Senator Paul Wieland Succeeds in Fight to Purchase Alternative Insurance Plan

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Senator Paul Wieland Succeeds in Fight to Purchase Alternative Insurance Plan

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, is applauding the federal court on its ruling that will allow the senator and his family to purchase an insurance plan that excludes contraceptive and abortifacient coverage.

 “Religious freedom is one of America’s most valued birthrights. Restrictions on religious beliefs are in violation of the First Amendment and of the very fabric of what it means to be an American,” said Wieland. “As lifelong Roman Catholics this is not only a win for our personal beliefs, but it’s a win for religious liberty. The government cannot force us to pay for coverage of abortifacient drugs and contraceptives that go against my religious beliefs.” 

 The federal court concluded that the mandate imposes a substantial burden on the Wieland family’s exercise of religion. The court also cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and declared a Missouri statute that protects the conscience rights of those who don’t want abortifacient, contraceptive, or sterilization coverage in their health insurance plans to be reasonable.

 The Missouri law in question provides the choice to “opt out” of contraceptive coverage to state employees based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.  The commonsense protections provided by the Missouri General Assembly contained in this law were previously challenged and overturned by a federal court which found that the so-called federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as “Obamacare” pre-empted it.  In this week’s ruling, the court found that the religious liberties of Missourians take priority over provisions of the ACA.

 “I’m happy my family’s religious freedom and conscience prevailed in this case. No one should be forced to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and bow their knee at the altar of the big government mandates,” said Wieland.