First Lawsuit By Private Employer Filed Over Birth Control Mandate

This week the Legal Fund filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit against the Obama administration on behalf of a Missouri business owner who claims the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates his religious beliefs. This is the first legal challenge to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate from a private business owner and company. Until now only religious institutions or organizations have legally challenged the mandate.

The plaintiffs are Frank R. O’Brien and O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC (OIH), a holding company based in St. Louis, Missouri. OIH operates a number of businesses that explore, mine and process refractory and ceramic raw materials.

O’Brien is a Catholic and claims his religious beliefs provide the framework for the operation of his business including a mission to “make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society.”

Lawyers for O’Brien argue the mandate is an over-reach since contraception is widely available.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The suit also requests the court to issue a permanent injunction to halt implementation of the HHS mandate for those who have religious objections.

Now that the first lawsuit has been filed, expect to see more to come and in different federal jurisdictions in order to expedite the possibility of Supreme Court intervention.

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Photo from Sweet One/a> via flickr.


Claudia B.
Claudia B.4 years ago

I think it is a great idea to expect Government to only use my tax money as I feel is morally correct. Therefore why don't we all sue for a stop to 'murder'? How is it okay to kill people in other countries but not in our own?

Then on a related point - life and death and world population - Monsanto keeps worrying about the population and wanting to feed it with crap and poison - why not try for a smaller popultaiton by birth control. Unwanted children will not be happy children!

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W.4 years ago

Roseanne - I don't have a choice with any of what my gov't spends my money on so why should this be any different?
I don't support war; should I withhold my taxes to ensure that none of those monies go to war?
We live in a democracy. Deal with it. I do every day.

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W.4 years ago

HOW about we by-pass this legislation COMPLETELY and just make birth control a state-sponsored function?

And then we tell the states that to comply with FEDERAL MANDATES, they MUST offer it free of charge. This way, anyone who goes to their insurance company for the pill, it will be known that in that case, it is used as medication, and not birth control.

Women are covered, the courts dismiss ridiculous, time-and-money consuming cases and this country can get on with business-as-usual.
Who could possibly argue against this?

Roseanne S.

It is not just a religious question. It is a human rights one.
Contraceptive medications contain abortifacients.
The "morning after pill" and "abortion pill," require that if not successful, a woman must have an surgical abortion.
So, in knowing this, it can then be understood, why some people do not want to be a part of it. It is a violation of someone's human rights, to force them to contribute to or be involved in, that which is in opposition to everything they base their life upon.

s. ryan
p. q4 years ago


Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik4 years ago

Jillian but employers have been providing insurance for years. It is an incentive to working for a company. In 28 states, birth control has been covered under insurance drug plans... it is just recently, since President Obama tried to get the ones that didn't provide coverage to do so - that this became a BIG ISSUE. The facts are that employers can offer their employees better deals through umbrella policies. They have covered ED drugs in some places but not birth control. Drug coverage is a major issue in insurance policies.

Charli S.
Charlotte S.4 years ago

We women had better start buying bigger skirts so that all the men who believe they have the right to monitor our vaginas can fit. this is BS. As a veteran and a woman ONLY I have the right to decide what I WANT to do with MY body.

Charli S.
Charlotte S.4 years ago

So if I work for a person who doesn't believe in any medical intervention I'm simply supposed to die? This could have been avoided so easily. Just make all insurance companies not for profit or limited profit companies thus making health care affordable.

Renee K.
Renee K.4 years ago

I'll bet he'll be quick to fire a woman for being pregnant, too. Unless she's been married in his church of choice. Because that would also be within his "moral" perogative.

Michael Anda
Michael Anda4 years ago

This "issue" could be SO easily resolved by simply removing the employer ENTIRELY from the equation. It would be good to stop taxing businesses too, other than property taxes. If they are making inordinate demands on our country's infrastructure, assess them ordinate fees for the privilege.