Conestoga Files Suit Over Federal Health Care Mandate

For those of you who do not know who Conestoga is; Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation is one of the largest cabinet door and cabinet part manufacturers in the country. I received this article in an email this morning and decided to pass it on to you.

Article as follows:

Mennonite Christian owners suing federal government over provision requiring health plans to cover abortion and contraception starting in January 2013.

Three Mennonite Christians who own Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation in Pennsylvania have filed suit against part of the new federal health care law that they believe threatens their right to religious freedom, reports. They specifically object to a section requiring health plans to cover contraception and abortion.

“Being told that we must provide a health plan that includes a provision that violates the Christian beliefs of our family and the Christian values that our company was founded on is deeply troubling,” said Anthony Hahn, president and CEO of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation.

“Forcing Americans to surrender long-standing, deeply-held principles in order to own and run a business is not merely troubling but unnecessary and unconstitutional,” he added.

Hahn is challenging federal regulations that require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception and abortion along with other women’s healthcare services. Conestoga would be required to comply with the mandate when its insurance plan renews on Jan. 1, 2013.

Increasingly religious employers have become outraged by the mandate, and dozens have filed lawsuits arguing that it forces them to violate their beliefs.

Hahn’s suit was filed on Dec. 4 by attorneys from the Independence Law Center in the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania on behalf of Conestoga’s founder Norman Hahn, and his sons Norman Lemar Hahn and Anthony Hahn, who manage the company.

Conestoga is a family business with some 950 full-time employees throughout the U.S. They manufacture wood cabinets, doors and other specialty products. The Hahns have always sought to “operate Conestoga in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs” as Mennonite Christians, the lawsuit says, noting that the company’s mission statement includes a commitment to “the highest ethical, moral, and Christian principles.”

Given their conviction that “God requires respect for the sanctity of human life,” the Hahns believe, “It would be sinful and immoral for them to intentionally participate in, pay for, facilitate, or otherwise support any contraception with an abortifacient effect,” the legal challenge says.

The family is now asking the court for an injunction to block the enforcement of the mandate. Several other for-profit businesses have secured initial injunctions in similar lawsuits while their cases progress through the court system.