Hercules versus Obama

ADF attorneys file suit against administration’s ‘abortion pill’ mandate on behalf of Denver’s Hercules Industries


Monday, April 30, 2012

Alliance Defence  Fund

ADF attorney sound bite: Matt Bowman

DENVER — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing a private Denver employer filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Obama administration over its mandate that forces the family-owned business to violate its religious beliefs by requiring it to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.

Because the company, Hercules Industries, would be required to begin offering the new coverage when its self-insured plan renews on Nov. 1, the case is one of the only ones in the nation requesting a court order that would halt the mandate within the next three months.

“The government shouldn’t punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this–and worse–to everyone. The abortion pill mandate unconstitutionally coerces the leadership of Hercules Industries to violate their religious beliefs and consciences under the threat of heavy fines and penalties. That is simply not acceptable in America.”

Hercules owners William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, and its vice-president, Andrew Newland, are practicing and believing Catholics. They desire to run the company, an HVAC manufacturer, in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life. Their lawsuit, Newland v. Sebelius, is in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

In February, ADF attorneys filed suit against the mandate on behalf of two private Christian colleges, Geneva College in Pennsylvania and Louisiana College in Louisiana.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

Scots women to get birth control pill direct from pharmacists

An Aberdeen pharmacy has become the first in the country to offer birth control pills directly from a specially trained pharmacist, thus avoiding the need to obtain prescriptions from physicians.  The new scheme will be tested in a Boots the Chemist outlet, and will be available to women who are at least16 years of age. [Scotsman]

Seventh Day Adventist president stresses importance of freedom of conscience

Seventh-day Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson, speaking at the 7th World Congress for Religious Freedom in the Dominican Republic, distinguished between “radical” or anti-religious secularism—that would exclude religion from public life—and “secular governance,” which accommodates religious belief, protects the religious freedom rights of minorities but does not favour a particular religious tradition. Radical secularism, he said, must be opposed.  At the same time, religious believers must not attempt to establish a “religious state” as an alternative to secular regimes. [Adventist News Network]

Refusing to treat children whose parents won’t comply with vaccination regimes

An editorial in the Toronto Star notes that some physicians are refusing to continue with families when parents refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated.  In most cases the refusals are prompted by distrust of conventional medicine and fear of side effects.  The editorial supports those who recommend that physicians keep objecting families in their practices so that children can continue to get good medical care and to provide the opportunity to convince unwilling parents to consent to vaccination. [Toronto Star]

Defeated political party leader considers abandoning support for freedom of conscience

Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, is reported to be thinking of reconsidering the party’s support for freedom of conscience following the party’s defeat in the recent provincial election.  The premier of the province, who stated that she was “frightened” by freedom of conscience, was re-elected with a large majority. [National Post]

U.K. health authority fails in bid to force nurse to work into abortion facility

The National Health Service Trust in the Midlands has given up its attempt to force an objecting nurse to work in an abortion facility attached to a hospital.  The nurse, citing the protection of conscience provision in the Abortion Act, refused to do so.  She was threatened with dismissal, but the Trust backed down when it received a letter from her lawyer and consulted legal counsel.[LifeSiteNews]

British General Medical Council proposes to force physicians to set aside “personal beliefs”

Britain’s General Medical Council has released a draft document for consultation that proposes to force physicians to facilitate practices to which they object for reasons of conscience by helping patients find someone who will provide the procedures.  The proposal would also prohibit physicians from explaining their beliefs to patients “in ways that. . . are likely to cause them distress”  – a subjective requirement open to abuse by disgruntled patients. Comments are sought from 18 April, 2012 to 13 June, 2012. [Document] [GMC] [Bioedge]

Midwives to appeal ruling against freedom of conscience

Two Catholic midwives will appeal a ruling by the Court of Session in Edinburgh that they must facilitate abortions by supervising and supporting nurses involved with the procedure. [BBC]

 Herald Scotland:

Cardinal warns Europe about developments in the US

In a speech to the law school at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo, former president of the commission governing Vatican City State, warned that the current controversy in the United States about freedom of conscience indicates the need to seek greater protection for freedom of conscience in Europe.  Speaking at length on the subject, he insisted that individual religious believers as well as religious institutions should always be able to live live and act in conformity with their conscientious convictions. [CNS]

Polish MP seeks protection of conscience for pharmacists

A Polish member of parliament, Jacek Żalekis, is advocating a protection of conscience law for pharmacists.  Polands Catholic Pharmacists’ Association (SFK) supports the idea, noting that pharmacists are denied the freedom of concience enjoyed by physicians and nurses. The idea is opposed by the deputy speaker of parliament and others, who argue that pharmacists who wish to act in accordance with their conscientious convictions should change their profession. [The News]