Carol Stream, Illinois — A federal court has dismissed an appeal filed against a renown Bible publisher after the Obama administration requested to withdraw its attempts to fight an injunction granted to the Christian company.
As previously reported, Tyndale House Publishers in Carol Stream, Illinois filed a lawsuit against the Obamacare abortion pill mandate last fall, and was later granted a preliminary injunction while the case moved forward. The injunction served to exempt the company from the Affordable Care Act provision until a court issues a final decision on the matter.
While Tyndale does not oppose all contraception, and provides coverage of some birth control to its employees, it refuses to cover the two products that it believes cause abortions — Plan B and IUD’s.
“[Tyndale is] committed to biblical principles including the belief that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God from the moment of their conception,” the lawsuit read.
In November, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted the injunction in favor of Tyndale House Publishers, stating that the requirement “substantially burdens” the company’s free exercise of religion.
“[The abortion pill mandate] places substantial pressure on the plaintiffs to violate their beliefs,” Walton wrote. “It places the plaintiffs in the untenable position of choosing either to violate their religious beliefs by providing coverage of the contraceptives at issue or to subject their business to the continual risk of the imposition of enormous penalties for its noncompliance.”
However, following the issuance of the injunction, the Obama administration filed an appeal, requesting that the decision be overturned.
Since then, the administration has changed course and has asked the court to dismiss the appeal. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has been representing Tyndale House Publishers, states that it believes the government realized it would be hard to argue that a Bible publisher is unqualified for a religious exemption.
“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” commented Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The government dismissed its appeal because it knows how ridiculous it sounds arguing that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn’t religious is outrageous, and now the Obama administration has had to retreat in court.”
“We will continue to argue that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom for all family business owners and must offer a comprehensive exemption to the mandate,” he added.
This is the first Obamacare case where the government has requested to dismiss an appeal. It continues its fight against other Christian and religious-owned businesses across the country, arguing that for-profit businesses that are open to the public cannot be entitled to an exemption since their services are secular in nature.
The Tyndale House Publishers case will continue to move forward as Judge Walton is currently pondering whether to issue a permanent injunction to the Bible publisher. The company was named after historic reformer William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English.