(Photo: Stef Patag)
One of the largest privately held Christian publishers of books, Bibles, and digital media filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration's abortion pill or "preventative services" mandate. Tyndale House Publishers is subject to the mandate because it classifies for-profit corporations as categorically non-religious, even though the company publishes strictly Bibles and other Christian materials and is owned by the nonprofit Tyndale House Foundation.
The foundation provides grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, the law group defending Tyndale House.
"Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.
"To say that a Bible publisher is not religious is patently absurd. Tyndale House is a prime example of how ridiculous and arbitrary the Obama administration's mandate is. Americans today clearly agree with America's founders: the federal government's bureaucrats are not qualified to decide what faith is, who the faithful are, and where and how that faith may be lived out," he stated.
ADF explained that the Health and Human Services (HHS) preventive services 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.
"ObamaCare demands that Americans choose between two poison pills: either desert your faith by complying, or resist and be punished," Bowman said.
In July, ADF attorneys obtained the first-ever court order against the mandate on behalf of Colorado's Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. That order temporarily suspends the mandate only against Hercules Industries while its lawsuit goes forward in court.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are also litigating three other lawsuits against the mandate: one in Indiana on behalf of Indiana's Grace College and Seminary and California's Biola University; one in Pennsylvania on behalf of Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company and its owners, the Hepler family; and one in Louisiana on behalf of Louisiana College. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate, ADF stated.
In September, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a privately held retail chain with 22,500 employees led by a Christian family, also filed a lawsuit opposing the Health and Human Services "preventive services" mandate. The company, represented by the Becket Fund, became the largest and first non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the government's contraception mandate.
"These abortion causing drugs go against our faith and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of employees and their families," said Hobby Lobby CEO and founder David Green at the time of the filing.
Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The publisher is headquartered in Carol Stream, Ill.