Colorado mortgage company files suit over mandate requiring health insurance to cover contraception

DENVER - A Colorado mortgage company has filed a lawsuit challenging a federal mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception.

Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., a mortgage-banking company co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, is one of the latest businesses to challenge the mandate.

The company, which does business in 27 states and has 730 employees, filed the lawsuit Tuesday.

The lawsuit says the requirement violates the rights of evangelical Christians who object to being forced to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, according to the Denver Post.

"All the owners are evangelical Christians who specifically object to being forced to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices," said the company's attorneys in a statement provided by the newspaper. Lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom released the statement late Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, Colorado Christian University, where Armstrong serves as president, also filed a lawsuit challenging the contraception mandate as a violation of deeply held religious beliefs.

The mandate was also challenged by Oklahoma-based craft store chain Hobby Lobby in January.

Lawyers for Hobby Lobby said the federal law is unconstitutional and violates the company's owners' religious beliefs by forcing them to fund emergency contraceptive pills, which they said effectively cause an abortion. The company says failure to provide such insurance could lead to fines of up to $1.3 million a day.

The Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby is a secular employer that by definition does not exercise religion.

As of March 8, a total of 50 companies -- 20 for-profit and 30 non-profit -- have filed suit, the newspaper reported.

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