Christian leaders across the nation have been responding to the Supreme Court's ruling on "Obamacare," with many suggesting that the decision to uphold the law's insurance mandate could pose grave consequences for American families.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warned, "Today's Supreme Court decision will do serious harm to American families. Not only is the individual mandate a profound attack on our liberties, but it is only one section among hundreds of provisions in the law that will force taxpayers to fund abortions, violate their conscience rights, and impose a massive tax and debt burden on American families."
With a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) (ACA) as constitutional. "Obamacare," as the act is better known, requires individuals to purchase health insurance or face a penalty, which justices argued was essentially a tax.
"Because of the mandate, Americans will be forced to pay for a system that will increase costs for patients, remove health care decisions from both the doctor and the patient and lead to rationing. It changes health care as we know it into a system based on one-size-fits-all, cost-controlled and conveyor belt socialized medicine," said Dr. Elaina George, a board-certified physician with the Project 21 African-American Conservative Leadership Network.
"Today is the day I will tell my grandchildren about when they ask me what happened to freedom in America," added Project 21 spokeswoman Shelby Emmett, a soon-to-be licensed attorney in Maryland. "Today, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans can be forced to enter into private contracts in the name of health care. Today, Americans lost accountability, personal liberty and the greatest health care system in the world. We think the DMV is bad. Wait until your kid breaks his leg now and needs to go to the ER!"
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), agreed that the Obamacare legislation was fundamentally flawed.
"From the outset, Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children," Dannenfelser said. "Today's decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing."
"Over the last four years, President Obama has revealed his loyalty to the abortion industry. At no time was this clearer than during the health care reform debate, when he fought tenaciously for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade. As the presidential race heats up, the Susan B. Anthony List will continue to remind American voters where the President's allegiance truly lies. We will not stop fighting until every U.S. taxpayer is freed from under-writing the abortion business," she added.
Perkins of FRC also lamented that religious freedom is under threat as religious institutions and employers will be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations.
The Alliance Defense Fund insisted that ACA was unconstitutional, despite the Supreme Court's decision.
"ObamaCare treats American citizens like subjects. This administration has used health care law to become a dictator of conscience," said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. "The court's decision is alarming and deeply wrong. ObamaCare holds your health care hostage and offers no real choice. Either comply and abandon your religious freedom and conscience, or resist and be fined for your faith."
Conservatives indicated that they are not giving up the fight.
While ADF plans to proceed with its legal challenges against the Obama administration's birth control mandate, protests will also continue.
The HHS mandate is part of Obamacare and seeks to force religions institutions to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives to employees.
Eric Scheidler, co-director of Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition, announced, "Today's ruling means that the grassroots protests of the HHS Mandate will continue. The more than 200 local leaders raised up all across the country to hold Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies this spring are ready to continue this fight.
"We remain convinced that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional, and that the Supreme Court will strike it down when the scores of lawsuits filed against it finally reach the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, we will continue to fight the HHS Mandate through massive public protest and seek the kind of electoral change that will restore freedom of religion in our nation," Scheidler added.
Republican Attorneys General Association Chairman Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma vowed that "the battle isn't over" to repeal the ACA.
"It now is up to the political process to repeal the act and replace it with measures that address the health care crisis within the confines of the Constitution. We must continue to oppose this act and multiple overreaching regulations proposed by the Obama Administration that cross the line of federal power," Pruitt said.