Skip to content

March madness begins: Religious freedom outscoring ObamaCare 12-4 in court

Administration chooses not to fight new injunction in wake of multiple court losses for abortion pill mandate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri-based plumbing products manufacturer is the latest company to win a court order against the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate, bringing the total number of court rulings against the mandate to 12 compared to four in its favor.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys represent Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co. in a federal lawsuit filed last month to challenge the mandate, which 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.

“Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences whether they are at home, church, or work,” said lead counsel Jonathan R. Whitehead, one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The court was right to stop enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate against Sioux Chief and its owners. They, like all other family-run businesses, have the God-given freedom to live and lead their company according to the values of their faith. American entrepreneurs cannot be forced to surrender their First Amendment freedoms when they go to work.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are co-counsel in the case, Sioux Chief Manufacturing v. Sebelius. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, issued its injunction in the case Thursday with no opposition from the Obama administration. The court also put the case on hold until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit decides one of two appeals in other lawsuits challenging the abortion pill mandate.

“The Obama administration should understand that it cannot force Americans to abandon their beliefs at the door of the workplace,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The Constitution simply doesn’t allow the government to involve itself in religion by deciding what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where their faith may be lived out. Confining our faith to our homes and our churches is not the job of Washington bureaucrats.”

Sioux Chief Manufacturing, located near Kansas City and founded in 1957 by Martin E. “Ed” Ismert, Jr., is a leading manufacturer and wholesaler of plumbing products and supplies. Members of the Ismert family, who are Catholic, continue to own the business, led by president Joseph P. Ismert.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating eight other lawsuits against the mandate. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.

  • Pronunciation guide: Sioux (SOO’), Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh), Ismert (IZ’-mert)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


# # # | Ref. 38540

Related Profiles

Kevin Theriot
Kevin Theriot
Senior Counsel
Kevin Theriot serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom