Florida joined lawsuit to uphold religious liberty


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ABSTRACTFlorida joined lawsuit to uphold religious liberty - Tampa Bay Times Today's paper | eEdition | Subscribe The Truth-O-Meter Latest print edition Home News Hernando Hillsborough Pasco Pinellas St. Pete Times The Magazine Education Obituaries Health Here's the Deal Hurricane Guide Video Politics Top Politics News RNC 2012 Elections PolitiFact.com The Buzz Bay Buzz Opinion Sports Top Sports News Sports Stats Rays Lightning Buccaneers Storm Tampa Bay Rowdies High School USF Bulls UF Gators FSU Seminoles Golf Auto Racing Outdoors Things to Do Neighborhoods Kids Food & Dining Events Deals & Shopping Florida Travel Date Night Movies Money Top Business News Local Stocks Features Top Features Entertainment News Whoa, Momma! Deal Divas LifeTimes TV Listings Games & Comics Blogs All Eyes (photos) Bay Buzz Bizarre Florida Breaking News Bucs Beat The Buzz Deal Divas Let's Talk Gadgets & Gizmos The Gradebook The Heater (Rays) Help Wanted High School Sports The Juice Lightning Strikes Pop Life The Feed (TV) Stuck in the '80s USF Bulls Venture (Business) More Weather Traffic Site map Classifieds Classifieds Place an Ad BooCoo Auctions Press Releases Submit Press Releases Read Press Releases Jobs Place an Ad Search for Jobs Post a Resume Top Workplaces Real Estate For Sale, Rentals Open House Map Rentals Map New Homes Place an Ad Cars Find New and Used Cars Place an Ad Research ATVs, Go-Carts, Mopeds Parts & Service RVs, Motor Homes, Campers Motorcycles Repair Estimator Shop Deals! Shop Local Special Sections Classifieds BooCoo Auctions Advertise Market Info Media Kit Classified Ads Employers Real Estate BooCoo Auctions More Info Search Site   Web   Archives - back to 1987 Google Newspaper Archive - back to 1901 Most emailed Architect who wants to save Belleview Biltmore announces contract to buy historic hotel Publisher of Tampa homeless newspaper found dead Clearwater police: Murder/suicide leaves two dead in Countryside home Drug sting leads to discovery of tax fraud, Tampa police say Sports on TV/radio Popular Columns Online information: Handle with care Treating autism in all its forms Democracy is often loud and rarely 'clean' In court, color still matters What will St. Petersburg mayor fight for if not police station? Florida joined lawsuit to uphold religious liberty By Pam Bondi, special to the Times Pam Bondi Tampa Bay Times In Print: Friday, March 2, 2012 ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Story Tools Print this story Purchase reprints Contact the editor Email Newsletters Loading Video... Editor's n ote: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi replies to Monday's editorial, "Bondi's needless crusade.'' Recent assertions that the Obama administration's controversial Health and Human Services mandate is merely about guaranteeing women's access to contraceptive services are completely unfounded. The mandate infringes on religious liberty, which is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution — the same amendment that protects freedom of speech. The federal government cannot dictate that a religious institution must violate its religious beliefs. My role in the recently filed lawsuit is about fulfilling my duty to uphold the Constitution and defend Americans' freedom. There is no ongoing attempt, by government or by anyone else, to deny women access to contraception. If there were such an effort, I would vigorously oppose it. The issue posed by the HHS mandate is different: whether the federal government can compel an employer to provide its employees health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception, even if doing so violates the employer's religious beliefs. It's clear to me that the First Amendment and .......