Pizza Chain Founder Sues Government for Requiring Him to Pay for Employee Birth Control

The devoutly Roman Catholic founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over the mandatory contraception coverage in Obamacare. Tom Monaghan says that the health care law violates his rights to practice his religion, which does not allow the use of hormonal birth control.

Once intricately involved in day-to-day operations, Monaghan sold Domino’s for $1 billion in 1998, and has devoted much of his time and money since to Catholic causes. He has said, “I want to die broke.”

Currently, Domino's Pizza offers a health care plan to its eligible employees that excludes contraceptives and abortions. That isn't to say that they don't hire women that choose to use it or that have had abortions -- that would be discrimination. The company is simply not willing to pay for other people’s lifestyle choices.

One of the most controversial parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010, and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, is the mandate that requires employers providing health insurance to their employees include contraception coverage. This has sparked a backlash from various religious communities, which see the requirement as a violation to their religious freedoms.

Domino’s Pizza is just one of the many companies nationwide taking action as the full implementation of Obamacare barrels down on us. Papa John’s Pizza CEO John Schnattar has said that employers may have to cut employee hours to part-time status to avoid overwhelming costs. Applebee’s put a hiring freeze in place to deal with the expected consequences of rising health care costs and penalties and fees.

So far, Obamacare supporters have argued that those opposing the law just don’t understand that rich people have bottomless pockets and should feel honored to cut into their profits to provide “free” health insurance to the fry cooks rather than invest in new business to create new jobs and opportunities. But what about when it stops being about money and starts being about religion?

What’s more important in this Domino’s case? An American’s right to practice his religion as he sees fit? Or a woman’s ‘right’ to have her employer provide her with a health service that directly violates that religion? Our country needs to have a serious discussion on what constitutes rights because once we start saying it’s someone’s ‘right’ to have another person pay for their stuff, what else can our government do?

Do you think birth control coverage should be mandatory, regardless of religious violations?


Image via janetmck/Flickr

abortion, barack obama, corporations, discrimination, economy, feminism, health care, human rights, in the news, law, politics, women's issues, birth control

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Flori... Floridamom96

What part of no one is trying to prevent anyone else from taking birth control or having abortions do you not understand? What right do you have to use the power of government force to require anyone else to pay for anything for you?

areyo... areyouatroll

I agree with him. I do not support this law at all.

nonmember avatar singer825

Bottom line, it's been stated over and over again that bc has many other medical uses. I went on it in college because I was sick and tired of being completely incapacitated for 3 days out of every month. Side bonus, it kept acne at bay which I discovered when I stopped using it and my face promptly exploded. I also discovered that bc is way more effective than Proactiv go figure. And for the last time, bc is not only used by the promiscuous! I don't know why that idea is being perpetuated but it's stupid and it's wrong. Get it through your heads, all different kinds of women (married women, single women, mothers), use birth control for purposes other than preventing pregnancy.

Religion should not even begin to be a factor. To me, if religious discrimination is a no-no when it comes to hiring, then it should be a no-no with anything work related. You don't get to pick and choose.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

I agree with him. Its his company. He can do what the heck he wants to do.

Laurlev Laurlev

It's the law, therefore he should have to cover it in a comprehensive healthcare plan. It's also the law that he can't discriminate, comply with various other laws enacted to protect employees regardless of their employers personal beliefs. Why is this any different?

nonmember avatar Littlefrogs

It generally costs more to have plans w/o abortion and birth control than to have plans with them.

This isn't about money.

Flori... Floridamom96

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances." In the case of Obamacare, congress has very clearly made a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. I do not care what anyone thinks, I care what the constitution (the supreme law of the land) says. Read it.

wamom223 wamom223

You know the President hasn't even started his second term and here we are trying to void all these Constitutional rights.  I stand with the owner of Domino's.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

PinkB... PinkButterfly66

What an effing prick.  He's forcing his religious beliefs on his employees.  That is wrong.

nonmember avatar Littlefrogs

It's against his religion to have his employees access medical care?

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