Terry Jeffrey

Perhaps because pro-abortion Justice Kennedy's vote was crucial to the outcome, Alito's majority opinion adopted an absurd euphemism -- referring to a newly conceived human being as an "already fertilized egg."

"Although many of the required, FDA-approved methods of contraception work by preventing the fertilization of an egg, four of those methods (those specifically at issue in these cases) may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus," wrote Alito.

Secondly, the majority opinion assumed that the business owners who sued the government in this case had a "religious belief" that the drugs and devices in question were "abortificacients."

"The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients," wrote Alito.

Not so. Just as a human embryo is not an "already fertilized egg," the fact that a drug or device kills a human embryo by preventing implantation is not determined by someone's religious views.

In a footnote, Justice Alito explained his "already fertilized egg" passage. He writes: "The owners of the companies involved in these cases and others who believe that life begins at conception regard these four methods as causing abortions, but federal regulations, which define pregnancy as beginning at implantation ... do not so classify them."

OK, so do not call it an "abortion." Just call it a "killing."

Alito and the court's majority then assume for the sake of argument that the government does have a "compelling interest" in giving all women of reproductive capacity cost-free access to drugs and devices that can kill their own unborn children.

"We will assume that the interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to the four challenged contraceptive methods is compelling within the meaning of RFRA," they argue.

But then the opinion concludes that HHS has already created a less restrictive means for distributing these drugs and devices. This less restrictive means is the "accommodation" HHS has granted to religious non-profits. In this accommodation, the government does not impose the abortion-inducing-drug mandate directly on the employer itself but on its insurance company, or (if it is self-insured) its third-party administrator.

Were universal application of the original regulation and this accommodation achieved, all health insurance companies in the United States would have to be owned and staffed solely by people willing to be forced by the government into complicity with the taking of innocent human life.

The court's majority did warn that it might decide in cases involving other organizations that the accommodation itself violates RFRA.

"At a minimum, however, it does not impinge on the [current] plaintiffs' religious belief that providing insurance coverage for the contraceptives at issue here violates their religion, and it serves HHS's stated interests equally well," concluded the court.

This is where the right to life, freedom of religion and health care stand in America today.

To narrowly and immediately preserve the freedom of conscience of some family business owners who managed to get their case all the way to the Supreme Court, a 5-4 "conservative" majority accepted the premise that an abortion is not an abortion and that the families' freedom of religion can be preserved if the health-insurance industry is forced into complicity with the taking of human lives -- because that advances a compelling interest of our government.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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