Tenth Circuit rules for religious freedom and against Obama’s abortion pill mandate


On Thursday, the Tenth Circuit once again ruled against Obama’s HHS Mandate that requires many employers to provide abortion-inducing drugs as part of employee insurance packages. The Tenth Circuit was the Court of Appeals that ruled against the abortion pill mandate in the Hobby Lobby case, and it relied on its previous ruling.

The case decided on Thursday involves Hercules Industries, an HVAC manufacturer based in Colorado and owned by the Newland family.  To succeed on its claim against the mandate, Hercules must show that “(1) it is a person protected under [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993]; (2) compliance with the Regulation would substantially burden its religion; and (3) HHS cannot show that the Regulation is the least restrictive means to meet a compelling government interest.” The Tenth Circuit believes that all three elements will likely be met. Therefore, there was no abuse of discretion by the District Court when they issued the preliminary injunction, temporarily stopping the HHS mandate from applying to Hercules Industries.

The case is now back to the District Court, where it will sit until the Supreme Court decides whether it will hear the Hobby Lobby case.

According to Matt Bowman, Senior Legal Counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom:

Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith. In appealing the district court’s order that halted the mandate against Hercules, the administration sent a clear message that it wants to force families to abandon their faith in order to earn a living. That’s the opposite of religious freedom. The 10th Circuit was right to uphold the district court’s order and protect the Newland family’s religious liberty at least until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to extend religious freedom to similar families across the country.

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