A federal appeals court issued an order Tuesday exempting the family-owned Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc. from the Obama administration’s mandate that companies must pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their insurance plans. The case, Armstrong v. Sebelius, was filed by the two families who own the small mortgage company and who wished to be exempt from the mandate because abortion violates their religious beliefs.
In May of this year, a federal district court ruled against the Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., refusing the families’ request for a preliminary injunction that would have curtailed the enforcement of the abortion-coverage mandate. The two families, the Armstrongs and the Mays, then appealed to the Tenth District Court of Appeals.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal organization dedicated to advocating for religious liberty, defended the co-owners of Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. Michael J. Norton, senior counsel for ADF, released this statement after the decision:
People of faith in this nation, including business owners, have the constitutionally protected freedom to live and do business according to their faith. The Obama administration should not be attempting to deprive Americans of this cherished liberty. Former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong together with the other members of his family and the May family who own Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. have long desired to honor God in all they do. Today’s court order allows them to continue to do that while this case proceeds so that they are not forced to act contrary to their religious convictions.
ADF argued that forcing employers to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs violates individuals’ First Amendment freedom of conscience. The case stops the enforcement of the HHS mandate only for the Cherry Creek Mortgage Co.