Conestoga must provide birth control benefit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A federal judge has rejected the arguments of the Mennonite owners of a Beavertown furniture manufacturing company that new requirements to pay for employees’ contraceptive services violate their constitutional rights.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg Friday turned down a preliminary injunction request by the owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., saying Norman Hahn and his family were unlikely to prevail in their case.

They said having to pay for contraceptives and drugs used to abort a pregnancy would violate their rights to free speech and religious freedom.  But the judge said they had not proven that complying with the new health care law amounted to a “substantial burden” on their religious rights.  Attorney Charles W. Proctor III told The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/13n1F4d ) that an appeal was planned.