Sept. 23, 2013
This past Friday, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court "to decide that for-profit corporations cannot deny their employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners". According to Religion News Service's Sarah Pulliam Bailey:
In June, the Obama administration issued final rules for the mandate that requires most employers to provide contraception at no cost. While there are exemptions for religious groups and affiliated institutions, there are no carve-outs for private businesses with religious owners. Opponents of the mandate say that they will be forced to provide coverage they find morally abhorrent. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Friday (Sept. 20) on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma, where Hobby Lobby is also based. Now that two different federal courts have issued contradictory opinions on the mandate, the issue is near certain to be decided by the Supreme Court.
This is welcome news, and it is hoped that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty. The owners of Hobby Lobby, the Green family, and others like them did not leave their Christian convictions in the pew on Sunday morning. As attorney Kyle Duncan of The Becket Fund argues:
The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living … We’re confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government’s extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone—including people who run a business.
Let us hope Kyle is right, for the sake of every citizen of a nation in which religious liberty historically has been the foundation of every other right (our rights come from God, not from the state, and thus our primary duty is to Him, not it – this is the essential premise of the U.S. Constitution).
Yet even if this battle is won, the battle for life in the U.S. will be far from over. For example, attorney Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life has just published a new book, Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe. V. Wade in which he explains that
The United States is an outlier when it comes to the scope of the abortion “right.” The United States is one of approximately ten nations (of 195) that allow abortion after fourteen weeks of gestation. The others are: Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Western Australia, and Vietnam. When it comes to allowing abortion for any reason after viability, however, the United States is joined only by Canada, North Korea, and China (p. 126).
I am always glad for the United States to stand alone when it comes to our defending our national security, the well-being of our citizens or the protection of our other vital interests, but in this case, I wish the land of the free was in league with the majority of the world’s countries in imposing restrictions on post-viability abortions. Of course, all who cherish life know it is immaterial whether the U.S. is in the majority or minority of nations when it comes to the imperative of correcting Roe altogether and affirming the sanctity of every life, from conception to natural death.
Regardless of laws, legislation, or litigation, the movement to protect the unborn and prevent their mothers from being preyed-upon and commoditized will not quit. We’ve achieved some great victories in recent years, and we can be grateful for the growing public judgment that elective abortion is a moral evil.
Yet our criterion of victory is not found in numbers, polls, bills, or laws. Ultimately, it is found in fidelity to the One Scripture calls “the Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). He deserves our full and unflagging efforts in defense of those He still is forming in their mothers’ wombs. May we always give it to Him.