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Bible Publisher Takes on Obama Abortion-HHS Mandate in Court

by Matt Bowman | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/9/12 5:14 PM

National

Tyndale House Publishers took on the Obama administration’s HHS-abortion mandate in court today after the Obama administration determined it was not religious enough to qualify for an exception.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman presented oral arguments Friday asking for a court order to stop enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against the Bible publisher. The hearing in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius is the first in the publisher’s October 2 lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Tyndale House, based in Carol Stream, Illinois, is the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles, and digital media and directs 96.5 percent of its profits to religious non-profit causes worldwide.

“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” said Bowman. “For the government to say that a Bible publisher is not religious is alarming. It demonstrates how clearly the Obama administration is willing to disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes. For that reason, we are asking the court to halt this mandate.”

The publisher is subject to the mandate because Obama administration rules say for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious, even though Tyndale House is strictly a publisher of Bibles and other Christian materials and is primarily owned by the non-profit Tyndale House Foundation. The foundation provides grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world. 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. Tyndale House specifically objects to covering abortifacients.

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.

“ObamaCare demands that Americans choose between two poison pills: either desert your faith by complying, or resist and be punished,” Bowman said.

An October poll shows that, by a 20-percentage point margin, Americans oppose the HHS mandate the Obama administration put in place that requires religious employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees.

The new poll surveys both voters nationally and in the battleground state of Colorado. In both cases, voters rejected the mandate.

Voters were asked:  Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “It is wrong for the federal government to create new healthcare regulations that force employers to violate their religious convictions by providing abortion drugs and contraceptives to their employees.”

Nationally, 57 percent of Americans opposed the Obama HHS mandate, while 37 percent supported it. In Colorado, 55 percent opposed the mandate, while 40 percent supported it.

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On July 27, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys obtained the first-ever court order against the Obama administration’s mandate on behalf of Colorado’s Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. That order temporarily suspends the mandate against Hercules Industries while its lawsuit goes forward in court. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are seeking a similar order for Tyndale House.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are also litigating three other lawsuits against the mandate: one in Indiana on behalf of Indiana’s Grace College and Seminary and California’s Biola University; one in Pennsylvania on behalf of Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company and its owners, the Hepler family; and one in Louisiana on behalf of Louisiana College. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.