BREAKING: Feds Halt HHS Mandate Enforcement on Small Business Owner
The Newland Family employ about 250 people in their small business, and they try to live out their consciences as Catholics, which means they offer a health insurance plan, that does not include coverage of sterilization or contraception. And the Obama administration’s Department of Justice did not like that.
Now, they have a “stay” of sorts, on the ruinous (and I believe unconstitutional) “contraception mandate” ordered by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as part of Obamacare.
DENVER — A federal court issued an order Friday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Colorado family-owned business while an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit challenging the mandate continues in court. The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys obtained the first-ever order against the mandate on behalf of Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. The administration opposed the order, arguing, contrary to the U.S. Constitution, that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business. The mandate could subject the Newlands to millions of dollars in fines per year if they don’t abide by its requirements.
“Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith. For the time being, Hercules Industries will be able to do just that,” said Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The cost of freedom for this family could be millions of dollars per year in fines that will cripple their business if the Obama administration ultimately has its way. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that Washington bureaucrats cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living. Americans don’t want politicians and bureaucrats deciding what faith is, who the faithful are, and where and how that faith may be lived out.”
The 35-page complaint, Newland v. Sebelius, was filed in April in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and U.S. District Judge John Kane is expected to issue an opinion Friday denying or granting the injunction. Defendants named in the lawsuit include Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Department of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The Newlands argue that the mandate forces them to “violate their deeply held religious beliefs” and unconstitutionally coerces them to violate those Catholic beliefs under threat of fines and penalties, according to court documents.
“The mandate also forces the plaintiffs to fund government-dictated speech that is directly at odds with the religious ethics derived from their deeply held religious beliefs and the moral teachings of the Catholic Church that they strive to embody in their business,” the complaint reads.
Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller could not be reached for comment early Friday.