Domino's Pizza Founder Thomas Monaghan Sues: Obamacare's Birth Control A 'Grave Sin'

Domino's Pizza founder files lawsuit.


The pizza moguls of America have been on President Obama's case as of late. First Papa John's CEO declared that prices at his restaurant chain would rise under the weight of Obamacare. Then on Friday the founder of Domino's Pizza filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming -- like over 40 other lawsuits -- that the mandatory free contraception coverage in the health care law violates religious freedom.

Thomas Monaghan, the 75-year-old founder of Domino's Pizza and a devout Catholic, is suing three government agencies and their directors, alleging that the birth control provision in the Affordable Care Act "force[s] individuals to violate their deepest held religious beliefs," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims that the new law "attacks and desecrates a foremost tenet of the Catholic Church," which considers contraception "a grave sin." It adds that the mandate compels insurance issuers to cover the morning-after pill, "despite their known abortifacient mechanisms of action."

Monaghan no longer owns Domino's Pizza; he sold the company in 1998. His lawsuit is on behalf of another company, Domino's Farms Corp., which runs an office complex. The lawsuit names the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Treasury Department as defendants, as well as their three heads, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis and Timothy Geithner.

Monaghan's Heart

"This is something that strikes at the heart of who Mr. Monaghan is," said Richard Thompson, the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian legal nonprofit founded by Monaghan in 1999, which is providing the legal support for the case.

Monaghan has been one of the greatest philanthropists to Catholic causes in American history. In addition to the Thomas More Law Center, he has also founded a Catholic radio station, a fully-accredited Catholic law school, an organization for Catholic business leaders, and a private Catholic university in southwest Florida, with a satellite campus in Nicaragua.

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Monaghan faced controversy a few years ago when he moved Ave Maria University from Michigan to Florida, to a family-oriented town he built himself and that its website says "has been designed as a real hometown." The university filed a federal suit challenging the contraception provision back in February.

Thompson said that Monaghan felt it was "necessary for him to speak out" on the health care law rule, although if his lawsuit fails, he will still provide insurance to his 50 or so employees.

"He understands and believes that his Christian faith and Christian stewardship requires that he take care of employees and their families with health insurance," Thompson said.

Is The Contraception Mandate Constitutional?

Lawsuits pending across the country challenge the constitutionality of the contraception mandate, which requires that employers with 50 or more full-time employees offer all federally approved forms of contraception and sterilization in their insurance policies for free or face stringent penalties. As of earlier this month, 41 lawsuits had been filed, reported The Washington Times. Monaghan's suit makes 42.

Since 2000, companies have been required to offer birth control to their employees if their insurance provided for other prescription drugs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that denying contraception qualified as discrimination "on the basis of a woman's ability to become pregnant," and so violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

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Before Obamacare, however, Monaghan had been able to "engineer" an insurance policy through Blue Cross and Blue Shield that had exemptions for contraceptives and sterilization, according to Thompson.

This is the second lawsuit that the Thomas More Law Center has filed challenging the birth control provision. In the first case, the judge granted the plaintiff, the Weingartz Supply Company, a preliminary injunction in October, effectively blocking the enforcement of the mandate.

"This is not only a victory for our clients, but for religious freedom," said lead counsel Erin Mersino at the time. Mersino is also heading this second suit.

"The federal government says we need this law so that women have an equal opportunity in the workforce, so they can choose if and when they have children," said Thompson. But Mersino managed that legal victory, he points out, while seven-and-a-half months pregnant.

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Char Dantzman

My tax monies are going to pay for birth control and abortions. Why can't people who want to have sex pay their own way and the women who don't want their child should pay for the abortions. No matter if you are rich or poor, take responsibility for your own actions. Pay for your own "protection" yourself. Don't force the rest of us to pay for something you should be responsible for. I would rather my taxes pay for the creation of new jobs, education, better roads, more public transportation, etc. My husband and I have been married for 57 years and raised 5 children. We both worked full time jobs to raise them and send them to college. Two of them have BS degrees, two have masters degrees and one has a Doctorate degree. It was thru hard work, sacrafice, self control and most of all love, that we are now enjoying 9 grandchildren, Three grandchildren have masters degrees and the rest are thriving in grade school and high schools. We didn't ask for goverment hand outs or help from any one. We worked hard and are proud of all our accomplishments. If you want something, get off your "duffs" and get it thru hard work and self control and leave my tax money alone. Calling responsible people "names" only shows your lack of fortitude.

May 03 2013 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rldarch

Monaghan, keep your silly superstitions to yourself. I'll not buy from Domino's until you leave.
And, by the way, how much do you earn as a CEO in relation to your average worker's pay??
And you want to deny them basic health care !

May 01 2013 at 1:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Sergey

Legal articles related to business are very important to educate young businessmen. You make those complicated legal issues very acceptable. Let me please invite you to write business legal articles to Attorney Online http://attorney-online.info/publ/business_law_articles/5 One more important thing. If you know good business attorneys or other good lawyers, they can submit their contacts to Attorney Directory for free and post to Attorney Blog.

January 04 2013 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tresauto

It's not nearly bad a sin as eating a Domino's pizza. Gross!

January 02 2013 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garry

I learned at a very young age what it took to produce a child. Knowing what it takes to produce a child lets us know what takes to not produce one. Saying we can't help ourselves to avoid doing what it takes to produce a child certainly tells the world what a weak will we have. Saying "I absolutly must do that even if I don't want a child--I simply cannot help myself" sure gives us reason to re-look at all the people we think are perverts, doesn't it?

January 01 2013 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cpsi03

Would like to know his company policy for pregnant workers. Maternity leave, insurance, (for mother and child) job guarantees after giving birth, livable wages? Bet those are all "grave sins" also. If a man can't give birth his opinion is null and void. What about vasectomy and condoms, insurance paying for viagra are those a sin also?

January 01 2013 at 10:48 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mick271

god is pointless and irrelevant

December 27 2012 at 4:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Jerry

If contraception is a grave sin then you need to rethink your religion. It's about what the individual decides for themselves, and free is good if that's what one wants. If not, then no problem.

December 27 2012 at 4:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jumpoffadkins

What right does a business owner have to impose his religious belief on his workers? Would he submit to theres? I notice how often its men crying no birth control. If no birth control no viagra, what's fair is fair.

December 27 2012 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stremy1a

Your crap pizza is a "grave sin".

December 27 2012 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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