For Immediate Release Contact:
June 30, 2014 Roslyn Singer, 212-613-8227
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, applauds today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the “Hobby Lobby” and “Conestoga Wood” cases upholding religious freedom and ruling unconstitutional the Obama Administration’s health care mandate to private employers—requiring them to provide contraceptives and other women’s health services—when the employers’ religious beliefs would be violated by providing such services through their insurance plans.
While not opposing government initiatives to ensure women’s broader access to such health services, the Orthodox Union has, over the past few years, advocated against the Affordable Care Act’s (“Obamacare”) “contraceptives mandate” in filings with the Department of Health & Human Services, court briefs and in a face-to-face meeting with President Obama. A full statement of the Orthodox Union’s position can be found here.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy, issued the following statement:
“Today the Supreme Court actualized the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment’s guarantee of the ‘free exercise’ of religion. In essence, the Court’s ruling stands for the proposition that—even when the government seeks to implement valuable policy goals—it must do so without trampling upon the conscientious beliefs of American citizens, especially, as is the case here, when there are many other ways to meet the policy goals without infringing on religious liberty.
We hope that, in light of the Court’s ruling, the Obama Administration will now look to develop a new approach that will also allow the many pending lawsuits over religious liberty and the healthcare mandate to be settled.
We are ready and able to work with President Obama and Congressional leaders to develop such approaches on this and other policy matters where religious freedom is implicated. We hope they will partner with us in this important effort.”
The Orthodox Union is the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization; the OU Advocacy Center is the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU and leads its advocacy efforts in Washington, DC and state capitals.