American Family Association Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against HHS Mandate

Nonprofit Ministry Forced To Choose Between Following Its Religious Convictions, Defying HHS Mandate And Subjecting Itself To Major Fines

TUPELO, Miss., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Liberty Institute and the Center for Religious Expression on behalf of their client, American Family Association (AFA), filed a motion and brief for a preliminary injunction against the federal government's HHS Mandate, aka Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Aberdeen Division. AFA is a national, distinctly Christian non-profit organization based in Tupelo, Miss., whose mission is to speak out on moral issues in American society. To view the documents online, visit:

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"Without a preliminary injunction stopping application of the HHS Mandate, AFA will be forced to choose between following its religious convictions or defying the federal government and subjecting itself to heavy fines and penalties," said Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute General Counsel.   "This is a choice that the Obama Administration, bound by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution, cannot impose on AFA."

Nate Kellum, Chief Counsel for the Center for Religious Expression, said, "Because AFA does not qualify under the safe harbor provision, AFA needs relief now.  We're optimistic the court will appreciate AFA's plight and enjoin application of the unconstitutional HHS Mandate."

Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, added, "We are hopeful that this motion will put an end to the government's insistence that we violate our conscience and biblical principles on which the American Family Association was founded. AFA has a long history of standing up for the preservation of precious, God-given human life and speaking out about the unconscionable act of killing of unborn children. We are ready for this government coercion to stop, so that we can focus on ministry to the American family."

The lawsuit filed last month, The American Family Association v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, contends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' requirements mandating insurance coverage to its employees, which include provision of abortion-inducing drugs and related educational counseling, unconstitutionally coerces AFA to violate its religious convictions and mission under threat of heavy fines and penalties. Specifically, the HHS Mandate violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

SOURCE Liberty Institute



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