KANSAS CITY — A Christian-owned automotive dealership in Missouri has been granted an injunction against the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.
Randy Reed Automotive in Kansas City had filed suit in October with the help of local attorney Kevin Smith and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom. Reed, a Buick, Chevrolet and Nissan dealer, is a Christian, and therefore opposes paying for drugs that cause abortions.
“Plaintiff Randy Reed … believes that his operation of [his] companies must be guided by ethical social principles and Christian religious and moral teachings,” the legal complaint stated, “that individuals must operate their businesses according to the God-ordained ethics, religious and moral teachings of the Bible, and, that his faith prohibits him to sever his religious beliefs from his daily business practice…”
“Consequently, [Reed] believe[s] that it would be immoral and sinful …. to intentionally participate in, pay for, facilitate, or otherwise support abortifacient drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling, as would be required by the mandate, through their inclusion in the health benefits paid for by Plaintiff,” it continued.
Reed currently has 179 employees and provides health care to each. However, when he recently asked his insurance provider, Coventry Insurance Group, to exclude coverage for abortifacients, contraception and sterilization, they were reportedly included anyway.
Upon discovery of their inclusion, Reed requested that the company immediately remove the coverage from the plan, but was informed that Coventry was obligated to comply with the mandates in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Therefore, he pursued legal action against the Obama administration in an effort to block the requirement before his insurance policy renewed at the beginning of next year.
“The mandate constitutes government-imposed coercion on [Reed] to change or violate [his] sincerely held religious beliefs,” the complaint stated. “The mandate exposes [Reed’s company] to draconian fines and other penalties for refusal to change or violate its and its owners’ religious beliefs.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith, nominated by Bill Clinton, granted the requested injunction to Randy Reed Automotive, and stayed the case until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in two related cases involving the mandate.
As previously reported, the Supreme Court announced last week that it would hear two cases surrounding the Affordable Care Act: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.
“The government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman, who represents Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation. “The administration has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free. We trust the Supreme Court will agree. A government that forces any citizen to participate in immoral acts—like the use of abortion drugs—under threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.”
ADF likewise applauded Justice Smith on Tuesday for his decision to grant the injunction to Randy Reed Automotive.
“The government has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free,” said Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “Today’s order means that this family will be free from that type of coercion while higher courts are considering the administration’s mandate. If the government can force family business owners and job creators like this one to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.”