The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) challenging the HHS mandate, according to a release from ADF. The controversial HHS mandate requires religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures.
FOCUS is a non-profit Catholic organization, which employs more than 400 people, is a campus-based outreach program that brings Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church to students at colleges and universities. FOCUS is currently on 83 campuses in 34 states—including faithful Catholic colleges such as Franciscan University of Steubenville and Mount St. Mary’s University, as well as secular institutions such as Harvard University and Temple University.
“We did not ask for this fight…but this mandate has left us no choice,” said John Zimmer, vice president for FOCUS’ training and formation program in a statement about the lawsuit on FOCUS’ website. “We fight not just for ourselves, but for the hundreds and thousands of other organizations that are opposed to this mandate but do not have the resources or capacity to stand up for religious freedom.”
ADF Senior Counsel Mike Norton said in that organization’s statement that groups such as FOCUS “should be free to live and operate according to the faith they teach and live.”
Norton added that if the government can financially penalize Christian ministries out of existence for refusing to provide coverage of things they believe sinful, there is no limit to what other freedoms it can take away.
The ADF is currently representing several Catholic and Protestant organizations in their lawsuits against the mandate.
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