The Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act comes as a serious blow to the religious freedom of individuals and religious institutions in our nation. As a part of this Act, religious institutions will be mandated to provide contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs under their employees’ health insurance plans. These institutions will be required to provide money for these services that their religious convictions forbid.

Furthermore, as part of Obamacare there will be a new one-dollar tax on all healthcare premiums. This is a separate monthly surcharge that is specifically for abortion coverage. This means that every individual will be forced, through a tax, to pay for abortions with no option to opt-out. Publicly-funded abortion is something most Americans oppose, and something the federal government has historically prevented. This surcharge essentially forces every individual to pay $12 a year for abortions regardless of their religious or moral convictions to the contrary.

President Obama and other pro-abortion organizations have been desperately trying to bury this issue. The mandate even includes a clause that prevents insurance companies from informing people about the abortion surcharge. This is bureaucratic slight of hand, and it violates a person’s fundamental right of conscience without furthering any substantial government interest.

Father Pavone, president of Priests for Life, said, “The mandate is a brazen attack on our religious liberty. Today’s ruling on Obamacare was a setback, but it is not the end of the battle.” There is still a battle to be fought. Congressmen are already lobbying to repeal and replace Obamacare with sensible healthcare reforms that will better the American people without placing undue burdens on them. And legislators across the country, including right here in Arkansas, will debate whether or not they will actually move forward with implementing the state-level bureaucracy for which this law calls.