Thomas More Society says victory sets clear precedent
(June 30, 2014 – Chicago, IL) – Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the religious liberty rights of pro-life family business owners, striking down the application of the HHS Abortion Pill Mandate to their businesses. The Supreme Court held that the Abortion Pill Mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and that family businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties will not be forced to comply with the Mandate.
“The Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Abortion Pill Mandate on people of faith who own and have built family businesses is a tremendous victory for religious liberty,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society. “This decision ensures broad protection for the rights of business owners across the country to live out their faith in the marketplace.”
In October 2013, the Thomas More Society petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse a decision against its client Autocam, an international automotive manufacturer, and Autocam’s owners the Kennedy family, after the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied their claims that the HHS Abortion Pill Mandate violates their religious liberty. Autocam’s petition to the Supreme Court had been held pending today’s decision.
“The Supreme Court’s decision exempting business owners who object to paying for abortion-causing drugs because of their religious beliefs sets a clear precedent,” Breen continued. “We expect that the Sixth Circuit ruling against Autocam will be reversed, freeing the Kennedy family from having to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs in running their business.”
In January 2014, the Thomas More Society also filed an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the religious liberty of private employers who seek to practice, as well as profess, their religious faith in the conduct of their business.
“I am proud that our Supreme Court has upheld the fundamental religious liberties of American citizens to engage in the free exercise of their religious beliefs, not only in their houses of worship, but also in their day to day lives, in business as well as at home,” said Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “Our Justices have affirmed that Americans must not be compelled to put aside their religious beliefs and values as a pre-condition to their entering into the sphere of commerce and making a living for themselves and their families.”