CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Roman Catholic Owners of an Illinois healthcare management business are celebrating after winning an important first victory in their battle against the Obama administration’s HHS birth control mandate.
Today the Federal District Court in Chicago issued an order temporarily blocking the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate on Triune Health Group and its owners, Christopher and Mary Anne Yep, while litigation continues.
The Yeps are among the dozens of employers around the country challenging the HHS mandate, which requires coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortifacients, on religious liberty grounds. The mandate took effect on Jan. 1 of this year for most employers.
This is the tenth case in which a court has agreed to hand out a preliminary injunction blocking the mandate. In three cases the courts have refused to do so.
“This is a major victory for our clients and for the cause of religious liberty,” said Kevin Edward White, legal counsel for Chicago’s Thomas More Society.
“An oppressive, unconstitutional burden has been temporarily lifted from the shoulders of Christopher and Mary Anne Yep that allows them to continue to practice their Roman Catholic faith and operate their company in a manner that they deem faithful to their conscientious religious beliefs.”
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White is representing Triune together with the Sam Casey and Bart Waxman of the Jubilee Campaign’s Law of Life Project.
Casey also welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement, “The federal governments ought not to be able coerce our clients to violate their conscientious convictions in a fashion that is completely at odds with the resounding declarations of our Founding Fathers and our modern Supreme Court jurisprudence.”
The lawyer praised the Yeps for “taking a stand to defend their right to run their business in a way that does not conflict with their faith and religious free conscience.”
In Triune’s request for a preliminary injunction, the Yeps had urged the court to grant them relief lest they face the choice either “to comply with the federal mandate’s requirements in violation of their religious beliefs, or pay ruinous fines that would have a crippling impact on their business and force them to shut down.”
There are nearly 50 lawsuits against the mandate pending in federal courts across the country.
The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the HHS contraceptive mandate for individuals and organizations like the Yeps and Triune.
Triune was recently named by Crain’s Chicago Business as the Best Place to Work for Women in the Chicago metro area.