Catholic Groups File Suit Over Contraceptive Mandate


Forty-three Roman Catholic institutions - including the University of Notre Dame - and 13 dioceses sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week in an effort to halt the implementation of a rule requiring religious employers to cover contraception in workers' health plans.

All told, the groups filed 12 lawsuits in federal districts across the country claiming the mandate violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty.

At issue is a rule contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requiring most employers to cover preventative health services as part of their insurance policies - a rule the Archdiocese of Washington calls an "unprecedented mandate dramatically redefining religious ministry."

In February, the Obama Administration agreed to modify the rule to allow Catholic employers to avoid directly providing contraceptives. Instead, insurance companies would be required to provide the contraceptives without charging the employer or the worker.

However, HHS has not decided how that rule would be implemented, which could pose a timing problem for the Catholic groups' lawsuits. Ultimately, courts could decide that the rule must be finalized before it can be challenged in court.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of announcements that Catholic universities Ave Maria University and Franciscan University would drop its student health insurance plan, citing the moral and economic difficulties associated with the contraceptive coverage mandate.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© James Dietz | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.