A Mennonite-owned cabinetmaker became the latest employer to sue claiming the Affordable Care Act’s mandate on contraception coverage violates its religious exercise rights.
Conestoga Wood Specialties is based in Lancaster County and employees 950 people in locations across the country, both Mennonites and non-Mennonites. According to reports, the business claims it would be “sinful and immoral for the company to participate in, pay for, facilitate or otherwise support any contraception” that would have the effect of an abortion. And because it is not a religious employer it does not qualify for the exemption from coverage. Therefore, the suit argues, the federal court must block the mandate or else the business faces bankruptcy.
This is believed to be the first lawsuit to challenge the contraception mandate filed by a Mennonite-owned company and joins the over thirty other challenges to the contraception mandate currently snaking their way through federal courts across the country. And like all the others, this suit will hinge on whether a federal court believes it is appropriate for business owners to force their religious beliefs on their employees all in the name of religious freedom.