Sisters of the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, from Kansas City, Kan., applaud remarks made at a rally protesting the contraceptive mandate.
Associated Press/Photo by John Hanna
Sisters of the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, from Kansas City, Kan., applaud remarks made at a rally protesting the contraceptive mandate.

Religious freedom is worth the fight

Religious Liberty

As WORLD’s Whitney Williams reported last week, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Christian retailer Hobby Lobby could go forward with its case against the government without facing millions in fines for refusing to offer the morning-after pill and similar drugs in employee healthcare coverage.

After the U.S. Supreme Court opened the proverbial floodgates to polygamous and other sorts of “marriage” and the mainstreaming of perversions I don’t have the stomach to mention, the ruling in Hobby Lobby’s favor is welcome news to Christians. But the fight rages on.

After Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College purportedly won the right not to offer abortion pills in healthcare coverage last year, the Obama administration said it would rewrite the rule to exempt nonprofit religious universities and hospitals from the abortion pill mandate. Last Friday, the administration released a revised rule that does no such thing. From the Department of Health and Human Services’ press release:

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Under the accommodation [non-profit religious organizations—such as non-profit religious hospitals and institutions of higher education] will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost.

In other words, employees would still have access to abortion-causing drugs under their health plans. The administration intentionally missed the point. Money isn’t the only issue. Christian nonprofits (and for-profits) don’t want these drugs available through their organizations at all, even if the drugs are “no cost” to the employer or the employee. The revised rule renders religious organizations “gatekeepers to abortion.” 

The American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect constitutional freedoms, notes that the accommodation doesn’t apply to for-profit businesses. Hobby Lobby and other Christian-owned businesses face a long campaign to achieve total exemption from the mandate.

And there’s no such thing as free or no-cost. Somebody will end up paying for the abortion-causing drugs. The scheme is similar to the one I mentioned in a previous column about abortion and taxes. Federal law supposedly bars the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. Planned Parenthood receives at least $300 million in federal funds every year. Does anyone really believe Planned Parenthood doesn’t use some of those funds to perform abortions outside the exceptions?

If it sometimes seems futile to keep pushing against the tide to hold our government accountable for guarding our religious freedom, we can take comfort in knowing Christ has already won the war. Despite our fallen natures and the insidious increase of all manner of perversion, the prince of this world is a defeated foe.

Every day, as God’s plan unfolds, we must continue to stand as witnesses. We earthbound children of the Kingdom must continue to be the voice of the vulnerable unborn and declare what marriage is, as defined by God.

La Shawn Barber
La Shawn Barber

La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications


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