Catholic company's lawsuit could stop mandate within three months

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A self-insured Catholic-owned business has filed a lawsuit that could potentially stop the Obama administration's contraception and abortion-causing drug mandate within the next three months.

On April 30, Hercules Industries – a Colorado-based manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units – requested a court order to block implementation of the mandate. Hercules is seeking relief from the rule before its self-insurance plan renews later this year.

Alliance Defense Fund Legal Council Matt Bowman said the mandate, which also forces businesses to provide sterilization and contraception, “unconstitutionally coerces the leadership of Hercules Industries to violate their religious beliefs and consciences under the threat of heavy fines and penalties.”

“Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this – and worse – to everyone,” Bowman said in an April 30 statement, announcing the manufacturer's lawsuit against the administration.

“The government shouldn’t punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith,” commented Bowman. “That is simply not acceptable in America.”

Hercules is owned by William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, all of whom – along with Vice President Andrew Newland – identify as practicing Catholics.

The Alliance Defence Fund said their lawsuit, Newland v. Sebelius, came from their desire “to run the company … in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.”

Two private Christian schools, Geneva College and Louisiana College, have also joined with the Alliance Defense Fund in lawsuits against the contraception mandate.

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