Amicus briefs undermine claimed medical rationale for HHS "Preventive Services" Mandate

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Medical evidence contradicts the "war on women" claims made by those who defend the HHS "preventive services" mandate. This evidence is presented in an amicus brief filed today by Women Speak for Themselves ("WSFT," a program of the Chiaroscuro Institute) with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the case of Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius. The brief details not only the federal government's failure to build a medical case for the mandate, but also its failure to acknowledge the serious side effects and risk factors for women associated with it.

"We started WSFT with two messages," said WSFT co-founder Kim Daniels. "First, women, just like men, care about religious freedom. Second, the 'preventive services' mandate does not advance women's freedom or equality. This brief showcases some of the most prominent empirical data supporting our second message."

"WSFT has no interest in changing the law regarding the legal availability of contraception. Rather, we want to show how HHS has failed to make a medical case for its current mandate," said WSFT co-founder Helen Alvare.

"A federal judge has recognized that our brief outlining the serious increased health risks ignored by the government offers a 'unique perspective and analysis,'" said Dorinda Bordlee, attorney for WSFT. "The law requires the Government to prove that its burden on the College's religious objections furthers a compelling interest. The WSFT brief makes the simple point that the HHS Mandate does not prevent what it claims to prevent and may well in many instances increase the risk of disease rather than decreasing it."

WSFT intends to file this amicus brief in other federal court cases challenging the HHS mandate across the nation. The Bioethics Defense Fund and Life Legal Defense Foundation are serving as counsel for WSFT.


Women Speak For Themselves is an alliance of women in defense of religious freedom and a more thoughtful and complete vision of women's freedom. More than 36,000 women have signed our open letter to President Obama, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Congress. For more information please visit:

SOURCE Women Speak For Themselves