Lancaster County Mennonite Family’s Wood Component Business
Arguing Before Third Circuit Court of Appeals Tomorrow
Seeking religious liberty exception to federal abortion pill mandate
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will hear argument tomorrow on behalf of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. and its owners, the Hahn family, who are seeking an injunction against a federal mandate requiring them to provide abortifacients as part of their employee health plan. It is a violation of the Hahn’s and Conestoga’s religious conscience to be forced to include contraception – including drugs that can result in the death of a human embryo.
The Hahns and Conestoga brought suit in December in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, seeking an injunction against being forced to comply with the Health and Human Services mandate that requires them to offer an employee health plan with a provision that they believe to be immoral. The District Court denied a Preliminary Injunction on January 11, and Conestoga and the Hahn family appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The Hahns have owned and operated Conestoga for nearly 50 years and seek to run the business in a way that is consistent with their Christian convictions.
“If the government can force persons to violate their conscience in the way they live or run their business, it can do anything,” said Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel of the Independence Law Center, and one of the Hahn’s and Conestoga’s attorneys. “If we care about the preservation of liberty, we must prevent the government from violating the first liberty in our Bill of Rights, religious liberty. If government can disregard that right, no liberty is safe.”
“The religious liberty of Americans is not something that should be withheld or dispensed by the government as it arbitrarily sees fit,” added Charles W. Proctor, III, lead counsel for Conestoga Wood and the Hahn family.
Please pray for the attorneys in the case, that God would give them wise words to speak. Pray for the judicial panel, that God would give them wisdom in their decision.
The Independence Law Center is a pro-bono, non-profit law center in Pennsylvania focused on protecting religious liberty.