Religious Freedom Among Our Most Basic Rights

by Rep. Mike Sanders

Religious freedom and pro-life legislation have both been given a boost recently by court rulings and decisions.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Hobby Lobby can continue its lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate on religious grounds and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that the federal government must halt all enforcement of the mandate against the Christian-based company.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to examine overturning a decision by our state supreme court to throw out a state law to protect pregnant mothers by requiring basic procedures be in place to ensure the proper use of abortion drugs.

Both court struggles represent a push back against an attack on religious and moral convictions. Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel sued because they considered a mandate requiring a company to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception to violate religious liberty. Further proceedings on the case are scheduled for July 19, here in Oklahoma City.

In my opinion, there’s a positive trend in our federal courts that they are upholding religious freedoms and basically saying that the pro-choice advocates have overstepped basic rights. As for the law thrown out by the state supreme court, I am pleased to see the state court’s decisions called into question. The court should be interpreting the law rather than legislating from the bench.

These cases will be ones to watch closely.

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