Dr. Richard Mantoan is a family dentist, an active Catholic, and a husband, father, and grandfather. He recently led a Fall 2019 40 Days for Life campaign and is active on his church’s Respect Life Committee.
But he’s been hit in multiple ways by Illinois, the state where he has had a dental practice for nearly 40 years. First, a Planned Parenthood abortion facility opened up next door to his dental practice; the facility was able to open after pro-abortion Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40 in 2017, expanding taxpayer-funded abortions. He previously filed a federal complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Now, he has to sue his own state, where he pays taxes, employs people, and lives with his family, because the state is trying to force him to pay for abortion through his company health insurance plan. Mantoan is trying to do the right thing, providing health insurance to his employees, but the state is trying to violate his conscience and religious rights.
LifeNews.com reports, “On June 10, 2020, the Thomas More Society filed a complaint in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, charging the state with abuses of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act in relation to the abortion insurance mandate. The case was filed on behalf of a Baptist church association, a dental practice and its owner, and a freight company and its owner. The lawsuit charges that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, the Department of Insurance, and its director, Robert Muriel, have refused to protect the plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs, which forbid them from funding and providing coverage for elective abortions.
Under an expansive abortion law that was passed with a straight party-lines vote by Democratic state legislators and Governor Pritzker, the “Reproductive Health Act” mandates that every health insurance plan in Illinois that provides pregnancy-related benefits must also provide coverage for abortion. The law, rushed through the legislature over the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, requires private health insurance companies to cover abortion procedures, giving everyone who participates financially in that plan – employees, employers, and the company – no way to opt-out.”
You can read the full complaint and about the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit here.