MN Business Owner Sues Government over Contraception

Updated: 02/06/2013 7:50 AM By: Nick Winkler

Greg Hall, a Roman Catholic church deacon in Houston, owns American Manufacturing Company in St. Joseph and filed a federal suit Tuesday evening, saying the contraception mandate violates his religious freedom.

American Manufacturing company, which manufactures mining equipment, garnered worldwide attention for its role in helping rescue 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010.

Hall says his religious beliefs will not allow him to obey the Affordable Care Act's mandate to offer contraception and abortion pills.

His attorney, Erick Kaardal, says the mandate violates the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act, which says the government is not supposed to pass laws that create a substantial burden on peoples' religious freedoms.

Hall, who teaches moral theology as part of his duties as a deacon of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, says the mandate conflicts with his religious and moral beliefs.

He's asking the court to exempt his companies from the mandate.

Hall purchased American Manufacturing Company in 1999 and now employs 42 people. He says he wants to continue to offer health care but worries that without an exemption, he'll no longer be able to do so due to the requirements of his faith.

If Hall stops offering health care he's concerned he'll no longer be able to attract employees and will have to shut down or sell the company.