Anti-Choice St. Louis Businessman Sues Over Contraception Rule
This will get Frank a lose in court. Insurance is part of an employee’s compensation, something that is not “free” since you work for it — and as such the business owner shouldn’t be limiting employee choices. Business owners don’t get to tell you how you can spend your salary, and they really shouldn’t have say in your healthcare choices other than picking plan providers.
A St. Louis business owner is suing the administration of President Barack Obama over the requirement that companies’ health insurance policies include full coverage of contraceptives.
Frank O’Brien, who owns O’Brien Industrial Holdings, said the birth control rule violates his religious beliefs, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
O’Brien is represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, an anti-abortion legal group based in Washington.
Several religious schools and other organizations have sued the government to challenge the contraception mandate, but lawyers for the center believe O’Brien’s lawsuit is the first from a private business owner.
“He is a very devout Catholic. He’s got a religious statue in the lobby of his office,” said O’Brien’s attorney, Francis Manion. “That’s what religious diversity and pluralism is all about. There are certain companies that you know don’t do certain things.”
O’Brien Industrial Holdings is based at 4641 McRee Avenue in south St. Louis and includes several businesses that process ceramic materials and the charitable St. Nicholas Fund.
The company’s mission and values are “to make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society,” according to its website. “Our conduct is guided by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. We will not discriminate based on anyone’s personal belief system.”
The company’s current United Healthcare insurance for its 87 employees includes coverage of birth control. Manion said O’Brien wanted to change the policy to exclude contraception when the plan renews next year.