Judge: 'March for Life' Exempt from HHS Mandate
A federal judge has sided with a pro-life group in a lawsuit over the birth control mandate in Obamacare.
The March for Life is a nonreligious organization that holds an annual protest of the Supreme Court's 1972 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that March for Life could be exempt from the contraceptive mandate despite the fact that it opposes abortion on ethical rather than religious grounds.
"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," Leon wrote in his decision.
The contraception mandate in Obamacare would have forced March of Life to provide health coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, a practice it strongly opposes.
Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents March for Life, applauded the ruling.
"Americans should not be forced to choose between following their deepest convictions and submitting to unlawful and unnecessary government mandates," Kevin Theriot, senior counsel for the ADF, said.
"We hope other courts that consider similar cases will issue their own orders upholding the right of pro-life organizations to be free from this type of government coercion," he added.