Federal Judge Strikes Down Abortion Mandate

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A federal court has sided with East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University, ruling that the federal law requiring employers to provide abortion drugs for its workers violates civil rights laws.

In its decision the court rejected the Obama administration's request to evaluate the schools' religious beliefs.

"The religious organization plaintiffs have shown a sincerely held religious belief that the court cannot second-guess," the court wrote in its 46-page ruling.

Friday's decision deals a major blow the controversial Health and Human Services mandate.

"The government doesn't have the right to decide what religious beliefs are legitimate and which ones aren't," said Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for East Texas Baptist and Houston Baptist Universities.

"In its careful opinion, the Court recognized that the government was trying to move across that forbidden line, and said, 'No further!,'" he said.

Counting Friday's ruling, the Becket Fund has now won 9 of 12 cases challenging the HHS mandate.

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