Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius

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Description:  The owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, the Hahns, are a practicing and believing Mennonite Christian family. They desire to run the company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood kitchen cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys represent the Hahns in a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration over its abortion pill mandate. The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.

ADF: Government has no mandate to meddle in a family’s business

ADF attorneys available to media after oral arguments at U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday concerning abortion pill mandate


Attorney sound bites:  David Cortman  |  Matt Bowman  |  Randall Wenger

Video news release and raw video footage  |  Photos


WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Hahn family and Conestoga Wood Specialties
WHAT: Available to media following Supreme Court oral arguments in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius
WHEN: Tuesday, March 25, immediately following hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. EDT
WHERE: Outside U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington

Lead counsel Paul Clement (center) and ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman (right) speaking to the media after the oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. (Associated Press / Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys challenging the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate will be available for media interviews at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday following oral arguments in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. The case is one of two major legal challenges to the mandate that the high court will hear that day.

On Monday and Tuesday, members of the media in Washington, D.C. who desire interviews should contact Greg Scott at (480) 710-1965 or Kerri Kupec at (202) 568-1545. Members of the media outside of Washington, D.C. should call (480) 444-0020 or use the online interview request page.

“The government has no business bullying family business owners into paying for other people’s abortion pills, which are widely available at low cost,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The Constitution guarantees the highest form of respect to the freedom of families like the Hahns. It’s absurd for the government to argue that disregarding the Hahn family’s freedom is necessary when it already exempts 100 million people from this unjust mandate.”

Two ADF staff members hold signs that read "Paying for someone else's abortion pills is 100% not healthcare" outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25, 2014. (Washington Examiner / Graeme Jennings)
“Americans must be free to exercise their constitutionally protected liberties without fear of punishment,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No American family should be forced to choose between following their faith and submitting to unlawful and unnecessary government mandates.”

The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met. The Hahns asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled 2–1 against them. The decision conflicts with most other circuits and with the vast majority of rulings on the mandate so far.

“Americans don’t give up their freedom when they open a family business,” added co-counsel and allied attorney Randall Wenger. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are lead counsel in the case together with Wenger, with the Independence Law Center, and allied attorney Charles Proctor III, with the Pennsylvania firm Proctor, Lindsay & Dixon.
  • Fact sheet: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius
  • Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-min), Wenger (WENG’-ur)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Additional resources: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius

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Previous news releases:

  • 2014-03-12: ADF: Forcing families to pay for other people’s abortion pills isn’t freedom
  • 2014-02-11: ADF: A family's business is not the government's business
  • 2014-01-29: Diverse coalition opposes abortion pill mandate at US Supreme Court
  • 2014-01-10: ADF to Supreme Court: Gov’t shouldn’t force Americans to choose between making a living and living free
  • 2013-11-26: Supreme Court accepts Pa. Mennonite cabinetmakers’ challenge to abortion pill mandate
  • 2013-11-04: Pa. Mennonite cabinetmakers answer Obama admin. in brief at Supreme Court
  • 2013-10-24: 18 states encourage Supreme Court to hear Pa. abortion pill mandate case
  • 2013-09-19: Pa. woodworkers ask Supreme Court to shelve abortion pill mandate
  • 2013-08-14: Pa. abortion pill mandate case to be appealed to US Supreme Court
  • 2013-07-31: Family business asks full 3rd Circuit to protect religious freedom from Obama mandate

  • Matt Bowman: How the coercion coalition is imposing the new “freedom” in America (Washington Examiner, 2014-03-27)
  • David Cortman: Abortion pill mandate, Hobby Lobby and why the Supreme Court should honor faith (Washington Times, 2014-03-25)
  • Matt Bowman: Religion is your business (National Review, 2014-03-21)
  • Matt Bowman: If a company can be African American, can’t it be religious? (Public Discourse, 2014-03-21)
  • Matt Bowman: Arms control and those Obamacare contraception mandates (Washington Examiner, 2014-02-12)
  • Kerri Kupec: Obama’s selective entrepreneurial praise (, 2014-02-03)
  • Matt Bowman: Defending religious freedom from Obamacare (Washington Times, 2013-12-01)
  • Matt Bowman: With Obamacare, business doesn’t have a prayer (Washington Times, 2013-09-05)
  • Matt Bowman: Free to “exercise” religion, too (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-08-16)

Other resources:

  • Video: Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.) on Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and the abortion pill mandate (2014-03-24) (4:20)

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