Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
The Obama administration has surrendered in a key fight with a Christian publisher over the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare, asking a federal court to dismiss an appeal of a ruling that prevented application of the mandate.
Tyndale, of Carol Stream, Ill., went to court because it objects to providing abortifacients, as Obamacare requires of every health coverage plan.
Tyndale, the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles and digital media, won in a lower court, which ordered that the abortifacient requirement not be applied to the publishing company.
The Obama administration appealed the ruling, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has dismissed the appeal at the request of the famously pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The brief order noted that the court panel granted a request from the Obama administration for the “voluntary dismissal” of an appeal of the lower court’s ruling against the abortifacient requirement.
That, according to ADF, means the preliminary injunction issued by a district court in November of last year will stand while the case, Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius, moves forward.
ADF noted that “the administration’s retreat marks the first total appellate victory on a preliminary injunction in any abortion pill mandate case.”
Apparently, ADF said, Obama is nervous “about trying to defend its position that a Bible publisher is not religious enough for a religious exemption to the mandate.”
“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The government dismissed its appeal because it knows how ridiculous it sounds arguing that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn’t religious is outrageous, and now the Obama administration has had to retreat in court.
“We will continue to argue that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom for all family business owners and must offer a comprehensive exemption to the mandate,” Bowman added.
The Obama administration previously argued before the court that the Bible publisher must be forced to violate its faith and beliefs to provide abortifacients to employees.
ADF said Obama’s abortion pill mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.
ADF is working on a number of additional lawsuits over the same issue, as are a number of other legal organizations.
At that point, the Obama administration had suffered 10 losses and only four victories in court fighting for the Obamacare abortion-pill mandate. Since then, there have been several other losses for Obama.
At that point, Bowman explained: “Washington politicians can’t confine our faith to the four walls of our churches alone. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. The Obama administration’s attacks on faith and business prove that it doesn’t respect either one.”
At the lower court level in the Tyndale case, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton wrote: “The beliefs of Tyndale and its owners are indistinguishable. Christian principles, prayer and activities are pervasive at Tyndale, and the company’s ownership structure is designed to ensure that it never strays from its faith-oriented mission. The court has no reason to doubt, moreover, that Tyndale’s religious objection to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives reflects the beliefs of Tyndale’s owners. Nor is there any dispute that Tyndale’s primary owner, the Foundation, can ‘exercise religion’ in its own right, given that it is a non-profit religious organization.”
ADF has created a video explaining its battle against the Obamacare abortion-pill mandate: