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Healthcare firm wins restraining order on HHS contraception coverage

WHEATON, Ill., Jan, 17, 2013 Christian Newswire Triune Health Group (THG) and its devout Roman Catholic owners, Christopher and Mary Anne Yep, represented by attorneys with the Jubilee Campaign’s Law of Life Project and Thomas Moore Society, are among the dozens of employers around the country challenging the HHS required coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortifacients on religious liberty grounds. As covered in our January 3 press release, a federal court in Chicago recently enjoined any application of that Mandate to THG on the grounds that it likely violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Last November, because the State of Illinois also has a law requiring all group health insurance plans to provide coverage for contraception, a separate state court action to enjoin this law was also commenced by attorneys from Jubilee Campaign’s Law of Life Project and Thomas Moore Society. On Tuesday, the Illinois State Circuit Court in that action issued its temporary restraining order enjoining any application of that law to THG pending further litigation.

“We applaud the Illinois State Circuit Court’s decision to enjoin, pending further litigation, the imposition upon our clients of these unnecessary and unconstitutional state health insurance regulatory requirements. The State of Illinois ought not to be able to effectively bar our clients from obtaining group health insurance coverage in Illinois, presenting them with a ‘Hobson’s choice’ of going out of business, leaving Illinois or being coerced to violate their conscientious convictions in a fashion that is completely at odds with the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, as well as 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.”

The plaintiffs in both cases, as individuals and as a business corporation, 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 state mandatory contraception health insurance law, administered by Illinois Department of Insurance, requires the company to provide contraceptive coverage for its employees and their families, which imposes a gravely oppressive burden on the Yeps’ deeply held religious beliefs.

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. By issuing its Order today granting a temporary restraining order the Illinois Circuit Court has indicated that it currently believes Triune is likely to prevail on these claims.

Triune Health Group has won public plaudits, not only as “the best” employers 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 Illinois Circuit Court’s Decision & Order granting Triune’s motion for temporary injunction pending further litigation can be found here. Other state court filings in the Triune Health Group case, including its motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction are available here or upon request. www.lawoflifeproject.org

The Law of Life Project is a public interest legal organization dedicated to legally defending the right to life and dignity of the human being from biological conception until natural death in all matters worldwide where such a defense is required. Jubilee Campaign is an international charitable organization that seeks to be a “voice for the voiceless” promoting the human rights of all, particularly women and children in countries which imprison, terrorize or otherwise oppress them. www.lawoflifeproject.org

About the Thomas More Society Founded in 1997, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that seeks to restore respect in law for life, marriage, and religious liberty. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit  www.thomasmoresociety.org.

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