Among the many businesses, organizations and universities challenging President Barack Obama’s contraceptive mandate has been Tyndale House, a Christian publishing company.
In November, a judge granted a temporary injunction to Tyndale, an act that was widely seen as victorious for opponents of the birth control mandate. While the government initially appealed the decision to grant the temporary reprieve, in a fascinating twist of events, it has now dropped its challenge.
Thus, the Obama administration, in a surprise move, has decided to halt its battle against Judge Reggie Walton’s decision. Late last year, Walton found that the mandate forces the company to violate its religious views; if Tyndale failed to comply with contraceptive coverage, the company would then face retribution, the justice ruled.
World Magazine has more about the change-of-heart:
In an unexpected development in the case on Friday, a federal court dismissed the government’s appeal of a November ruling that temporarily blocked enforcement of what has become known as the contraceptive mandate. Under Obamacare, companies with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives and medication that can cause abortions. The government provided an exception for churches but not for religious social service agencies or employers.
Tyndale, based in Carol Stream, Ill., is one of 190 employers, companies, and organizations that have filed suit over the mandate.
While the federal government has given up its current fight against Walton’s November ruling, the issue is far from over. The Obama administration isn’t yet planning to halt its attempt to force the company to eventually comply with the controversial contraceptive mandate — a wedge issue that has created space between religious institutions and the federal government since it was first announced early last year.
According to World, Tyndale wants a permanent reprieve from the mandate, something the Obama administration has not yet yielded to. It’s possible that the latest step could be a first for the government in expanding its exemptions to include companies like Tyndale that predominantly work in the faith sphere — but this isn’t yet clear.
Tyndale’s injunction will remain in place as the larger case to seek an overall dismissal of the mandate moves forward with Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius (the voluntary dismissal can be read here).
(H/T: World Magazine)