CHICAGO - Attorneys for Jubilee Campaign's Law of Life Project and Thomas More Society await decisions by federal and state courts on their motions for preliminary injunction to stop the State of Illinois and the Federal Government from imposing confiscatory fines and other legal sanctions on a Roman Catholic health management company.
Christopher and Mary Anne Yep, the devout Roman Catholic founders and owners of Triune Health Group, Ltd., having already filed separate federal and state court complaints, now await each court's decision on their pending federal and state court requests for preliminary injunctions to stop the federal and the Illinois state governments, pending further litigation, from forcing them under sanction of severe monetary penalties and other regulatory requirements. These federal mandates require the Yeps to provide insurance coverage and pay for abortifacients, sterilizations, contraceptives and related counseling that they conscientiously believe constitutes material cooperation with evil as taught by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Yeps, devout Catholics, embrace a belief which is embedded in Triune's mission statement that each individual be "treated with the human dignity and respect that God intended." The Obamacare
contraceptive mandate, administered by HHS and the other federal agencies named in the lawsuit, as well as the Illinois insurance contraceptive mandate, administered by Illinois' Department of Insurance, imposes a gravely oppressive burden on the Yeps' deeply held religious beliefs, the suit says.
"The federal and state governments are coercing our clients to violate their conscientious convictions in a fashion that is completely at odds with the resounding declarations of our Founding Fathers and
our modern Supreme Court jurisprudence," said Samuel B. Casey, Managing Director and General Counsel for the Jubilee Campaign's Law of Life Project. Mr. Casey also had high praise for the Yeps'
courage in standing up for their fundamental rights, applauding the Yeps for "taking a stand to defend their right to run their business in a way that does not conflict with their faith and religious free conscience." Mr. Casey concluded:
"The Yeps and their company, Triune Health Group, are far from alone. More than 47 lawsuits like the Yeps' federal suit are pending in the federal courts with some courts granting the preliminary injunctive relief requested and others declining to do so. We are particularly encouraged that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal on Friday, pending further litigation, enjoined the HHS from applying the federal contraceptive mandate to a Roman Catholic construction company in a case whose constitutional and statutory claims are factually and legally indistinguishable from our own. We trust the federal court in our case will consider the Seventh Circuit's decision persuasive if not binding precedent to follow in our case."
The most recent polling data from December 2012 shows Americans support a religious exemption to the HHS contraceptive mandate for individuals and organizations like the Yeps and Triune.
The Obama Administration has defended forcing private employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception, with an argument that people of faith forfeit their religious liberties once they opt to engage in business. The Triune case also asserts the primacy of religious liberties and free speech on behalf of a private company and its owners, who view business as a form of religious stewardship and an integral part of their lives as faithful Roman Catholics.
Triune Health Group has won public plaudits, not only as "the best" employer for women but also as an outstanding employer for everybody, having also placed very high on Crain's 2012 "Best Place to Work" list.
Copies of the key Illinois and federal court filings in the Triune Health Group cases are available here
or upon request.