Catholic Charities of Atlanta and Catholic Education of North Georgia, a non-profit organization that runs five Catholic schools for approximately 12,000 students, won a victory for religious freedom this week when a federal judge ruled that they do not have to comply with the HHS contraceptive mandate, according to the Associated Press.
The mandate forces religious institutions such as Catholic schools and colleges to provide employee coverage for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures.
In his decision, U.S. District Judge William Duffey reportedly ruled that the Obama administration is not permitted to enforce the mandate as it would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which prohibits the government from burdening an individual’s religious practice.
Several lawsuits have been filed by religious institutions, including Catholic colleges. Some have been decided in favor of the government and others in favor of the plaintiffs. Many legal experts expect the case of a non-profit to end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court this week heard arguments in a case filed by the for-profit Hobby Lobby which is owned by a Christian family that objects to providing coverage of abortifacients.
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