Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange writes about Alabama’s stand for religious liberty.
Last week, the state of Alabama joined the lawsuit against the HHS mandate. Attorney General Strange comments on some of the broader implications of Obamacare:
The contraception mandate is unconscionable and unconstitutional, but my reasons for joining EWTN’s lawsuit are broader than this single dispute. This latest mandate is the natural consequence of a federal government that has run amok and inserted itself into every corner of our lives. When the federal government took over one-sixth of the country’s economy and unconstitutionally mandated that individuals and businesses buy insurance, there were bound to be some unintended consequences. The contraception mandate is just the down payment on that bill.
Mr. Strange wonders why the federal government has chosen to pick this fight, over providing “services” that are already ubiquitous, and how anyone is harmed by providing reasonable conscience protections.
But this debate is not about contraception. The absence of a contraception mandate has not prevented Alabamians from accessing those services; contraception is widely available. It is unclear how the federal government’s mandate benefits society or how anyone would be harmed if organizations such as EWTN could opt out. In other words, there is a particularly large measure of wasted labor here.
Attorney General Strange notes:
This debate is about first freedoms and religious liberty. It is about whether we, as a society, value the right of conscience and support the freedom of individuals to say “no.” If the federal government can mandate what we have to spend our own money on, then the federal government can make us buy something even if we are morally opposed to paying for it. This time it is contraception, but that is not where it will end.
Why are people of all faiths so opposed to the HHS mandate? And what will happen if the Supreme Court does not overturn Obamacare? Strange writes:
No one outside of the White House has been surprised by the public backlash against the contraception mandate. Governing through federal ultimatum grates against our history, traditions, and, most importantly, our Constitution. But unless the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare in its entirety, I fear that the fight over the contraceptive mandate is just the first skirmish in what will be a long war.