A prominent Bible publisher has won a significant victory in the ongoing battle by employers against President Obama's notorious contraception mandate, which requires businesses and non-church organizations to provide free contraception — including abortion-causing drugs — to their workers. The conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom reported May 6 that at the request of the Department of Justice, a federal appellate court has dismissed an Obama administration appeal of an order that had halted enforcement of the mandate against Tyndale House Bible publishers. The retreat by the administration marks the first complete appellate victory on a preliminary injunction in any of the cases against the mandate.
Tyndale, based in Carol Stream, Illinois, is the world's largest privately held publisher of Bibles and Christian books, and funnels over 95 percent of its profits to religious non-profit groups and causes around the world. The company filed suit to stop enforcement of the mandate last October, specifically objecting to being forced to provide “morning after” contraceptives that can also act as abortifacients, such as drugs marketed under the brand names “ella” and “Plan B.” Shockingly, the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which administers the mandate, ruled that Tyndale was not a sufficiently religious entity to qualify for the exemption bestowed upon churches and a select few non-profits.
On November 16 U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted the publisher a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the mandate, ruling that “the beliefs of Tyndale and its owners are indistinguishable.... Christian principles, prayer, and activities are pervasive at Tyndale, and the company’s ownership structure is designed to ensure that it never strays from its faith-oriented mission.”
In his ruling Walton pointed out that the mandate placed Tyndale and its owners “in the untenable position of choosing either to violate their religious beliefs by providing coverage of the contraceptives at issue or to subject their business to the continual risk of the imposition of enormous penalties for its non-compliance.”
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