Press Release: Monday March 24, 2014

Will Pennsylvania Family Business Owners Finally Get Relief at US  Supreme Court?

High Court to Hear Landmark Case on Religious Freedom and the HHS Mandate Tomorrow


(Harrisburg, PA) – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case brought by a Lancaster County-based Pennsylvania company seeking a religious exemption from the HHS mandate that would force them to provide abortion-causing drugs to employees.

“Our very first liberty is at stake,” says Michael Geer, President of the Pennsylvania Family Institute. “A company based in a state and nation founded on the principles of religious freedom should not be forced by government to violate those principles.  A person’s conscience is inviolate, and that includes those of families that own companies.”

The Hahn family, a Mennonite family from LancasterCounty, own the woodworking company Conestoga Wood Specialties. Business owners like the Hahns are being forced by the federal government to either violate their conscience and provide abortion-causing drugs (as part of “preventative care”) to their employees or incur business-ending penalties: $100 per day per employee. That would be $36,000 per employee per year – totaling $36 million a year – for Conestoga Wood Specialties.

In contrast, under the Affordable Care Act, companies that don’t provide any health coverage at all to their employees are fined only $2,000 a year per employee.

“If the Obama administration is concerned over health insurance for all, why is the fine for no insurance a fraction of the fine for full insurance coverage minus abortion-causing drugs?” Geer asked.  “It boggles the mind.  And it is a direct challenge to our cherished First Amendment rights.”

Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius will be argued in combination with Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby in the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling, which is expected this summer, will impact the religious freedom of business owners across the country.  The case for the Hahn family was filed by the IndependenceLawCenter, a pro-bono legal center at the Pennsylvania Family Institute and specializing in religious liberty.

PFI_HahnsGraphic_395x395_ (1)Pennsylvania Family Institute is a non-profit research and education organization that analyzes public policies and cultural trends for their impact on the family. It has led the “Pray for the Hahns” movement – an effort to bring support to the Hahn family and awareness of the importance of this case.

For more about the “Pray for the Hahns” effort, visit

For more about the case, contact Michael Geer at 717-545-0600.

Pennsylvania Family Institute

Protect Religious Freedom. Protect the Future.