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Won U.S. Courts of Appeals

Armstrong v. Burwell

Westerners Plagued by Occasional References to Scripture


The Armstrong and May families are owners of Cherry Creek Mortgage, a Colorado-based home loan provider with nearly 400 employees. The families are devout Evangelical Christians who operate their business according to their deeply held religious beliefs, including respect for the sanctity of human life. But when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate requiring businesses to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, the two families faced an unavoidable dilemma. Without relief from the court, they must either violate their religious beliefs by providing the objectionable items, or they must pay heavy fines and penalties that would bring the business to its knees. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, the two families and Cherry Creek Mortgage filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion pill mandate.

After initially denying Cherry Creek Mortgage’s request for a preliminary injunction, the Colorado federal district court ruled in favor of the Armstrongs and the Mays and enjoined the enforcement of the HHS abortion pill mandate against their business. 

While the Justice Department has appealed this favorable ruling and Alliance Defending Freedom is still fighting for the Armstrong and the Mays and their business, as well as several other businesses whose owners object to being forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, the appeal is on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves another Alliance Defending Freedom case—Conestoga  Wood Specialties Corp. Until this battle is won, Alliance Defending Freedom will be on the front lines to advocate for every Christian business owner who simply wants the freedom to operate his or her business according to his or her faith.

What's at stake

The freedom to operate a business according to your deeply held religious beliefs without the fear of being punished by the government.

Christian business being forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and devices in violation of the owner’s religious, pro-life beliefs.

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom represents the Armstrongs and the Mays and their business on a pro bono basis, and is defending their freedom to operate their businesses according to their deeply held religious beliefs. 

Case Documents

Trial Court
Appellate Court
Trial Court
Appellate Court
Trial Court

Additional Resources


Case Profiles

Kevin Theriot
Kevin Theriot
Senior Counsel
Kevin Theriot serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom
Matt Bowman
Matt Bowman
Senior Counsel, Director of Regulatory Practice
Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and director of regulatory practice at Alliance Defending Freedom, where he focuses on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family.