Score one for the little guy and for the right of all people to freely exercise religion as protected by the First Amendment.
A story published at LifeNews.com reports that a “family-run business is the latest to beat the Obama administration’s HHS mandate in court.” The business boldly asserting its rights is the Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company.
Courthouse News Service provided the following recap of the case so far and a description of Seneca Hardwood, including an account of the owners' religious beliefs that compelled them to take on the president:
Geneva College, a Christian liberal arts college set in Beaver Falls, Penn., sued the Obama administration and demanded an injunction to the women's preventive health care regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co., of Cranberry, Penn., and two of its owners, Wayne Hepler and Carrie Kolesar, joined the lawsuit in June 2012. Hepler also sued on behalf of WLH Enterprises, a sawmill with six full-time employees, five of whom are covered under the Seneca health insurance plan, which begins its next plan year on July 1. The plan also covers 19 of the lumber company's 22 full-time employees, including Kolesar's husband and Hepler.
Hepler and his 13 children participate extensively in both Catholic and pro-life activities and are committed to the Church's teachings on human life and sexuality, the complaint states. Hepler built and runs a Catholic retreat house and was a board member for several years for the Couple to Couple League, a national Catholic group dedicated to "natural family planning."
Seneca makes charitable donations to Catholic causes, and Hepler even built a chapel on business premises.
The Heplers say their sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit them from intentionally participating in, paying for, facilitating, or otherwise supporting the use of abortifacient drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling through their company's health insurance plan, which does not have grandfathered status.
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