A Missouri state legislator has filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking to exempt his family from the federal contraceptive and abortion drug mandate.
State Representative Paul Wieland of Imperial is the plaintiff in the suit, which contends that the health care mandate violates his family’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
Wieland explains that he and his wife Theresa are devout Catholics, and that the use of abortifacient drugs violates Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life.
“I see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil, and I cannot in good conscience preach one thing to my kids and then just go with the flow on our insurance,” Wieland says.
The Jefferson County legislator says he made the decision to contest the federal contraceptive mandate when he was notified that the state government health insurance plan would now include coverage for abortifacient drugs and devices.
State law currently allows health insurance consumers to request policies that exclude contraceptive coverage. The federal mandate, issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has nullified the Missouri law.
The Sebelius mandate requires that every health insurance policy written in the nation must include coverage for any and all “contraceptives” approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These include the abortifacient drugs Ella and Plan B.
“We value our faith and make a sacrifice to teach our children the faith,” Wieland states. “Now the government says you have to do something morally wrong and you don’t have any choice. This is a moral conundrum for us.”
While numerous legal challenges have been filed across the nation challenging the contraceptive edict, most of them have been brought by Christian employers or religious-based institutions.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
The suit filed by Representative Wieland is one of the few initiated by an individual on behalf of his family. Wieland is being represented by attorneys for the Thomas More Society.
“The intention of our Founding Fathers was to protect people from government imposition into their religious convictions,” says St. Louis attorney Timothy Belz, special counsel for the Thomas More Society.
“The particulars of Obamacare are forcing our clients to participate in something they believe to be gravely immoral. The federal government is coercing our clients into abandoning their religious views and interfering with these parents’ rights to raise their daughters within their Catholic principles.”
LifeNews.com Note: Joe Oertwerth writes for the Missouri Family Policy Council.