Speak Out: Washington Catholics Join Suit Fighting Obama Administration Mandate

What do you think of the controversy?


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?

Sherry Turner May 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I agree with JJ above. Taking on the Catholic Church was a very foolish step and all religious denominations see it as another religious attack. We are getting more and more like Europe and that is not a good thing.
Arlene May 22, 2012 at 01:38 PM
It is important to safeguard ALL of our liberties, beginning with the first: Freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. They were hard-won and they define our nation.
Katie Griffith May 22, 2012 at 02:50 PM
On the other hand, non-Catholic workers employed at these institutions may not have been covered for birth control and other forms of contraception. Should they not have access to the same coverage as other workers across the country? If the right to accept or reject the coverage is still there, does the mandate really violate church beliefs? What do you all think?
bmsinmd May 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Just a leeetle hypocrisy from the Catholic church and supporters here. According to a recent survey, 98% of Catholic women have used a form of birth control. Even if you question the survey's approach, the number must still be up in the 90s. So it appears the proscription against BC is not among the women affected but among the men who so value doctrinal purity. But BC is today seen as much about women's health as about controlling birth, and The Pill has nothing to do with abortion; it works by controlling the release of eggs. So: let the Catholic institutions provide for their employees' health coverage the same as any other employers do/are required. This is hardly an assault on religion - give us a break!
ED May 22, 2012 at 03:20 PM
After reading this statement by Health and Human Services, http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/01/20120120a.html I agree with HHS. I don't see this as a "war on religion", I see this as a battle for women's healthcare.


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