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EWTN granted emergency relief from contraception mandate


CNA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/30/2014

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ABSTRACTEWTN granted emergency relief from contraception mandate :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood CNA Blog Home » News » US EWTN granted emergency relief from contraception mandate Washington D.C., Jun 30, 2014 / 01:15 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- The EWTN Global Catholic Network has secured temporary emergency relief against the federal contraception mandate one day before it would have gone into effect. “We are thankful that the Eleventh Circuit protected our right to religious freedom while we pursue our case in court,” said Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO of EWTN. “We want to continue to practice the same Catholic faith that we preach to the world every day.” “As we have said repeatedly, contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and voluntary sterilization are not health care and the government should not force EWTN to provide them as part of our employer-sponsored health plan.” Without the injunction to protect against the mandate, EWTN would have be forced to comply with its demands starting July 1, or face potential fines of more than $35,000 per day in penalties for refusing to do so. Issued under the Affordable Care Act, the federal mandate requires most employers to either provide or facilitate employee insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions. As an organization founded to uphold the Catholic faith, EWTN objects to providing or facilitating these products and practices, which violate Church teaching. The network is among more than 300 plaintiffs that have filed lawsuits across the country charging that the mandate violates federal and constitutional protections of religious freedom. Although an “accommodation” has been offered by the federal government to some religious non-profit groups that object to the mandate, many religious employers say that it still requires them to violate their beliefs by facilitating the coverage through an outside insurer. EWTN initially filed a lawsuit against the mandate in early 2012; however, that suit was dismissed on technical grounds in March 2013. The current lawsuit was filed in October 2013. On June 17, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V.S. Granade of Mobile, Ala., ruled against EWTN, prompting an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. When the appeals court did not respond to its petition, EWTN turned to the Supreme Court for emergency relief as the July 1 deadline approached, also asking the nation’s high court to take up consideration of the full case on its merits. However, the emergency injunction from the appeals court will now protect the network while its case continues to move forward in court. The injunction was granted just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely-held corporations cannot be required to abide by the mandate if their owners have religious objections to it. While noting that “the Hobby Lobby decision did not directly resolve EWTN’s case” as a non-profit, Warsaw said that the Supreme Court’s decision was “a great affirmation of the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression.” “This has been a very good day for religious liberty in America,” he stated. “The Hobby Lobby decision recognizes that business owners don’t give up their religious freedom when they start a business,” Warsaw said. “The fact that the Supreme Court believes that the government has an obligation to use the least restrictive means of accomplishing its goals is very helpful to the EWTN case. EWTN has raised similar arguments with regard to the government’s ‘accommodation’ scheme for faith-based organizations.” “We are both relieved and encouraged by the action taken by the courts today and look forward to making our case before the 11th Cir.......