A US Christian radio ministry has won a temporary exemption from a controversial Obamacare ‘abortion pill’ mandate, which would have forced them to act against their beliefs.
Under Obamacare employers are obligated to provide health insurance policies covering certain abortion-inducing contraceptives such as the morning-after pill.
The federal court judge’s ruling will allow the radio show, Family Talk, to continue to exclude the coverage of abortion-inducing devices from its self-insured health plan.
“In America, we don’t try to separate what people do from what they believe”, said Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing the organisation.
He said: “Faith-based organisations should be free to operate according to the faith they teach and live out every day.”
Churches are exempt from the mandate, but Christian organisations could face fines of $100 a day per employee if they refuse to provide the cover.
Dr James Dobson, Family Talk’s founder and president, launched legal action arguing that providing the drugs would violate the religious beliefs of his nationally syndicated radio show, which employs 28 staff.
Theriot added: “If the government can fine Christian ministries out of existence because they want to uphold their faith, there is no limit to what other freedoms it can take away.
“The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate against Family Talk”, he stated.
At the time the case was filed Dr Dobson said: “We believe that every human life, from the moment of conception, is sacred and a gift from God, and we cannot cooperate with this immoral mandate without violating our most deeply held religious beliefs.”
Family Talk could have faced fines of up to $36,500 per employee annually if the exemption was not granted, according to the Denver Post.
Nearly 100 organisations with an evangelical or Roman Catholic ethos have filed lawsuits challenging the ‘contraception’ mandate, including Christian universities, which have no exemption under the law.
The leading court case on this issue involves Hobby Lobby, a huge arts and crafts retailer which has over 500 stores across 41 states in the US.
The company is owned by the Green family, who are committed Christians, and they say the Federal Government is forcing them to act against their beliefs.
The case was recently heard in the US Supreme Court but a decision is yet to be announced.