A Catholic politician sued the Obama administration, arguing that as a Catholic he has a right to be able to purchase health insurance that doesn’t cover contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortifacients.
Paul Wieland serves in the Missouri House. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has three daughters, who, because of the actions of the Obama administration, will have access to free contraceptives.
“As a parent, it is disturbing,” said Wieland in an older news report. “We value our faith and make a sacrifice to teach our children the faith, to send them to Catholic schools. We have a lot invested in this and now the government says you have to do something morally wrong and you don’t have any choice. This sets a very bad example to our daughters, and we don’t have access to any parental rights here.”
So this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit handed down a unanimous decision in favor of the Wieland’s who are being represented by Thomas More Society. The ruling overturned an earlier ruling and stated that the lawsuit against Obamacare’s HHS Abortion Pill Mandate may proceed to be heard on its merits.
“Today’s ruling is a huge victory for religious liberty,” said Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel. “Last year, for profit business owners prevailed against the HHS mandate imposed by Obamacare when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. Now, individuals and families may also sue to win protection from the Obamacare Mandate, when they have conscientious objections based on sincerely held religious beliefs. As the case has been remanded to the federal district court where our clients’ religious liberty claims will be evaluated in light of the governing Hobby Lobby precedent, we hope to prevail in the end.”
Thomas More Society brought this lawsuit on behalf of the Wielands in federal district court in St. Louis after another federal court in St. Louis had held that the HHS Mandate entitled health insurers to discriminate against people of faith by forbidding health care plans from excluding religiously objectionable coverage for those having conscientious religious objections.
The Eighth Circuit’s ruling held that the Wielands had “standing to sue” given their claims that the Obamacare HHS Mandate:
1.caused the Wielands to lose their previous health insurance plan that excluded coverage of contraception and abortion-causing pills;
2.caused injury to the Wieland family (namely, violation of their sincerely-held religious beliefs); and
3.also violates the Missouri Revised Statutes (section 191.724) which state that “every employee . . . has the right to decline or refuse coverage for contraception” if such coverage is “contrary to an employee’s religious beliefs.”
Win one for the good guys.