Autocam, a West Michigan business owned by John Kennedy and his family, filed suit against the federal government in October, 2012. The suit is one of over 200 plaintiffs battling the HHS mandate requiring employers to cover costs for abortions and abortifacients in employee health insurance. Now, the Thomas More Society is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Autocam’s case after the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case brought by the Kennedy family and Autocam Corporation. A press release from the Thomas More Society stated:
We mean to take this case directly up to the U.S. Supreme Court, as the U.S. Courts of Appeal are now sharply divided on these critical issues,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, the national public interest law firm representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit along with CatholicVote Legal Defense Fund. “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was enacted in order to protect people of faith against government mandates that impose a substantial burden on believers’ efforts to freely exercise their religious convictions, unless the government has really compelling reasons for doing so, and even then only if the means used are the least restrictive and burdensome among possible alternatives. We hope the Supreme Court will agree to hear this case so that the Kennedys and other business owners who practice as well as profess their religious faith can keep on doing so without having to ‘bet the company’ and thereby risk their employees’ jobs as well as their own livelihood.”
In 2012, John Kennedy, owner and CEO of Autocam and Autocam Medical said the HHS mandate violated his religious beliefs:
This law requires me to violate my beliefs by paying for controversial products that cause abortions, and it does nothing to improve access or eliminate cost for essential medications like insulin and heart medication,” said Kennedy.
“Why is the Obama administration prioritizing life- ending drugs over lifesaving drugs?” said Kennedy, who filed the lawsuit with the support of the CatholicVote Legal Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society of Chicago.
Autocam faces $16 million a year in fines if they do not comply with the HHS mandate. Kennedy made the following video, “In Good Conscience,” expressing his views and why he was filing suit against the HHS mandate.