Over 40 Catholic groups across the nation have filed a dozen federal lawsuits to halt President Obama’s contraception mandate requiring employers — including Christian and other religious groups — to include free birth control and sterilization in the health insurance they provide employees. The groups named in the suits, including Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and the Archdiocese of New York, “accuse the federal government of forcing them to support contraception, sterilization, and birth control in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines,” reported Reuters News.
While churches are exempted from the mandate, the White House is still trying to force other religious institutions such as Catholic hospitals, universities, and other Christian non-profits to bear the weight of the ruling. When the nation’s Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders explained to the President last February that Christian organizations had no intention of caving in to his dictatorial demands, Obama attempted an Orwellian “compromise,” claiming he had decided religious employers would not have to pay for the contraceptives after all. Instead, their health insurance carriers would bear the cost — a rhetorical sleight of hand that the Christian leaders pointed out was a “distinction without a difference,” prompting the suits they filed on May 21.
"In order to safeguard their religious freedoms, religious employers must plead with the government for a determination that they are sufficiently 'religious,'" Notre Dame said in its federal lawsuit, filed in Indiana.
Reuters noted that under the mandate Obama is trying to force through, “religious organizations can only qualify for the exemption if their purpose is to spread their religious beliefs. They must also primarily employ and serve people with the same religious values.” The organizations in the suit argue that the government is intruding into an area where the Constitution forbids it to tread. In its complaint Notre Dame said it was not even clear if it could qualify for an exemption because it serves and employs both Christians and non-Christians.
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