WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Catholic owners of an Illinois health services consulting company have won a temporary restraining order against the state’s contraceptive mandate.
Judge Terence M. Sheen of the DuPage County Circuit Court granted the order Jan. 15 to Christopher and Mary Anne Yep and their company, Triune Health Group Inc., saying Illinois’ conscience laws take precedence over the state mandate that the health insurance they provide to their employees must cover abortion, sterilizations and contraceptives.
“The unique thing about this order is that it’s the first recognition by an Illinois court that the state’s contraception mandate may be pre-empted by our religious freedom and conscience laws,” said attorney Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society, the Chicago-based public interest law firm representing the Yeps, who are Catholic.
In a parallel case, the Yeps and Triune won a preliminary injunction Jan. 4 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate.
Breen told Catholic News Service Jan. 17 that the Yeps were pleased with Sheen’s decision, which cited conscience protections outlined in the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
“This is an area of law where there is not a lot of precedent,” said Breen, who argued the case before Sheen. “We are glad to be able to get a first victory and be able to hopefully blaze a path for other employers in the state of Illinois to be able to offer conscience-compliant health care.”
There was no immediate word whether the Illinois attorney general would appeal Sheen’s ruling.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: