A victory against Obama’s HHS mandate occurred last Friday when Judge Daniel granted an injunction in favor of business owner Stephen Briscoe and his companies. The judge had initially denied a similar motion back in February, but given the decision of the Tenth Circuit in the Hobby Lobby case and the subsequent granting of a preliminary injunction to Hobby Lobby by the district court, Briscoe asked the judge to reconsider.
The HHS mandate requires abortion-inducing drugs to be included in insurance plans provided by employers. Stephen Briscoe is an evangelical Christian who seeks to run his business in accordance with his convictions. According to the Complaint filed in February:
Mr. Briscoe sincerely holds religious beliefs that God mandates respect for the sanctity of each human life and that abortion and abortion-inducing drugs result in the wrongful taking of a human life. Mr. Briscoe seeks to run his businesses in accord with his sincerely held religious beliefs.
Fines for providing insurance that does not comply with the government regulation would cost Briscoe’s companies up to five million dollars every year. Or the fines for simply not offering insurance would range between three to four hundred dollars per year. This left Briscoe with a choice between paying fines or taking action against his sincerely held religious beliefs. According to Michael Norton, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom:
Every American, including business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith. For the time being, Stephen Briscoe will be able to do just that…. The cost of freedom for this businessman could be millions of dollars per year in fines that will cripple his businesses if the Obama administration ultimately has its way. This lawsuit ensures that Washington bureaucrats cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living.