A federal judge in Denver ruled Dr. James Dobson and his "Family Talk" radio program will not be required to provide abortion-related drugs and services under the Affordable Care Act because of the organization's religious, pro-life beliefs. Dobson said the organization would've been forced to pay over $22 million in fines levied by the government under the Obama Administration.
Citing the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn granted the Colorado Springs, Co.-based Dr. James Dobson Family Institute a permanent injunction on the abortion mandate, which applies to "devices procedures, or related education and counseling" involving abortion.
Blackburn cited the "potential irreparable harm" placed on Dobson and his ministry, which "outweighs the harm the injunction may cause the opposing parties."
Dobson, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, celebrated the ruling Thursday as a victory for religious freedom.
“Because of this ruling, every religious institution — not just ours — has greater legal standing,” Dobson wrote in a statement. "The assault on religious freedom launched against us and those who share our values has finally been repelled...Thank God, we won."
The lead attorney in the case, L. Martin Nussbaum, said: “If the government can fine religious ministries out of existence because they want to operate consistently with their faith, there’s no limit to what other freedoms it can take away.”
Dobson pointed out recently at a ceremony celebrating his 40 years as one of the leading voices in Christian talk radio, that he was singled out for his beliefs.
"We were selected among others, churches are exempt, they said we're not Christian enough," Dobson said. "I wrote a letter to [President Barack Obama]. I said, 'Mr. President, this is evil. This is killing babies. I will not comply with it. Come get me if you must.'"
And after five years, Dobson prevailed. The Trump Administration abandoned its defense of the abortion mandate.
The same district court issued a permanent injunction for six other Christian ministries in December.