Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Alabama Joins EWTN in Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange moved to join the lawsuit filed by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), against the Obama Administration’s mandate that forces religious employers to provide health coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion drugs in violation of their faith. “We welcome Alabama as a crucial ally in this fight,“ said Kyle Duncan, the Becket Fund’s General Counsel and lead attorney for EWTN.  “Their participation reveals another glaring problem with the mandate: not only does the mandate threaten religious freedom, but it also impairs Alabama’s ability to protect its own citizens’ rights.” Attorney General Strange filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit on the grounds that the mandate forces Alabama to regulate its health insurance market in a way that violates both the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution.   “Alabama law does not allow anyone to be forced to offer a product that is against his or her religious beliefs or conscience” said Strange. “We are grateful to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange for taking such a strong stand on this issue,” said EWTN President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “The state could simply have chosen to file a brief advising the court of the impact of the case on its citizens.  Instead, it is intervening in the suit as a co-plaintiff with EWTN. The Attorney General is saying, in effect, that this unjust, unconstitutional mandate hurts not only EWTN, but the entire community.” The intervention arises in the fourth legal challenge brought by the Becket Fund against the Obama administration’s abortion drug mandate.  The Becket Fund also represents Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University (a nondenominational Christian University in Colorado), and Ave Maria University in similar lawsuits.  To date, the government has only sought to postpone hearing the Becket Fund’s claims.

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