Appeals Court Blocks Mandate for Contraception

Days before the contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs to employees, is set to go into effect, a federal appeals court has temporarily blocked it from being enforced against an Illinois company.

The majority in a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Friday put the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on hold. The injunction came in a federal lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on behalf of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., which is owned by a Catholic couple.

Cyril B. Korte and Jane E. Korte own a controlling interest in the company and contend the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. The court majority held that the Kortes had established a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their RFRA claim, and that the government had not yet justified the apparent “substantial burden” on their religious exercise.


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