasingly without their parents’ knowledge and consent.

The Catholic Medical Association welcomes this vindication of religious liberty and partial defeat of the HHS mandate. There is a great deal more work to do, however, in protecting religious liberty and in offering health care that truly serves the health and well-being of female patients and their families.

Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians and healthcare professionals in North America.

For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.
CONTACT: Mario R. Dickerson, Executive Director
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