2013 a bad year for Obamacare abortion pill mandate
Administration currently losing 88 percent of its cases in court
Courts issued a flurry of orders against the mandate even in the waning days of the year, including orders in Alliance Defending Freedom cases filed on behalf of non-profit Christian colleges and universities in California, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The score in favor of non-profit religious entities is 18-1; the score in favor of families doing business is 35-6.
“Unjust laws are not valid laws. In light of all the legal victories against the mandate, the wisest course is for the administration to stop wasting taxpayer resources on these cases and end its attacks on the First Amendment,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman.
“Many people have noted the administration’s failures and scandals over the past year, particularly with regard to Obamacare and government overreach,” added Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, “but little illustrates that more concretely than the loss record on the abortion pill mandate.”
The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.
Most of the orders issued against the mandate so far have come in the form of preliminary injunctions, court orders that prohibit the administration from applying its mandate against the party that filed suit while the case moves forward. Preliminary injunctions are difficult to obtain because a court will only issue one if it is convinced that the party requesting the injunction is likely to win the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to settle many of the mandate’s legal flaws soon. In November, the high court agreed to review the Alliance Defending Freedom case Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, a Pennsylvania Mennonite family’s lawsuit against the mandate, and the Becket Fund case Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, a challenge filed by the owners of the national craft store chain.
- Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-muhn)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
Resource page: ADF lawsuits challenging the abortion-pill mandate
Campaign page: ADF challenges Obamacare mandate at the Supreme Court
David A. Cortman serves as senior counsel and vice president of U.S. litigation with Alliance Defending Freedom. He has been practicing law since 1996, and currently supervises a team of over 40 attorneys and legal staff who specialize in constitutional law, focusing on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Cortman has litigated hundreds of constitutional law cases including two victories at the U.S. Supreme Court. In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, he secured a 7-2 victory that overturned Missouri’s denial of a religious school’s participation in a state funding program. Cortman also argued Reed v. Town of Gilbert, securing a 9-0 ruling that prohibits the government from discriminating against religious speech. A member of the bar in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and the District of Columbia, he is also admitted to practice in over two dozen federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Cortman obtained his J.D. magna cum laude from Regent University School of Law.
Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and director of regulatory practice for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he leads the team focusing on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family. From 2017 to 2020, Bowman was a senior executive service appointee in the Trump administration, serving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy General Counsel, and then in the Office for Civil Rights. Prior to joining HHS, Bowman was an accomplished litigator at ADF for over ten years. Before joining ADF in 2006, Bowman served as a law clerk for Judges Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Michael A. Chagares, at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and for Judge John M. Roll at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Bowman earned his J.D. summa cum laude and was first in his class at Ave Maria School of Law in 2003. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and Michigan and is admitted to practice at the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal appellate and district courts.