Will court provide good news to Bible publisher challenging abortion pill mandate?

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Tyndale House president available to media following hearing Friday
Thursday, November 08, 2012

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Bowman

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman and Tyndale House Publishers President Mark Taylor
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 9, immediately following hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. EST
WHERE: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington

WASHINGTON — Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman will be available for media interviews following his oral argument Friday asking for a court order to stop enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher. Mark Taylor, the president of Tyndale House Publishers, will also be available at the hearing for interviews.

The hearing in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius is the first in the publisher’s Oct. 2 lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Tyndale House, based in Carol Stream, Ill., is the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles, and digital media and directs 96.5 percent of its profits to religious non-profit causes worldwide.

“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” said Bowman. “For the government to say that a Bible publisher is not religious is alarming. It demonstrates how clearly the Obama administration is willing to disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes. For that reason, we are asking the court to halt this mandate.”

The publisher is subject to the mandate because Obama administration rules say for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious, even though Tyndale House is strictly a publisher of Bibles and other Christian materials and is primarily owned by the non-profit Tyndale House Foundation. The foundation provides grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world. The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties. Tyndale House specifically objects to covering abortifacients.

On July 27, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys obtained the first-ever court order against the Obama administration’s mandate on behalf of Colorado’s Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. That order temporarily suspends the mandate against Hercules Industries while its lawsuit goes forward in court. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are seeking a similar order for Tyndale House.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are also litigating three other lawsuits against the mandate: one in Indiana on behalf of Indiana’s Grace College and Seminary and California’s Biola University; one in Pennsylvania on behalf of Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company and its owners, the Hepler family; and one in Louisiana on behalf of Louisiana College. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.
  • Fact sheet on the case
  • Pronunciation guide: Tyndale (TIN’-dale), Bowman (BOH’-min)
Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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