The Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) has won a major religious freedom victory on behalf of its current and future members. The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has ruled that the abortifacient mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as the subsequent “accommodation,” burdens the religious exercise of CEA’s members and violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
“This is a major victory for Christian employers who believe in high-quality healthcare that promotes the protection of human life. The ruling allows us to faithfully follow our mission to unite and equip Christian employers with advocacy, practical resources, and collective impact opportunities for the well-being of employees, organizations, and communities for God’s glory,” said Jim Mischel, CEA president.
With this ruling, CEA members are exempt from the abortifacient mandate, the accommodation, and any associated fines from past noncompliance. Chief Judge Hovland stated that CEA and its “members will suffer irreparable harm to their ability to practice their religious beliefs” unless the government is restrained from enforcing the abortifacient mandate against them.
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“Beyond being a part of a united network and having access to resources to reinforce a commitment to operating an organization with Christian values, current and future members are now legally free to avoid abortion-causing drugs and still comply with ACA without penalty, in line with their religious beliefs,” Mischel said. “We welcome companies interested in joining to take action by becoming a CEA member.”
Christian Employers Alliance was founded to address opportunities and challenges of Christian employers, who employ millions of individuals across the country and contribute significantly to the economy. CEA formed in 2016 shortly after the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious organizations were forced to defend their freedom of faith and conscience against the Obama-era Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Mischel and other business owners launched CEA because they are committed to running their businesses in line with their faith, serving their community and sharing their hopeful worldview in word and deed.