Hallelujah! Victory for the Hahns, Religious Freedom

Freedom is the Ultimate Winner in Conestoga Wood and Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision

Pennsylvania Family Institute applauds ruling as important First Amendment victory

Liberty in America was affirmed and protected today as the United States Supreme Court sided with advocates for First Amendment freedoms, and rejected government overreach into the lives of those who own and operate businesses.

Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI) congratulates the Hahn Family, old-order Mennonites from Lancaster County and the founders and owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, who challenged the federal government’s contraceptive drug coverage mandate.

“The Hahns made it very clear from the start being forced to provide employee coverage for drugs that can cause an abortion would be a severe violation of their religious faith and conscience, (continue reading)

Conestoga Woood Specialities, Pa. family business, asks full Third Circuit to protect religious freedom

Pa. family business asks full Third Circuit to protect religious freedom
Court of Appeals declined to halt enforcement of abortion pill mandate

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The Independence Law Center representing the Mennonite-owned company, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Inc. has asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to rehear its case after a three judge panel of that court declined to halt enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate.

The case, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, involves a mandate by the federal government that all employee health insurance plans include coverage for FDA approved contraception. Consistent with the FDA labeling, however, many of these forms of contraception work to change the lining of the uterus so that an embryo could be destroyed after conception. For the Hahn family, Mennonites from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the government mandate confronts a matter of religious faith since it would be contrary to their faith to in any way facilitate the taking of human life.

Charles W. Proctor, III is lead counsel in the case, together with Randall Wenger, chief counsel of the Independence Law Center, and attorney Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Americans should be free to live out their faith in all areas of life—including the way they run their business,” said Wenger. “We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals or eventually the Supreme Court will understand the critical importance of our right to live out our religious faith—and the heart-wrenching violation of conscience that it would be to the Hahns to deny them that right.”

“The religious liberty of Americans is not something that should be withheld or dispensed by the government as it arbitrarily sees fit,” added Proctor. “Instead, our Declaration of Independence makes it clear that the Hahn family and all Americans are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights’ and the free exercise of religion is the very first right enumerated in our Bill of Rights.”

This has been a hard fought journey for Conestoga Wood and the Hahns. They filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Dec. 4 of last year asserting that being forced to provide and pay for insurance that covers drugs and devices that could result in the death of an embryo is contrary to their religious convictions. The District Court denied a request for a Preliminary Injunction on January 11, so Conestoga Wood and the Hahns appealed on January 14 and moved for an injunction pending appeal on January 22, which was denied on February 7. A three judge panel of the Court Appeals ruled against them on July 26, and they filed a petition this week seeking reargument before the full Court.

Conestoga Wood and the Hahns join many other family run businesses around the country seeking injunctions to protect them from the abortion pill mandate.

The Independence Law Center is a pro-bono, non-profit law center in Pennsylvania focused on protecting religious liberty.


Victory for Prayer in Jesus’ Name!

cla e-alert

Victory for Prayer in Jesus’ Name!

The constitutional right to pray in Jesus’ name in city meetings has been affirmed by a federal appeals court after opponents challenged the original ruling. In Ruben v. City of Lancaster, the court affirmed the original judgment in favor of the City of Lancaster.

This is a truly exciting victory for the cause of religious liberty! Mayor Rex Parris and Mayor Henry Hearns are both close friends with Pastor Paul Chappell at the Lancaster Baptist Church. Mayor Parris and Mayor Hearns have both stood tall on this critical issue. Mayor Rex Parris carried this appeal and stood for what he felt was absolutely right in their city council meetings. Because Mayor Parris took this stand, we have this excellent decision, and it will greatly benefit the protection of our religious liberties in America!

Court officials found that the City of Lancaster did not violate the Establishment Clause by having local pastors invoke opening prayers, many of which were prayed in Jesus’ name. The Court found that a single mention of Jesus in prayers by private citizens was not in violation of constitutional law. We praise the Lord for this favorable outcome! A copy of the decision is attached in this email. God deserves all the glory for this victory for religious freedom in California today!
Click here to download the ruling.