Federal Judge Rules Against Contraception Mandate

Good. Being able to freely act according to one’s conscience is a right that should be, and used to be, protected in our nation.

It sued the Obama administration last year, calling the contraceptive mandate unconstitutional because it granted an exemption to churches, synagogues and other religious institutions but did not extend the same carve out for non-religious groups that raised ethical — and not religious — objections.

In his ruling, Leon agreed with that reasoning, saying the contraceptive requirement violated the Constitution by treating religious and nonreligious groups differently.

March for Life closely resembles religious groups in that its employees do not wish to use birth control, Leon wrote, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had nonetheless chosen to “accommodate this moral philosophy only when it is overtly tied to religious values.” The government, he said, had created a framework of “regulatory favoritism.

“HHS provides no principled basis, other than the semantics of religious tolerance, for its distinction,” Leon wrote. “If the purpose of the religious employer exemption is, as HHS states, to respect the anti-abortifacient tenets of an employment relationship, then it makes no rational sense — indeed, no sense whatsoever — to deny March (for) Life that same respect.”