Trijicon, the popular optics manufacturer and military contractor, is joining the fight against an Obamacare mandate that requires businesses to provide emergency contraception, aka “Plan B,” to employees.
Earlier this month, the Michigan-based company filed a lawsuit arguing that the Affordable Care Act mandate “illegally and unconstitutionally” requires Trijicon to violate its and its owners’ religious beliefs by forcing the company to cover items that induce early abortions by preventing the implantation of an embryo after its conception.
Specifically, those items include: “Plan B” (the so-called “morning after pill”), Ella (the so-called “week after pill”), and intauterine devices (“IUDs”).
“My father began this business with the intent of treating our employees and customers in a way that represented his strong Christian faith,” Trijicon President and CEO Stephen Bindon, told Live Action News. “By filing this lawsuit, we are simply trying to retain the culture and values we’ve always promoted here at Trijicon.”
(Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts company, also filed a lawsuit challenging the Plan-B mandate, see video below)
While Trijicon provides health insurance to employees, that coverage does not include abortion or abortion-related services.
Trijicon believes that it has a right to choose which services to offer employees and that the mandate coerces the family-owned business to “engage in acts that they consider sinful and immoral,” as the lawsuit states.
“All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences wherever they are,” Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told Live Action News.
“As the vast majority of courts have found so far, the abortion pill mandate is an excessive burden on the religious freedom that the Constitution recognizes and guarantees to all Americans,” he continued.
According to the Affordable Care Act, those companies that fail to provide emergency contraception coverage to employees will face heavy fines. The Trijicon lawsuit, which joined a list of about 30 lawsuits filed by similarly religious-oriented businesses, is seeking an injunction against the mandate.
In response to the Trijicon lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice said that it will not oppose the request for an injunction, but will allow the lawsuit to proceed to court.
There’s little doubt that this will be a hotly-debated topic in the weeks and months to come. As each lawsuit makes its way through the lower courts, it’s likely that at some point the U.S. Supreme Court will have to decide whether it’s constitutional for the government to levy fines against a business that refuses to provide emergency contraception coverage to its employees because it infringes upon that business’s religious beliefs.
It should also be noted that this isn’t the first time Trijicon has made headlines for its strong Christian values.
Trijicon has, in the past, inscribed biblical references on the scopes of standard-issue rifles carried by U.S. soldiers on combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The firearms with the Trijicon scopes were nicknamed “Jesus Rifles.” For obvious reasons, this caused a big kerfuffle.
As noted in a previous Guns.com article, Trijicon agreed to stop printing gospel references on sights for service rifles in 2010 and provided the Department of Defense with modification kits for the removal of the code on existing rifles. Yet, for one reason or another, it appears that the U.S. Military did not make it a priority to erase the code and biblical verses continue to pop up from time to time.