• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/views_content/plugins/views/views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane.inc on line 402.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1147.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 917.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 917.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 169.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_argument_validate::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_argument_validate.inc on line 87.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_argument_validate_taxonomy_term::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_argument_validate::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/views_plugin_argument_validate_taxonomy_term.inc on line 165.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.
  • warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1811 in /home/coloni6/public_html/obamacarewatcher/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/cleanstring.inc on line 157.

Has HHS Opened its Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines to Lawsuit?

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may be used by religious organizations in their fight against recent Obamacare guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA published its “Women's Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines” on August 1, 2011. The Guidelines would force employers to offer contraceptives in their employee health plans without any copays (or the like). This would include contraceptives that many religious organizations believe to induce abortions.

RFRA was a bipartisan response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Employment Division v. Smith. In Smith, the court made it easier for the government to defend against lawsuits based on the First Amendment’s “Free Exercise of Religion” clause.

Before Smith, the burden was on the government to prove that 1)it had a “compelling interest” in establishing the law, 2) the law is narrowly tailored to address the interest, and 3) it used the “least restrictive means” in applying the law to the plaintiffs. This is called the “Compelling Government Interest” test.

Smith, however, changed this test to the less rigorous “Rational Basis” test which only requires that the government show that that the law is “rationally related” to a “legitimate” government interest.

By changing the level of court scrutiny, Smith made it near impossible for plaintiffs to succeed solely on the Free Exercise clause.

RFRA restored the standard of proof for free exercise cases to its pre-Smith status.

The Act was overturned in a case called City of Boerne v. Flores but only as it applied to the states. RFRA still applies to the federal government including, of course, HHS.

HHS has created a religious exemption, but is so narrow that it won’t apply to religious (non-church) organizations—including prolife organizations. And more importantly, its scope is much more narrow than RFRA.

Unless HHS expands its religious exemption or removes contraceptives from its Guidelines they are inviting lawsuits challenging their Guidelines as applied to those of religious conviction.