Democrats for Life of America
Washington, DC – Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) has filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in two federal court cases in support of the conscience clause of individuals and organizations who oppose parts of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that requires individuals to facilitate abortions through their employees’ health insurance coverage. DFLA argued that private entities, including for-profit businesses, should not be required to cover drugs when there is reason to believe these drugs may cause abortions of new embryos. Specifically, DFLA cites emergency contraceptives such as Plan B (the “morning after” pill) and Ella (the “seven-day after” pill) that cause the abortion of new embryos.
The legal briefs were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth and Third Circuit, in Newland v Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, respectively. DFLA argued that the HHS mandate to cover these drugs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) and the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The HHS mandate is also inconsistent with conscience protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) itself. An additional signatory of the briefs is former Congressman Bart Stupak, who led the effort to include pro-life provisions in the ACA and who negotiated an Executive Order by President Obama re-affirming that the ACA would continue to protect conscience rights of all Americans and prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions.