(COLUMBUS, OH)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, attorneys general from six other states, religious organizations, and individual citizens today filed a lawsuit challenging the new federal government mandate that requires religious organizations to provide insurance products and services that violate their religious beliefs.
“I continue to have grave concerns that despite President Obama’s so-called accommodation, the United States government is intent on implementing rules that violate religious liberty,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This lawsuit seeks to protect our fellow citizens, their churches, and religious charities so that they are not penalized by this illegal regulation.”
The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor. The lawsuit alleges that the mandate, which requires employers to provide insurance covering abortifacients and contraceptives even if they object on religious grounds, violates the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The lawsuit also alleges that the final rules still require religious employers that self-insure or religiously-affiliated insurance companies to provide the coverage despite religious objections.
The lawsuit also alleges that the resulting choice between providing the mandated coverage or not providing insurance and charitable services would likely result in more persons applying for state assistance through Medicaid.
“This new Obamacare mandate will force religious employers to choose between harsh penalties and violating their conscience,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The unfortunate reality is that many religious organizations will cease to offer health insurance and charities will stop offering services to the less fortunate because of this mandate. This is another example of why Obamacare is bad policy, and it is another reason why I have joined attorneys general across this country to protect American families from its illegal overreach.”
In addition to joining today’s lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine stated that he will look for appropriate opportunities to express the State’s legal concerns in other cases through friend of the court filings.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Copy of Lawsuit