Speed Reads


Missouri state rep. is suing the Obama administration to stop his daughters from getting birth control

Missouri State Rep. Paul Joseph Wieland (R) and his wife, Teresa, are suing the Obama administration because it might give their three daughters — two of whom are legal adults — access to free birth control.

The Wielands argue that the government is forcing their family to violate their religious beliefs, thanks to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. They're also citing the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case as evidence: "The employees are to Hobby Lobby what the daughters are to Paul and Teresa Wieland," Timothy Belz, the Wielands' attorney, told a panel of federal judges.

The Wielands' daughters, who are aged 13, 18, and 19, are all covered by Rep. Wieland's health insurance plan, and the Wielands have expressed concern that their daughters "might get birth control at no additional cost," MSNBC reports.

According to Belz, the ACA making contraception more affordable under health care plans is similar to if "the federal government had passed an edict that said that parents must provide a stocked unlocked liquor cabinet in their house whenever they're away for their minor and adult daughters to use, and Mormons came in and objected to that. It is exactly the same situation," he said.

When one of the judges suggested that the Wielands ask their kids to follow their religious beliefs, Belz responded, "Well, we all have high hopes for our kids, that is true. We all expect and want them to obey us, they don't always."

The Wielands currently face the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, after a district court dismissed the case.