Students at the annual March for Life

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Court: March for Life Won't Have to Pay for Abortions

“… it makes no rational sense—indeed, no sense whatsoever—to deny March [for] Life that same respect …”

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This report is contributed by Marissa Poulson of Alliance Defending Freedom:

A federal court has rightly ruled in favor of March for Life in the case of March for Life v. Burwell, finding that the organization whose sole purpose is to oppose the tragedy of abortion will not have to fund insurance that covers abortion pills against its beliefs. 

The court issued an order that permanently prohibits the Obama administration from enforcing its abortion-pill mandate against the pro-life organization. This is the first time an order has been granted in favor of an organization opposed to the abortion-pill mandate for pro-life reasons based on moral convictions instead of religion. 

“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,” explains the decision.

The order, which was issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, means March for Life will not have to violate its mission by including coverage of early abortion drugs in their health insurance plans as required by the Obamacare abortion pill mandate. Likewise, March for Life employees, including the two employees who joined March for Life as plaintiffs in the case, will not have to contribute to an insurance plan that violates their conscience. 

This ruling sets a positive precedent for other pro-life nonprofit organizations that may not be religious in nature, but oppose abortion on moral and ethical grounds. These organizations should not be forced to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs under the threat of punishment when it directly conflicts with their organizational purpose. 

The Obama administration has made headlines by attempting to coerce pro-life businesses, religious organizations, and small family businesses that oppose abortion, to pay for abortion coverage against their convictions. Alliance Defending Freedom has fought this mandate on 22 occasions and has, so far, won injunctions against the government on all but two occasions. But the cases keep on coming and the administration continues to spend taxpayer dollars defending a law that defies logic and personal freedoms.

“Pro-life organizations should not be forced into betraying the very values they were established to advance,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “This is especially true of March for Life, which was founded to uphold life, not to assist in taking it. The government has no right to demand that organizations provide health insurance plan options that explicitly contradict their mission.”

How the government can continue to endorse abortion under the guise of “choice,” while simultaneously trying to force pro-life individuals to violate their conscience is baffling. The government simply cannot expect freedom-loving Americans to roll over when it comes to their sincerely held beliefs, especially on a topic as emotional as the killing of babies in the womb. It just doesn’t make sense.

Marissa Poulson is a Senior Web Writer with Alliance Defending Freedom

-Alliance Defending Freedom is an international, alliance-building legal organization that advocates for religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and the family in numerous courts and consultative bodies worldwide.


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