Freedom of Conscience
Above:Dr. Charmaine Yoest & the AUL Legal Team.
On Monday, February 4, Americans United for Life filed our third amicus curiae brief supporting legal challenges to the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional “HHS mandate.” AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted “The Obama Administration is violating the American freedom of conscience by forcing private businesses to either pay for abortion-inducing drugs or risk going out of business. This is an unconstitutional overreach which tramples on the American Dream.”
AUL filed the brief before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Cyril Korte v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on behalf of Drury Development Corporation, Drury Southwest, Inc., and Drury Hotels Company, LLC, and six national medical associations including the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the Catholic Medical Association. The Drury family of companies employs over 3,400 full-time employees. Read more.
On February 1 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) governing its mandate that employers provide insurance that covers (without a co-pay) life-ending drugs and devices such as ella. In response, AUL President and CEO, Dr. Charmaine Yoest called NPRM a “phony compromise.” AUL Staff Counsel, Anna Franzonello also noted in her legal analysis that the “NPRM is even narrower than the protections it had previously entertained.” She explains that the proposed “accommodation” fails to consider for-profits and non-religiously-affiliated organizations as worthy of the accommodation or an exemption. AUL continues to defend freedom of conscience, planning to file at least six more amicus curiae briefs in support of on-going challenges to the HHS mandate this spring.
Read AUL’s response to the new proposed HHS rules.
In the States
AUL continues to protect against prenatal discrimination as Missouri and North Dakota legislatures reintroduced our model ban on sex-selection abortions last week. This bill prohibits abortions for reasons of gender or genetic abnormality, ensuring that we build an inclusive community of citizens which welcomes all people regardless of gender or perceived abilities. Read more.
In line with an integral part of AUL’s strategic plan to empower families, Oklahoma has introduced a bill to enhance its parental consent law. If passed, this will be one of the strongest parental involvement laws in the nation. Read more.
2013 Life List
The annual AUL Life List continues to drive pro-life state policies. Dan McConchie, Vice President of Government Affairs, was quoted in Bloomberg recently on the influence of the Life List stating, “We actually have states competing with each other to be the most protective in the country.” Read full article here.
Mailee Smith, Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life
Ms. Smith’s abortion-related areas of expertise include informed consent, ultrasound requirements, abortion bans, and medically-appropriate regulation of Mifeprex (the RU-486 regime). She also brings legal expertise to the area of bioethics, such as bans on or regulation of destructive embryo research, human cloning, and human egg harvesting.
Mailee also works on AUL’s amicus curiae briefs. AUL’s most recent brief on behalf of Drury Hotels and six national medical associations defends freedom of conscience against the threats inherent in the HHS mandate.
In the News
Staff Counsel, Anna Franzonello in Politico.
VP of Government Affairs, Dan McConchie in a Bloomberg article.
On the Horizon
AUL continues to protect freedom of conscience and plans to file at least six briefs this spring in challenges to the HHS mandate. Currently, the American people have brought more than 40 legal challenges to the mandate involving more than 110 plaintiffs.