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2013 proved to be a bad year for the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate, which finished the year with 88 percent of court decisions going against it (53-7). Alliance Defending Freedom and its allied attorneys are currently winning their cases by a wide margin, with court orders going 15-1 against the mandate.
Courts issued a flurry of orders against the mandate even in the waning days of the year, including orders in Alliance Defending Freedom cases filed on behalf of nonprofit Christian colleges and universities in California, Indiana, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. The score in favor of nonprofit religious entities is 18-1; the score in favor of families doing business is 35-6.
“Unjust laws are not valid laws. In light of all the legal victories against the mandate, the wisest course is for the administration to stop wasting taxpayer resources on these cases and end its attacks on the First Amendment,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman.
“Many people have noted the administration’s failures and scandals over the past year, particularly with regard to Obamacare and government overreach,” added Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, “but little illustrates that more concretely than the loss record on the abortion pill mandate.”
The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.
Most of the orders issued against the mandate so far have come in the form of preliminary injunctions, court orders that prohibit the Obama administration from applying its mandate against the party that filed suit while the case moves forward. Preliminary injunctions are difficult to obtain because a court will only issue one if it is convinced that the party requesting the injunction is likely to win the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to settle many of the mandate’s legal flaws soon. In November, the high court agreed to review the Alliance Defending Freedom case Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, a Pennsylvania Mennonite family’s lawsuit against the mandate, and the Becket Fund case Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, a challenge filed by the owners of the national craft store chain.
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