The Eighth Court of Appeals in Saint Louis ruled on Thursday the alternative for the ObamaCare mandate for birth control persists in the violation of the rights of employers by compelling them to provide contraception.
The compromise, offered in the wake of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, has faced stiff challenges from religious organizations. Thursday’s decision reversed the rulings of two lower-court decisions in a suit filed by CSN Ministries, Sharpe Holdings, Inc., Dordt College and Cornerstone University.
The Obama Administration offered what is referred to as “opt-out” as a replacement for the original mandate.
Under the terms of “opt-out,” employers who find birth control offensive to their conscience are exempt and insurers are forced to pay for birth control with no cost passed to the employee.
Litigants argued the alternative method offered by ObamaCare continues to burden employers because employers’ health-care plans remain involved in providing birth control tools.
“We conclude that compelling their participation in the accommodation process by threat of severe monetary penalty is a substantial burden on their exercise of religion,” the court said.
In the decision for the three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Roger Wollman wrote:
“The court must defer to the employers’ sincere religious belief that their participation in the accommodation process makes them morally and spiritually complicit in providing abortifacient coverage.”
ObamaCare means firmer authority.
An ill-advised undertaking, instead of eliminating a serious liability to the contentious health care law, the administration merely tinkered with the language and thought they had hoodwinked its enrollees.
What this court decision illustrates is the government has a compelling interest in protecting the rights of individuals against infringements on religious liberty.
Health care should be synonymous with providing relief. ObamaCare causes pain.
[Wall Street Journal] [Photo courtesy sfsarch.com]