Denver company wins injunction against Obamacare birth-control mandate
DENVER – The Obama administration and women’s health advocates are celebrating Wednesday as new provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect, forcing all new health care plans to include free access to birth control and other preventive services for women.
“It’s a great day for women,” Planned Parenthood’s Monica McCafferty told FOX31 Denver.
But McCafferty and other supporters of the law, passed in 2010 and upheld in June by the Supreme Court, are concerned that a Colorado company that opposes the birth control mandate is also celebrating after winning a temporary injunction enabling them not to adhere to that specific provision of the law.
“We believe that every American including those in business have the right to do business in accordance with their faith,” said Bill Newland, the CEO of Hercules Industries, on Fox News Channel Tuesday.
Devout Catholics, the Newland family challenged the federal government and filed a complaint asking for the injunction, which was granted last Friday, on the grounds that it would be sinful for them to help provide their employees with abortifacient drugs, contraception or sterilization as part of the company’s healthcare plans.
“The judge ruled that Obamacare cannot be used, at least for the time being, to force this family to choose between its faith or facing massive government penalties and fines,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a coalition of Christian lawyers.
But, in McCafferty’s view, the ruling only applies to Hercules Industries, the Denver-based company that makes heating and air conditioning equipment.
“That should not be a signal to other organizations that this could be a path that they too could pursue,” McCafferty told FOX31 Denver Wednesday.
Hercules’ lawsuit is but one of more than 20 pending legal challenges to the law’s birth control provision.
Ultimately, women’s health advocates believe the provision will stand.
“”This business is dictating, and cherry picking if you will, the actual provisions that should be in their employees’ healthcare plan,” McCafferty said.
“All employees should be able to have access to affordable birth control regardless of who their employer is.”