April 4, 2013
Private Companies Sue to Thwart
ObamaCare’s Forced Abortion Coverage
In addition to the states stepping up for pro-life legislation, we are also seeing several private companies challenging the Obama administration’s insistence upon universal coverage under ObamaCare, even when providing for abortions and/or contraceptives violates the owners’ deeply held religious beliefs. Below are several such courageous companies, and each is facing multi-million dollar fines and penalties for their refusal to violate their religious beliefs and comply with the HHS mandate enforcing ObamaCare. The first four are being represented by the Thomas More Law Center, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents the last one, Hobby Lobby. Their companies’ survival and their own financial health is at stake for each of these owners who are standing firm for their deeply held religious beliefs.
These owners, though from various religious denominations, share a common theme: They try to run their business in a way that honors their religious convictions and their God, and for that, they are being persecuted and prosecuted by the federal government in its zeal to force ObamaCare and its anti-life provisions upon everyone in America.
Any one of these cases could be the one that goes to the United States Supreme Court for a ruling that either will free such companies from the grips of the intrusive federal government into personal religious beliefs, or will close the door for such companies to operate within the conscience dictates of their owners.
A company whose owners truly try to “Honor God in All We Do” is facing huge fines for refusing to violate the owners’ consciences by providing the abortions, sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients insurance coverage that ObamaCare requires of business owners. That slogan not only is posted in each of their facilities, it shines through in their personal character as they stand up to the federal government.
Karen and Rod Mersino built their dewatering business from the ground up, with Rod beginning as an hourly wage construction worker. Now their multi-million dollar company has 184 employees and they are facing a penalty of $7 million every year that they refuse to abide by the dictates of the HHS Mandate. Under the specific HHS Mandate, they would pay penalties in the amount of $2,000 per year per employee, amounting to $308,000 per year, plus another $6.7 million per year under the Internal Revenue Code calculated at $100 per employee per day, according to Lifenews.com. Read the full story here.
The oldest natural foods company in North America has filed suit to challenge the HHS mandate under ObamaCare. Eden Foods, which employees 128 people, was chosen in 2009 as the best food company in the world by the Better World Shopping Guide, which also mentioned the company’s outstanding record in both social and environmental responsibility. The company, also located in Michigan, dates back to the late 1960s, and its founder, Michael Potter, is now Chairman and President, according to LifeNews. For years, Potter excluded insurance coverage under his company’s Blue Cross policy for what the insurance company labeled “Life Style Drugs” which included contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. But he recently discovered that Blue Cross had inserted these HHS-mandated drugs into his company’s coverage without his knowledge or consent. Read more here.
Beckwith Electric’s founder, Thomas Beckwith, traces his lineage to ancestors who left England in 1626 to escape religious persecution and came to America for religious freedom. Some 150 years later, another ancestor was a member of the Connecticut militia, fighting for America in the Revolutionary War. Today, Thomas Beckwith is fighting religious persecution. This family-owned company was founded in 1957 and has 168 full-time employees. It provides micro-processor-based technology that protects and controls giant power system generators, transformers, and power lines, and protects the interconnection of alternative energy.
Beckwith’s faith prompted generous employee benefits, including: medical insurance, pharmacy, dental insurance, vision insurance, group life insurance, short- and long-term disability, long-term care insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Emergency Travel Assistance, Employee Assistance Program, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Profit Sharing, Educational Assistance, Due Time (Paid Time Off), 8 Paid Holidays, and a free membership at a fitness Gym.
The Company also provides a chaplain for those employees who may be facing difficult issues of bereavement, marriage, children, finances, addictions, elder care, and other types of crises. Chaplains visit Beckwith Electric Co., Inc. on a weekly basis to build caring relationships with the employees.
Should Mr. Beckwith refuse to comply with the HHS Mandate, in addition to the yearly fine of $2,000 per employee amounting to $336,000 per year, the Company could also be charged with violations of the Internal Revenue Code amounting to $100 per employee per day each year totaling over $6 million in fines per year. You can read more here.
Some good news – at least preliminarily – on this front. Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and owner of Domino’s Farm Corporation, a property management company, has received a court order preventing enforcement of the HHS mandate while the lawsuit continues that has been filed against the Obama administration over the mandate forcing religious employers to purchase drugs that may cause abortions for their employees.
Last month, Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan granted a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction against enforcement of the HHS Mandate against Tom Monaghan and Domino’s Farm Corporation. Monaghan calls requiring businesses, schools and other religious places to pay for such drugs a “gravely immoral” practice and filed suit earlier this month in federal court for Domino’s Farms, a business development complex he owns. Read more here.
Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby is a popular national craft chain store and is among those businesses whose owners have strong religious convictions concerning providing insurance coverage for employees’ abortions and contraceptives and have applied for religious exemptions from the mandate. Now some powerful allies have joined Hobby Lobby founder David Green as he and his family resist the HHS insurance mandate to implement ObamaCare. In addition to an amicus brief filed on Hobby Lobby’s behalf by nine U.S. Senators and two Representatives, the Oklahoma State Senate Business and Commerce Committee has unanimously passed to the floor a bill that blocks employers from being required to “provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees.”
With more than 22,000 employees, Hobby Lobby says it will begin accruing fines in excess of $1 million a day in July, and therefore has asked that its case be expedited at the appeals court. The Congressional members (all Republicans) submitting the brief were Senators Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Daniel R. Coats of Indiana, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Michael Crapo of Idaho, Charles Grassley of Iowa, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Congressmen Lamar Smith of Texas and Frank Wolf of Virginia Read more here, and here.
These business owners indeed are risking their fortunes, as did our founders, as they defend their sacred honor. We urge pro-lifers to patronize them in appreciation for their efforts.