American Family Association asks court for help against federal health care act

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – American Family Association has asked a federal court to stop enforcement upon it under the Affordable Care Act.
In its three-page motion, the Tupelo-based Christian organization said the national health care act must be stopped so that it will not be required to provide its employees insurance coverage for abortions and abortion-inducing drugs.
The AFA filed a federal challenge to what’s called “Obamacare” on Feb. 13 in U.S. District Court of Northern Mississippi asking “to operate in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs.”
Judge Sharion Aycock presides over the case.
AFA claims the new law violates its “religious convictions and missions” and that is has sought a religious exemption to the new law.
“AFA does not seek to (stop) the HHS Mandate as to all employers, but only as to itself,” it says.
The lawsuit says AFA discovered it did not qualify for a religious exemption because it is not a church or house of worship and, for other reasons cannot be grandfathered or secure a one-year “safe habor” until its new health plan begins Aug. 1.
Defendants in the lawsuit are Kathlene Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, Seth Harris, U.S. secretary of Labor, Jacob Lew, U.S. secretary of the Treasury, and their individual departments.
The defendants have yet to respond to the legal action.
AFA also claims it “will suffer irreparable harm” without the a halt to the effects of the health care act.
In an accompanying affidavit, AFA president Timothy B. Wildmon said his employees must “credibly profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord” and the organization is strongly anti-abortion.
Compliance with the health care act would violate the Sixth Commandment against committing murder, as well as AFA’s First and Fifth Amendment rights under the constitution to freedom of speech and due process.
Wildmon says the “dilemma is impossible for us,” to deprive its more than 100 employees of health insurance or to pay for abortions.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com