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Pam Bondi, 11 other AGs, ready to 'vigorously oppose' Obama contraception rule in court

Must have misssed this in the ole inbox, but Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, is ready to join 12 other colleagues to sue President Obama's administration over its contraception mandate-- this after challenging all of the Affordable Care Act. Here's a text of a letter Bondi and others, dated Feb. 10, to Kathleen Sebelius (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Timothy Geithner (Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury) and Hilda Solis (Secretary U.S. Department of Labor):

Dear Secretaries Sebelius, Geithner, and Solis:

As Attorneys General of our respective states, we are writing to express our strong opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees to include coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and related services. Should this unconstitutional mandate be promulgated, we are prepared to vigorously oppose it in court.

The proposed regulations would compel religious affiliated organizations, hospitals, universities, and social service entities to subsidize contraceptive products and services which clearly violate their religious beliefs. We are deeply troubled by the unprecedented coercion of organizations and individuals to act contrary to their religious beliefs. The only viable alternative for these employers is to penalize their employees by ceasing the provision of health insurance altogether. The choice for such organizations essentially becomes: provide and subsidize activity in contravention with core religious beliefs, eliminate employer-provided health coverage, or withdraw from public ministry.

The proposed mandate provides an insufficiently narrow exemption which would fail to include religious affiliated organizations who do not “primarily employ persons who share their religious tenets” and do not have “the inculcation of religious values” as their primary operational purpose. Such an exemption ignores the fact that many such organizations only exist and provide public ministry pursuant to a duty and sense of purpose derived from their religious beliefs. To obtain the exemption, a religious organization would have to subject itself to the equivalent of a government “religious audit” to determine whether the organization’s activities are sufficiently religious to be excluded from the regulation’s requirements. Even then, a great number of entities previously exempt from government regulations that run contrary to their religious beliefs would fail to qualify.

Not only is the proposed contraceptive coverage mandate for religious employers bad policy, it is unconstitutional. It conflicts with the most basic elements of the freedoms of religion, speech, and association, as provided under the First Amendment. It would compel religious organizations to act, subsidize products, and affirmatively promote a message in contravention with their religious principles, with the sole alternative being to cease activities of incalculable value to their employees, constituents, and, indeed, society as a whole.

We strongly oppose the unconstitutional approach taken by the proposed contraceptive coverage mandate. We believe it represents an impermissible violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment virtually unparalleled in American history.

Accordingly, we urge you in the strongest way possible to refrain from promulgating the proposed regulations.

Sincerely, 

Jon Bruning, Attorney General of Nebraska

Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas

Alan Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina

Luther Strange, Attorney General of Alabama

Pam Bondi, Attorney General of Florida

James Caldwell, Attorney General of Louisiana

William Schneide, Attorney General of Maine

Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General of North Dakota

Mike DeWine, Attorney General of Ohio

Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma

Marty J. Jackley, Attorney General of South Dakota

John W. Suthers, Attorney General of Colorado

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Comments

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John Totten

These AGs are filing suits that will harm their own citizens.
So much stupidity going forth wrapped in religion.

Minuramsey

When they mandate castration you would also go along? Face it, your assessment is devoid of any logical train of thought, once they demolish religion whats next? Eugenics? Would you and yours be then considered "unwanted dna? " unfit to promulgate? Think it through!

Julie Young

Pam Bondi is like the Taliban-treating women like dogs. I have to take birth control due to a female problem. This has ZERO to do with religion and it is about my medical health. I am disgusted with Pam Bondi and her hatred and disrespect for women. Hey Pam what about the fact that the insurance pays for vasectomies???

Luke

I am not sure if this is 1950 or 2012. Next will we segregate women from men and my wife will be forced to wear a Burqa. Hey Pam why don't you move to Saudi Arabia

Susana

Everytime I read about Pam Bondi, I cringe. Just because she is barren and can't have children doesn;t mean she should punish women.

NoneyaBiz

Go ahead GOP... keep up with this assault on women's rights. See what happens in November.
You are quickly on the fast track to totally destroying the Republican Party. And I for one couldn't be happier :)


Maria Guerra

The elderly are being exploited and the State is ripe with Medicaid fraud and this is what Pam Bondi is doing with our tax payer money. I am tired of reckless elected officials wasting our money. Pam Bondi is quite possibly the worst AG in the history of Florida. I am ready to switch from Republican to Independent. Never thought I would see the day being a Republican is worse than being a Liberal. I am distancing myself from these total and complete morons. Bondi & Rick Scott are Florida's version of Fidel Castro.

Stanley Jerome

Bondi has proven to be a "Yes" woman to the Big Banks, Gov Scott, and JD Alexander. She should focus on anti-trust laws, fraud, and gang activity. Yes Rick Scott is one of the biggest fraudsters and thief's in history, and yet she is lap dog. I have spoken with many women who have stated that they take birth control pills to regulate their irregular periods. That is a personal a medical decision-why is the State of FL trying to prevent women from getting medical care?

Sandy Dziak

Pam Bondi,

Bondi, nothing you do surprises me - turning your back on women. How dare you talk about constitutional rights after you have supported FS790.33, backed by the NRA. You supported the removal of County Firearm codes when there are no laws to protect the private property of people at the State level. You have taken away the County laws to keep the people safe from gunfire: No requirements for Berms and backstops for target practice, zoning for firearm discharge void as you allow hunting and firing guns in city limits...WTH are you thinking? Bullets flying over peoples property risking safety and quality of life...this law has elevated gun rights above our property rights! Remember our FL Basic Constitutional right of enjoyment of property?
I will never vote R again. You R fools are out of control.It is time to get every one of you R Radical fools out of Office!

Dave

When folks consistently vote against their own interests, and then are suddenly surprised, it makes one wonder what they were thinking about. If anything.

Carolyn Shields

I have had it with you people getting in between me & my doctor!! I pay for my insurance ,not you & I have started to take names of ALL Republicans who are getting in this fight(& yes it has now become a fight)!! We will see you lose in the elections because we all are aware this is about the ENTIRE Health Care Bill & not about Religion!! You have wanted to destroy it from the beginning & are trying to do it a piece at a time!!! But ,you chose the wrong issues this time!! Women will not go back to the 1950's!! We have been given the RIGHT TO DECIDE!! & VOTE!!

Eileen Curras

Pam Bondi and the 11 AGs, in my opinion are only exercising the Local Political Agenda whic has ignored the needs of consumers who are poor due to a choronic health condition. The economy is not getting better but worst oposing to contraception only expose the poor to more hardship and the state has not provide any compassion to Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

Hem Lal Pun

Birth control is a demand of time and complicated world, whereas, religion is a faith of each individual human being. Both are completely separate issues.

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