Thomas Jefferson predicted that future generations would be happy as long as they could “prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them.” Earlier this week, I attended arguments at the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of Obamacare, and I am hopeful that the Court will save us from such wasted labors by striking the Affordable Care Act down in its entirety. For now, though, we are stuck with the myriad regulations and mandates that the Affordable Care Act has spawned. That is why, on March 22, the State of Alabama joined a lawsuit against the recent mandate requiring the insurance plans of all employers, with the exception of some houses of worship, to cover contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures.
The lawsuit was originally filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, on behalf of the world’s largest Catholic media network, Eternal World Television Network, Inc. (EWTN), which happens to be headquartered near Birmingham. EWTN has taken great pains to provide insurance to its employees without also subsidizing services that violate its religious mission and contravene the teachings of the Catholic Church. But now, the contraception mandate would require EWTN and other religious employers and individuals to choose between paying fines and subsidizing practices that contradict their beliefs.
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