Skip to main content


EWTN Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate is Dismissed

3/26/2013 - 1:18 PM PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

Network Will Continue to Oppose Unjust Rules

Irondale, AL (EWTN) (March 26, 2013) - Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of the U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala. issued an order March 25 dismissing EWTN’s lawsuit challenging the government mandate that employee healthcare plans must provide coverage for contraception, voluntary sterilization procedures and abortion-inducing drugs.

Judge Blackburn’s order found that the “real prospect of harm from a concrete regulatory mandate” gives the Network adequate legal standing to file the lawsuit. However, because the government has promised to yet further amend the mandate’s rules, Judge Blackburn’s opinion held that the moving target of the mandate was not yet “ripe” for review. The promise of future revisions to the mandate thereby makes the court reluctant to rule today. Blackburn’s opinion concludes that “in this case, common sense weighs in favor of withholding judicial review until the new regulations are created and finalized. At that point, if EWTN still has objections, it may then file suit.”

“While we are extremely disappointed that Judge Blackburn did not rule on the constitutional issues that were at the heart of the EWTN lawsuit, we are not surprised by the decision,’ said EWTN President & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “In every lawsuit filed against the mandate, the government has made promise after promise to amend its unjust rules. As a result, nearly everyone, including the courts, is left waiting to see what the government might or might not do to address the serious issues of conscience that have been raised since the first set of rules were published over a year ago.

“EWTN has consistently maintained that contraception, voluntary sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs are not healthcare. EWTN cannot and will not compromise on our strongly held beliefs on these moral issues,” Warsaw continued. “We are consulting with our legal team at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty about our available options as we go forward.”

EWTN filed its lawsuit Feb. 9, 2012 against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies seeking to stop the imposition of the contraception mandate as well as asking the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional. The Attorney General of the State of Alabama filed a motion to join EWTN March 22, 2012 as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Judge Blackburn’s decision essentially dismissed that motion as well.

At the time EWTN filed its lawsuit, Warsaw noted that the HHS mandate is particularly hard on Catholics “because Catholic organizations, such as hospitals, schools, social service agencies, media outlets and others, serve people regardless of their religious beliefs.” However, since the filing, EWTN has been heartened by the response of religious groups around the country, as well as those who simply believe in the constitutional principle of religious liberty.

Said Warsaw: “We are grateful for the prayers and support of the EWTN Family over the past year – as well as all those who have written in support of our lawsuit and in support of religious liberty – and we ask for continued prayers as we consider our response to the court’s decision.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 32nd year, is available in over 225 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.

Contact

EWTN Global Catholic Network
http://www.ewtn.com  AL, 35210 US
Michelle Johnson - Director of Communications,  205-795-5769

Keywords

EWTN, Catholic, HHS Mandate, contraception mandate, Becket Fund, religious liberty

Category

Catholic Organizations

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call to him ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise your name for ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
all in accordance with my most confident hope and trust that I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

September 21 Saint of the Day

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More