Supreme Court Decision Fails to Stop HHS Mandate, EWTN Lawsuit Continues
Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network, which filed suit against the U.S. Government in February to halt the implementation of the so-called HHS contraception mandate, says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act in its entirety ensures that the Network and many other entities must continue the battle for religious liberty in this country.
“The decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act is certainly a disappointment for EWTN,” said EWTN President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “It was our hope that the Court’s decision would stop the implementation of the HHS mandate that requires employee health plans to provide coverage for morally objectionable services like contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. Because the Court has upheld the law, the rules which empower the government to issue its unjust mandate appear to remain in effect. As a result, the EWTN lawsuit seeking relief from the mandate will continue to move forward.”
EWTN’s lawsuit, which was filed February 9 in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies, not only sought to stop the imposition of the contraception mandate, but asked the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate was unconstitutional. EWTN was the first Catholic entity to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Government after the final rules were issued. The Attorney General of the State of Alabama filed documents March 22 in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Alabama joining EWTN as a plaintiff in its lawsuit.
At the time EWTN’s lawsuit was filed, Warsaw said that he took the action to defend not only the Network but other institutions across the country – Catholic and non-Catholic, religious and secular – from having this mandate imposed upon them. The mandate empowers the government to force EWTN and other employers to inform employees about how to get contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs – and later to provide these things to employees for free. If they refuse to do so, for any reason, it further empowers the government to impose crippling fines for refusing.
“The challenges to religious liberty continue every day at the federal, state and local levels,” Warsaw said. “The fight to secure our religious freedoms must continue.”
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 30th year, is available in over 200 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.