ST. JOSEPH -- A St. Joseph company's group health insurance plan won't have to pay for abortions, birth control or sterilization after a landmark ruling in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

American Manufacturing Company owner Gregory Hall filed a preliminary injunction in April 2013 and was seeking a permanent injunction to the Department of Health and Human Services mandate to cover the procedures. It's the first ruling of its kind in Minnesota.

Hall is an ordained Deacon and wanted to assert his religious rights as a small business owner under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

In June, 2014 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a hobby store which determined small closely held companies can assert their religious rights under the RFRA.  As a result, the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis issued the permanent injunction.

The ruling now allows AMC to continue to provide health insurance to its employees without the threat of penalties for non-compliance under the federal HHS mandate.