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Another Plaintiff Beats Obama HHS-Abortion Mandate in Court

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/31/13 2:50 PM

National

Another family-owned business has initially defeated the Obama mandate in court, after it sued to stop it from being compelled to pay for drugs that may cause abortions for its employees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday that blocks enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a family-run business in Grote Industries v. Sebelius.

The decision only applies to this case and does not invalidate the mandate nationwide or in any other pending cases.

“Americans have the God-given freedom to live and do business according to their faith. Forcing employers to surrender their faith in order to earn a living is unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told LifeNews. “Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. Freedom is not the government’s to give and take away when it pleases. We are pleased that the court delivered the Obama administration a reminder of this foundational truth, and we are confident that this unconstitutional mandate’s days are numbered.”

In its preliminary injunction order, the Seventh Circuit said, “Although we again reserve plenary review of the merits for later in this appeal…, we conclude that the Grote Family and Grote Industries have established a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their RFRA claim. We also conclude that they will suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction pending appeal, and the balance of harms tips in their favor.”

“In all important respects, this case is identical to Korte; our analysis there applies with equal force here. If anything, the Grote Family and Grote Industries have a more compelling case for an injunction pending appeal,” it added.

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The company manufactures vehicle safety systems and employs 1148 people at various locations.

“The majority largely relied on its earlier decision in Korte v. Sebelius (see prior posting) in finding that  plaintiffs’ free exercise rights are substantially burdened in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The majority concluded that plaintiffs’ case here is stronger than in Korte because this is a self-insured plan, and plaintiffs have never covered contraceptive services for their employees,” one report said about the ruling.

The mandate has generated massive opposition from pro-life groups because it 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.