Attorneys General from a dozen states are considering a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate requiring employers to provide insurance that includes free contraception — including sterilization and drugs that can cause abortion. Led by Nebraska’s Attorney General, Jon Bruning (right), the top state lawyers issued a strongly worded letter to the administration expressing their “strong opposition” to the mandate, and warning: “Should this unconstitutional mandate be promulgated, we are prepared to vigorously oppose it in court.”

Noting that the mandate would compel religious institutions to offer contraception to which they are morally opposed, the attorneys said they were “deeply troubled by the unprecedented coercion of organizations and individuals to act contrary to their religious beliefs. The only viable alternative for these employers is to penalize their employees by ceasing the provision of health insurance altogether.”

They pointed out that the Obama decree is blatantly unconstitutional, conflicting “with the most basic elements of the freedoms of religion, speech, and association, as provided under the First Amendment. It would compel religious organizations to act, subsidize products, and affirmatively promote a message in contravention with their religious principles, with the sole alternative being to cease activities of incalculable value to their employees, constituents, and, indeed, society as a whole.”

The attorneys concluded by expressing their belief that the mandate “represents an impermissible violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment virtually unparalleled in American history. Accordingly, we urge you in the strongest way possible to refrain from promulgating the proposed regulations.”

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