The Archdiocese of Washington has joined dozens of Catholic organizations across the country in fighting a mandate that religious employers provide workers with birth control coverage.
A coalition that includes Catholic University of America, the Archdiocese of Washington, the Consortium of Catholic Academies, Archbishop Carroll High School and Catholic Charities of D.C. filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Monday. The suit challenges the recent Department of Health and Human Services mandate that forces the institutions to provide health insurance covering contraception and other medical practices that run counter to church teachings.
"The archdiocese’s complaint maintains that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment and federal law by forcing the plaintiffs, all Catholic organizations, to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving all people in need,” the “Specifically, the suit stems from the mandate’s new definition of what constitutes a religious organization. Contrary to long-standing precedent, the law exempts from the mandate only those religious institutions that primarily serve and employ individuals of their own faith. Any other religious organizations, like Catholic schools, universities, hospitals and charities that serve all individuals regardless of their faith, do not themselves qualify as religious for purposes of the exemption."
What do you think? Is it right to make the Catholic organizations provide health insurance covering contraception? Are the exemptions fair?