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American Family Association Files Lawsuit Against Unconscionable HHS Mandate

Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Declaring Requirement to Provide Insurance for Abortions Unconstitutional

TUPELO, Miss., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Liberty Institute and the Center for Religious Expression on behalf of their client, American Family Association (AFA), filed a lawsuit against the federal government's HHS Mandate in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Aberdeen Division. AFA is a national distinctly Christian, non-profit organization based in Tupelo, Miss., whose mission is to speak out on moral issues in American society. To view the lawsuit online visit: https://www.libertyinstitute.org/document.doc?id=47.

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The lawsuit, The American Family Association v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, contends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' requirements mandating insurance coverage to its employees, which include provision of abortion-inducing drugs and related educational counseling, unconstitutionally coerces AFA to violate its religious convictions and mission under threat of heavy fines and penalties. Specifically, the HHS Mandate violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

"The mandate is an amoral affront to the very conscience and biblical principles on which the American Family Association was founded," said Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association.  "We feel betrayed by the abuse of government power that forces us to violate our deeply held religious beliefs and practices by funding the taking of innocent life."

Nate Kellum, Chief Counsel for the Center for Religious Expression, said, "The White House could have easily provided religious organizations like the American Family Association with an exemption, like they do with churches, but decided instead to compel these organizations to facilitate a practice they find repugnant and contrary to their missions. We cannot accept empty gestures like this."

Jeff Mateer, General Counsel for Liberty Institute said, "The new proposed HHS rule misleads faith-based groups and all Americans into believing they will no longer have to provide objectionable insurance for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs. The Obama Administration dwarfs previous administrations in its egregious disrespect for the religious liberty rights of para-church ministries, like the American Family Association, by continuing to force them to provide and pay for insurance coverage to which they have religious objections."

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

SOURCE Liberty Institute

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