It was my great honor to speak at a rally yesterday held outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments were being heard in the Sebelius v Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v Sebelius HHS Mandate cases. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are challenging the mandate, enacted under Obamacare, which compels them to provide free abortion-inducing drugs through their employee health plans.
Other speakers at the rally included Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, Lila Rose of Life Action and Meg McDonnell of Women Speak for Themselves, and several more articulate, outspoken women. The only men to speak were Fr Frank Pavone and me—a point I remarked on in my comments, which you can hear in full in the above video.
Father of Six Daughters Speaks Out
After declaring that women’s wellbeing is especially important to me as the father of six daughters, I discussed how devastating the HHS Mandate would be to Hobby Lobby and its employees, and then concluded:
Even more troubling to me what the HHS Mandate says to the women and girls in my life: that their feminine nature is somehow flawed. That their healthy fertility is some kind of medical condition. That motherhood is a sort of disease that must be avoided with government-mandated services.
The HHS Mandate cannot be allowed to stand, not only because it attacks our cherished freedom of religion, but because of what it says to our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.
As the rally was winding up, Senator Ted Cruz put in a surprise visit. I was able to say hello to him and give him a copy of the League’s handbook, Sharing the Pro-Life Message.
Thanks to the Green and Hahn Families
After the rally, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Becket Fund at which I had the opportunity to personally thank the Green and Hahn families, owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, respectively, for their courageous fight against the HHS Mandate. I told them they stand for all of us who appreciate religious freedom. They in turn thanked me for my activism in organizing the hundreds of Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies held in opposition to the mandate.
After hearing from several people who were present for the 90 minutes of oral arguments and carefully reading the official transcript [PDF], I’m cautiously optimistic that the Greens and Hahns will prevail in their lawsuit, which would strike a major blow to the HHS Mandate.
A separate series of legal challenges to the HHS Mandate are now working their way through the courts brought by not-for-profit organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor and the University of Notre Dame. Whether a good ruling in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases would impact these other suits remains to be seen.
Please keep the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases in your prayers, and continue to spread the word about the critical religious freedom issues at stake.