September 2 2015
The Independent Women’s Forum has filed an Amicus Curiae brief in the Supreme Court in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor, have petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that they must comply with the Obamacare contraception mandate by authorizing a third party to provide contraception and abortifacient drugs to their employees.
University of Missouri law professor Erin M. Hawley, the author of the brief, argues that the case is not about contraception, but “the principles of liberty that animate our Constitution.”
Citing “this court’s decision in Hobby Lobby,” Hawley, a former clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts, argues that “businesswomen—whether they operate for-profit or non-profit ventures—do not check their religious liberty rights at the office door.”
“In short, the deeply personal choices about when life begins and whether or not to use birth control are decisions for women and their families, not the government. IWF therefore urges this court to grant this petition and to decide whether the HHS ‘accommodation’ discriminates among religious organizations in violation of the First Amendment,” Hawley wrote.
She also claims the Department of Health and Human Services discriminates against some religious employers because it makes exemptions to the contraceptive mandate for some and not others.
Hadley Heath Manning, the director of health policy for the Independent Women’s Forum, said in a statement that “As with the Hobby Lobby case, this case is about more than contraception.”
“It is about the principles of liberty that animate our Constitution. It is about empowering women to choose the health care and salary options that best fit their needs. And it is about empowering charitable employers, many lead by women, to follow their deeply held religious convictions—regardless of the form of their charitable entity,” Manning said.