Hercules Versus Obama in Court on The HHS Abortion Mandate

National   Steven Ertelt   Jul 24, 2012   |   1:54PM    Denver, CO

Who will win in court in a battle between Hercules and the Obama administration? At issue is the controversial mandate that requires religious groups and businesses to pay or refer for drugs that cause abortions, birth control and sterilizations under Obamacare.

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Bowman will be presenting his oral argument in federal court tomorrow on behalf of a Colorado family business suing the Obama administration over its abortion pill mandate.

Colorado-based Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it are seeking an immediate order to halt the Obama administration mandate that forces employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. The administration’s response argues, contrary to the Constitution, that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.

“Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith,” said Bowman. “ObamaCare demands that Americans choose between two poison pills: either desert your faith by complying, or resist and be punished. 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. Under the Constitution, the government is charged with safeguarding our freedom, not snuffing out the very freedom it is sworn to protect.”

Since Hercules Industries would be required to begin offering the new coverage when its self-insured plan renews on November 1, Alliance Defending Freedom has requested a preliminary injunction that could prevent the government from enforcing the mandate against the company by August 1, the date when the company would need to begin the process of making changes to its plan.

According to the brief Alliance Defending Freedom filed along with the motion requesting the injunction, “the mandate disregards religious conscience rights that are enshrined in federal statutory and constitutional law.” It also violates the First Amendment “due to its massive inapplicability and its discrimination among religions,” the brief explains.

Hercules owners William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, and its vice-president, Andrew Newland, desire to run their company in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the dignity of human life and sexuality.

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Their lawsuit, Newland v. Sebelius, was filed April 30 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.