October 4, 2012 — A company that publishes Bibles and Christian ministry materials filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday claiming that it should be exempt from the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Washington Times reports (Morton, Washington Times, 10/2).
The rules, which are being implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), require health plans issued or renewed after Aug. 1 to cover contraceptive services without copayments or deductibles. HHS has given religiously affiliated entities, such as colleges and hospitals, a one-year delay period to come into compliance, and religious institutions, such as churches and synagogues, are exempt altogether (Women's Health Policy Report, 9/17).
The lawsuit -- filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Tyndale House Publishers -- states that the company has been denied a "religious employer" exemption because HHS maintains that any for-profit company does not qualify under this category. According to court filings, Tyndale is an incorporated business that is owned by Tyndale House Foundation, a not-for-profit that "receives 96.5% of all of Tyndale's distributed profits."
The suit also argues that providing contraceptive coverage -- including certain contraceptives that some Christians consider abortifacients -- is immoral and against the company's conscience (Washington Times, 10/2).