ADF to Vt. court: Paying for abortions should not be prerequisite for health care

Wednesday, April 08, 2015/Alliance Defending Freedom/BURLINGTON, Vt. --

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Thursday before the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in a legal challenge to an Obamacare surcharge that forces people to pay for elective abortion coverage.

ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit against the Obama administration and state exchange officers in January after a pro-life Vermont man, Lyle Howe, Jr., lost his private health plan due to Obamacare and was forced on to the state exchange. Under Obamacare, every health insurance exchange plan in Vermont requires individuals to directly pay a "separate payment" to cover elective abortions.

"Americans should have access to health care without being secretly coerced into paying for elective abortions and violating their deepest convictions," said Mattox. "The Constitution, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and state law prohibit this type of government coercion. We hope the court will stop the federal and state governments from needlessly trampling on First Amendment freedoms."

The lawsuit, Howe v. Burwell, also challenges secrecy clauses within Obamacare which forbid Americans from being told prior to enrollment whether the plans they would purchase on an exchange will include abortion coverage and a hidden separate payment for abortions. The clauses also forbid Americans from being told how much of the premium is a federally mandated abortion surcharge that pays exclusively for other people's elective abortions....

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