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By NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
December 17, 2013

A public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court asking for review of the Health and Human Services Administration's Mandate Challenge filed by the Law Center on behalf of Michael Potter and his natural food company, Eden Foods.

In late October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Potter’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Obamacare Mandate which requires employers to provide health insurance for their employees which covers 100% of the cost of contraception and abortifacients, as well as related education or pay draconian fines which, in the case of Eden Foods, would amount to over $4.5 million dollars, according to the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a group that defends the constitutional rights of Americans victimized by government agencies.

The petition specifically asks the court to review the lower court’s decision concerning whether the choice forced on religious employers by the HHS Mandate between subjecting to fines for providing health insurance pursuant to their religious beliefs or violating the tenets of their religious beliefs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.

Prior to the promulgation of the HHS Mandate, the health insurance offered to employees of Eden Foods was specifically designed to exclude abortifacient drugs and contraceptives in accordance with Potter’s deeply held Catholic beliefs including that “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or means” – specifically contraception and abortifacients is wrong.

However, in March of 2013, without Potter’s consent or authorization, Eden Foods’ insurance carrier added coverage for abortifacient and contraceptive drugs as prescribed by the HHS Mandate. With no available options for providing health insurance to Eden Foods employees that does not cover contraception and abortifacients, Potter, with TMLC, filed a lawsuit challenging the HHS Mandate.

Erin Mersino, the Law Center’s lead attorney handling the case, warns, “The mandate is poisonous to religious freedom. The mandate, created by Kathleen Sebelius, an unelected official not answerable to the public, forces business owners to violate their religious faith or pay exorbitant fines. For Eden Foods, those fines total in excess of $4 million dollars per year. Either choice is unacceptable. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will act expeditiously to right this wrong.”

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.

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It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has continued her declared “war” against the Catholic Church in America and against faithful Catholics (as well as against other religious organizations and believers who share the Catholic opposition to contraceptives and/or abortifacients).

Specifically, she announced that HHS, in implementing Obamacare, would require most health-insurance plans to include in the preventive services they cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception (including contraceptives that sometimes operate as abortifacients).

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The petition specifically asks the court to review the lower court’s decision concerning whether the choice forced on religious employers...