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On the day Barack Obama signed ObamaCare bill into law, Matthew Staver, the founder and dean of the Liberty University School of Law filed one of the first private lawsuits against the new Act, claiming ObamaCare mandated the forced, direct funding of abortion, a clearly unconstitutional violation of the free exercise of religion.
Though the University’s lawsuit has been held up by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which argued that the Anti-Injunction Act prevented the court hearing the merits of the case, that barrier was torn down by the June Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare. As a result, Liberty immediately renewed its petition that the Supreme Court review its case.
And on Monday, the first day of the new term, the Supreme Court ordered the Department of Justice to respond to Liberty University’s suit. That means the Justices are taking very seriously the Liberty charge that both individuals and employers are being forced to directly fund abortion, a clear infringement upon the freedom of religious expression.
For two years the Obama Regime has claimed that no taxpayer funding of abortion is included in the ObamaCare law. That is a lie. For “…nestled within the ‘individual mandate’ in the Act—that portion of the Act requiring every American to purchase government-approved insurance or pay a penalty—is an ‘abortion premium mandate’. ”
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As Staver puts it, ObamaCare, via extraordinarily secretive rules issued on March 15th, 2012 by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, “funds [abortion] in two ways.”
“First [of] all, for the individual, for the first time in history, it requires each individual to pay a particular fee and that goes directly into an abortion fund and that fund funds abortion. This fee doesn’t go into a general fund, some of which funds other surgeries or medical treatment, some of which might fund abortion. No, this goes into a specific fund that funds abortion. (It’s the) very first time in history you can trace the dollar to the actual abortion.”
In addition, employers–even those associated with religious institutions—will also be forced by federal law to fund abortions.
And incredibly, many who sign up for plans which charge for and provide abortion coverage may never even know it! For, “if a health plan covers abortion, [HHS rules] forbid the plan from calling attention to that fact in any of its advertising or explanatory materials.” As National Right to Life puts it, “this provision seems designed for no other purpose than to ensure that many people who would not deliberately sign up for abortion-covering plans will do so inadvertently, because of the federally enforced gag rule.”
In deciding which cases will be heard by the Supreme Court, the “Rule of Four” applies. That is, if four justices agree a case should be heard, a writ of certiorari will be issued to the petitioner and the case will be placed on the court’s docket. Needless to say there are currently four justices who were both shocked and outraged that Chief Justice John Roberts authored his contrived “pass” for the clearly unconstitutional ObamaCare law during its first appearance before the Court. It would not be surprising that these four justices should call ObamaCare back before the Court during the new term. The Court’s demand that the DOJ respond to Liberty’s accusations is a vitally important first step.
The Liberty University lawsuit is one of many contesting the grotesque assault on individual liberty known as ObamaCare. Perhaps it will be the one which gives John Roberts the opportunity to rescue his reputation and redeem career.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.