The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC released a statement today spelling out the impact of today’s decision on Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Here’s an excerpt:
Another immediate implication of the decision is that the foundation of the “contraceptive mandate” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services remains intact… This mandate requires health insurers to provide free access to contraceptives and abortion-inducing products. Because this mandate includes only an extremely narrow exemption for churches that meet specific criteria, thousands of faith-based organizations will be forced to enable their employees to obtain access to these services, services that many of them find morally reprehensible.
Ben Johnson reports that the HHS mandate still faces court challenges:
Although the law’s provision forcing religious groups to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs at no co-pay survives for now, the Supreme Court did not rule on its constitutionality. However, a series of lawsuits winding their way to the Court will place that issue before the bench. “ObamaCare may have survived, but it is by no means a lock that the HHS mandate will,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “It is one thing to levy a tax, quite another to level the First Amendment.”
The ruling has invigorated Republicans, who look forward to campaigning on the law’s repeal in November’s election. “If it is deemed to stand…we’ll have to have a president, and I’m that one, that’s gonna get rid of ObamaCare,” Mitt Romney told a campaign stop in Virginia earlier this week.
In my view, the HHS mandate is the part of the law that is most objectionable, but I don’t expect to hear much about it in the news coverage of today’s decision. But we dare not forget it. It is a religious liberty concern that will not go away, though many politicians (both Republican and Democrat) wish that it would.