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Judge: Secular conscience objections to contraception don’t deserve exemption

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U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has rejected the argument of Real Alternatives, a pro-life pregnancy help nonprofit, against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

Real Alternatives, a pro-life pregnancy help nonprofit based in Pennsylvania, argued that the federal health law’s so-called accommodation for religious employers who wish not to subsidize birth control for their employees violates the US Constitution.

They contend that under the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, those with secular moral objections to contraception deserve the same exemption as the religious.

But Jones ruled that religious objections deserved special respect due to being “placed upon a pedestal of protection by this nation’s lawmakers,” whereas “similar protections do not, and should not, exist for singular moral objections, and arguably do not yet exist for objections grounded in overarching moral philosophies.” He claimed accepting their argument would lead to a slippery slope of requests for exemptions from laws.

While Christian objectors to Obamacare’s mandates have won a number of victories over the years, the conscience rights of secular organizations affected by the mandate have gone relatively unnoticed, even though the Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to compel Americans to purchase products.

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