Last week was busy, but good. And good news is something we need to stop and celebrate.
At Alliance Defending Freedom, we wanted to take some time to do just that. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past week that we are thankful for:
March for Life
The 45th annual March for Life took place on January 19 in Washington, D.C. While you might not have seen much coverage of this in the mainstream media (which is nothing new), estimates indicate there were tens of thousands of people in attendance. Today marks 45 years since the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade to legalize abortion. The March for Life began the following year to serve as a voice for the lives lost to abortion – which number over 60 million in the years since Roe. And while the tragic ruling that makes the March necessary is nothing to celebrate, it is encouraging to see so many pro-life advocates come together to be a voice for the unborn. ADF was honored to be among them. And we were also pleased that President Trump made an appearance via live video, the first sitting president to address the March for Life crowd.
View Highlights from the March
Support for ADF Supreme Court Case
Last week, 22 states, 144 members of Congress, and numerous organizations filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of our client, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (or NIFLA). This kind of support is vital as we prepare to argue this case. NIFLA represents a network of pro-life pregnancy centers in California where a state law forces them to violate their beliefs by posting signs advertising for the abortion industry. ADF is asking the Supreme Court to uphold the right to free speech and not allow the California government to coerce these pregnancy centers to speak a message that directly contradicts their mission.
Learn More about This Case
New HHS Division
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it will be creating a new division to help protect freedom of religion and conscience. The Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom will reside within its Office for Civil Rights. ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner commended HHS for the creation of this new division: “This new office will help ensure that HHS acts in accordance with its duty to honor Americans’ freedom of religion and conscience rather than coerce nuns, faith-based universities, Christian-run family businesses, and pro-life organizations to speak and live contrary to their own beliefs.”
ADF is representing a number of religious and pro-life organizations against an Obamacare mandate that forced employers to provide contraceptives in their healthcare plans, including abortion pills. In 2016, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court decisions, telling the parties to work towards accommodating the religious free exercise rights of the pro-life organizations. Last October, the Trump Administration issued rules that protect these organizations from being required to violate their convictions.
Another Obama-era policy was set aside last week: HHS reversed the rule mandating that all states make Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood, which barred state legislatures from designating those funds for local community health centers first.
Learn More about These Cases
Defending Student Privacy
A state superior court has allowed an association of students and parents represented by ADF to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit against an Illinois school district. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the school district to force them to allow a biological male to undress next to the girls in the girls’ locker room. I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, this is still going on. As ADF Legal Counsel Jeana Hallock stated, “Asserting a female gender identity doesn’t change the fact that schools should never be forced to give male students unrestricted access to areas where young women are changing.” ADF also represents this association, Students and Parents for Privacy, in a federal lawsuit.
Learn More about This Case
Religious Freedom Day
Tuesday, January 16 was Religious Freedom Day. President Trump issued a proclamation stating: “No American—whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner—should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.” As ADF President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris points out, “[t]hat’s precisely why we recently argued on behalf of cake artist Jack Phillips before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Learn More about Jack's Case
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All of this is good news and reason to celebrate. And Alliance Defending Freedom remains dedicated to defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family in both good times and bad. You can stay up to date on these ADF cases, issues, and more by subscribing to our email newsletter.