We’ve all forgotten Missouri State Rep. Paul Wieland, the Catholic patriarch so terrified of his own impotence that he and his wife Teresa sued the federal government to ensure that his wife and daughters would not have access to birth control covered by insurance. The inclusion, the Wielands argued, infringed on their religious freedom.

“I see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil, and I cannot in good conscience preach one thing to my kids and then just go with the flow on our insurance,” Wieland said in a 2013 interview. “This is a moral conundrum for me. Do I just cancel the coverage and put my family at risk? I don’t believe in what the government is doing.”

On Monday, the lawsuit, which was initially rejected by a federal trial court, was reinstated by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will now go back to the district court. The court ruling reads:

The Wielands, parents of three daughters, are committed to the health and well-being of their children and thus seek to ensure that their daughters have comprehensive healthcare coverage. As devout Roman Catholics, they believe that they cannot pay for or participate in a healthcare plan that includes coverage for contraceptives or provide such coverage to their daughters without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Wieland v. Department of Health and Human Services builds upon the precedent set in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which allowed privately-owned businesses to exclude birth control from employees’ health coverage on religious grounds.

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“Even if I didn’t have daughters, it would be offensive against my religion,” Wieland said of the lawsuit. “Everything that I’ve taught you about our faith should be ignored because the government knows better than your dad.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Image via AP.

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