BJC provides background and documents on law at center of contraceptive mandate case

Contact: Cherilyn Crowe / [email protected] / 202-544-4226 x 305 / cell: 202-603-1663

WASHINGTON – Resources on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the landmark 1993 law at the center of the legal challenge to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, are available online from the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Visit for a timeline of RFRA, information on the genesis of the law, a link to panel discussions from a symposium on RFRA’s 20th anniversary and more.

The Baptist Joint Committee was the chair of the broad and diverse Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion that worked for RFRA’s passage. The law makes sure religious liberty claims are taken seriously by the government, providing a standard that seeks a workable solution to preserve religious liberty without transforming such claims into an automatic trump card. RFRA does not dictate outcomes, but it allows claims of sincerely held religious belief that are substantially burdened by the government to have a day in court.

Visit to access the following:

*A special publication created for RFRA’s 20th anniversary that includes background on the Supreme Court ruling that created a need for RFRA, a 1993 letter sent to senators by the Coalition of the Free Exercise of Religion (on letterhead listing the coalition members), signing remarks by President Bill Clinton and more

*A timeline of RFRA’s passage and court rulings after it became law

*Links to videos from a 2013 symposium on RFRA held at the Newseum, with panels discussing RFRA’s application to the contraceptive mandate, its history and impact, and current and future challenges to the free exercise of religion in a diverse society

*Articles from Baptist Joint Committee Executive Director Brent Walker and General Counsel Holly Hollman on the contraceptive mandate and RFRA


The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is a 78-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based religious liberty organization that works to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.