Conestoga loses another federal contraception appeal
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A federal appeals court has ruled against a Snyder County company involved in a court fight over federal health care mandates. The Mennonite owners Conestoga Wood Products, Inc., in Beaver Springs claim new federal health insurance requirements violent their free speech and religious rights.
The mandate requires that the company pay for employees’ contraceptive services. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Friday upholds a lower court decision that the owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. do not qualify for an exception as a religious employer, since it is a for-profit company making a secular product.
Conestoga’s health plan had excluded coverage for contraceptives and drugs used to abort a pregnancy, citing Mennonite Church teaching that terminating a fertilized embryo is “a sin against God.” The Pennsylvania case is one of more than 60 nationwide addressing the rule mandating contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.