A federal judge in Colorado has granted an injunction that allows Hercules Industries to refuse to provide health insurance coverage for employees for contraception, embryocides and sterilization. The owner of the company is a Catholic who objects to facilitating the services for religious reasons. Lawyers for the company suggested that the government itself could offer such a plan. The injunction will protect the company pending the outcome of a trial and appeals. [Christian Science Monitor] [Washington Examiner]
ADF attorneys file suit against administration’s ‘abortion pill’ mandate on behalf of Denver’s Hercules Industries
Monday, April 30, 2012
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.
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.