There has been a great deal of news lately about the contraceptive mandate section of Obamacare that requires employers to provide free medical coverage for contraceptives for all employees and their spouses. The mandate has been challenged by religious institutions on the grounds that it forces them to do something against their religious beliefs. The focus of that battle has been the Catholic Church and religious colleges and schools.
But one secular businessman has also taken up the fight to block the contraceptive mandate. Frank O’Brien of O’Brien Industrial Holdings has filed suit asking for an injunction to stop the mandate from being enforced. The St Louis based company controls a number of businesses that export a wide variety of products to numerous countries all over the world.
Even though his company is a secular company, O’Brien is a Catholic and as such believes that the contraceptive mandate is forcing him to violate his own personal religious beliefs just like it does with religious institutions. He is being legally represented by Frank Manion of the American Center for Law and Justice who said,
“This is all about protecting religious liberty. It’s not about preventing anybody’s access to anything that they’re legally entitled to get. Mr. O’Brien is not trying to stand in the way of anybody getting contraception, sterilization, or anything else; he’s simply saying, I don’t want to be part of it. Don’t make me pay for it and under the Constitution, you can’t make me pay for it.”
O’Brien’s case could set precedent for others to follow and could have a huge impact on the rest of the nation’s businesses,
“because this is the first case where the plaintiff is not a technically ‘religious’ — quote, unquote — institution. Mr. Obrien is a secular, for-profit business owner. But people like that have religious beliefs too, and the Constitution protects their religious beliefs, just as it does those of religious institutions and everybody else,” said Manion.
I’ve heard some people question the whole issue of why religious institutions are protesting the contraceptive mandate as the contraceptives are free to the employees. What they fail to realize is that it’s only free to the employee and not the employer. Employers are forced to pay higher premiums for all of their employees to cover the cost of the so-called free contraceptives. And Frank O’Brien believes it is wrong to force him to pay higher premiums for something that offends his religious beliefs.
Even though I’m not a business owner, I agree with O’Brien that it is against the Constitution to force someone to pay for something that goes against the religious beliefs. I also believe it’s against the Constitution for the government to force American’s to purchase health insurance or pay a fine for not doing so. The US Supreme Court will start hearing testimony on Obamacare in a few days and we all need to be praying that they rule on the Constitution and not their own liberal agends.