Posted by Matt Yonke (December 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm)
In light of the US Supreme Court’s recent announcement that it will hear the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases concerning the HHS Mandate, the University of Notre Dame has re-filed their case against the Mandate.
Our abiding concern in both the original filing of May 21, 2012, and this re-filing has been Notre Dame’s freedom—and indeed the freedom of many religious organizations in this country—to live out a religious mission. We have sought neither to prevent women from having access to services, nor even to prevent the government from providing them.
Posted by Matt Yonke (November 18, 2013 at 10:01 am)
Last week, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) met in Washington DC for their annual General Assembly.
At the close of their meeting, the Bishops issued public statement, re-affirming their opposition to President Obama’s HHS Mandate:
Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, which violates our deeply-held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all.
Despite our repeated efforts to work and dialogue toward a solution, those problems remain. Not only does the mandate undermine our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith, which is their core mission, but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care.
Read the full statement at the USCCB website, and let’s continue to uphold in prayer the US bishops and all those leading the fight for our religious liberty!
Posted by Eric Scheidler (November 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm)
Last week another court sided with plaintiffs seeking to stop enforcement of the HHS Mandate against them for refusing to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to employees.
This time it was the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, which instructed a lower court to enter a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from enforcing the HHS Mandate against Cyril and Jane Korte, and their southern Illinois construction company, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
The Korte’s are devout Catholics who say the HHS Mandate requires them to violate their religious faith. But a district court judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from imposing huge fines on them while they fight the HHS Mandate in court.
A court can grant such a preliminary injunction when a judge determines that plaintiffs are likely to prevail—as the Seventh Circuit clearly thinks the Kortes are.
Attorney Edward White of the American Center for Law and Justice, who argued on behalf of the Kortes at the Seventh Circuit, offers more details about the case here.
Here’s hoping that the Kortes will prevail in their lawsuit against the HHS Mandate, which can not proceed without destroying their business, and that all employers will soon see their religious freedoms protected from this kind of government intrusion.
Today the Supreme Court begins a new term in which it may hear two cases related to the HHS Mandate.
Between this and the turmoil in Washington over funding Obamacare, today seems like a good day to take stock of the landscape in the ongoing legal challenges against the Mandate.
Of the 35 for-profit businesses that have brought lawsuits against the HHS Mandate so far, 30 have received temporary injunctions. This means that they do not have to obey the HHS Mandate while their case is pending. This kind of relief is typically granted when a judge believes they have a good chance of winning their case, which makes those numbers a very good sign. [Continue reading ...]
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring another Fortnight for Freedom this year from June 21 to July 4, in response to the still looming threats to our religious freedom like the HHS Mandate.
From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and all points in between, dioceses across the country will be encouraging prayer and action to bring awareness to this crucial issue.
The bishops have asked for the assistance of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition and we are very excited to offer our resources to assist with the planning and execution of any rallies that may be held during the Fortnight.
Our national team can help with plans for a rally your diocese is hosting, or help connect you with the right people in your diocese to get one going if none is yet planned.
You can find a full list of diocesan events around the country right here, and if you’d like the Stand Up Coalition’s assistance with an event near you, send us a message on our contact form.
You’ve got till midnight tonight to let the administration know that you believe forcing business owners to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs as part of their health plans is a gross violation of our First Amendment rights.
This issue has elicited more feedback than any other item, don’t leave your voice out of the conversation! Planned Parenthood and their cronies are pushing their forces to speak up in favor of the Mandate, so get a move on! And be sure to tell all your friends to do the same via e-mail and your social networks.
Don’t let this last chance to speak up pass you by! Make your voice heard right here and stand up for religious freedom today!
Three years after Congress approved President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), contraceptive care remains its most controversial provision, drawing not only more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide, according to an analysis of federal regulations on Sunlight’s Docket Wrench.
More than 147,000 people and organizations have made their voices heard over the debate, most of them opposing the provision that requires that federal agencies have interpreted to mean that women have access to preventive services—including contraception—at no cost. The Catholic Church has led the charge, urging parishioners to write with messages such as “Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase.”
Today we see a huge victory for the protection of our First Amendment rights as a direct outgrowth of last year’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally effort as protesters whose rights were violated at the June Rally in Dayton, Ohio are vindicated and free speech is protected.
At the June 8 Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in Dayton, Ohio, Sinclair Community College campus police told participants that they had to put down their “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” and “Stop Obama’s HHS Mandate” signs because of the school’s speech code which outrageously banned all signs because they could potentially be used as weapons.
I remember clearly when Eric Scheidler received a phone call from Bryan Kemper of Stand True Ministries, one of the speakers at the rally, during our own Rally in Chicago. Bryan and Rally Captain Ruth Deddens were shocked that police were asking them to put down signage during a First Amendment Rally! [Continue reading ...]