The conservative organization Media Research Center (MRC) filed a motion in U.S. District Court for a preliminary injunction to block Obamacare’s mandate forcing employers to subsidize health insurance plans that include abortion drugs and contraception.
The group claims that it is required to pay more than $4.5 million per year in government fines for refusing to subsidize the plans on religious liberty grounds. MRC’s lawsuit is directed at the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“This lawsuit is about religious freedom and the conscience rights of individuals to operate their enterprises free from government coercion, reprisal, or punishment,” MRC president Brent Bozell said in a statement announcing Media Research Center v. Sebelius.
“The Obamacare mandate destroys the ability of free people to practice their faith in their everyday lives and forces them to either reject their faith or face crippling government imposed fines and punishment; in our case over $4.5 million dollars per year,” Bozell said. “We do not stop being religious, moral people the moment we walk out of our houses of worship.”
Regardless of the decision in district court, the case could end up going to higher courts where it will gain greater precedent.
MRC contends that if the District Court rules that it is not an “eligible organization” that should be subject to the mandate, then Obamacare violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by determining which employers are “religious enough” to get an exemption, and which ones are not.