Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Two More Suits Challenge Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Under Affordable Care Act

New lawsuits continue to be filed challenging the Obama administration’s Mandate under the Affordable Care Act requiring most health insurance policies to cover contraceptive services.  A corporation that manufactures precision auto parts, an affiliated limited liability company that manufactures precision medical components, and the Catholic family that owns both companies has filed suit in federal district court in Michigan challenging the Mandate on 1st Amendment, RFRA and Administrative Procedure Act grounds.  The complaint (full text) in Autocam Corporation v. Sebelius, (WD MI, filed 10/8/2012) contends that the companies will face fines of $66,000 per day for noncompliance with the Mandate. The Thomas More Society issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, in Texas, two Baptist schools, East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University have also filed suit in federal district court challenging the Mandate.  The complaint (full text) in East Texas Baptist University v. Sebelius, (SD TX, filed 10/9/2012) challenges the Mandate on similar grounds. Becket Fund issued a press release announcing the filing of this lawsuit.

As is typical with the numerous suits that have been filed, Catholic institutions and plaintiffs complain that contraception coverage of all kinds is inconsistent with their religious beliefs, but emphasize required coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices that may prevent implantation of fertilized eggs which plaintiffs see as abortion. Protestant plaintiffs focus only on coverage of those contraceptive methods seen as abortifacients.