A total of seven states have joined together in a lawsuit against the Obama administration, seeking to halt the mandate requiring employers to offer health insurance that includes free access to contraceptive drugs that can cause abortion.
The suit was filed on February 23 by the Attorneys General for the states of Florida (AG Pam Bondi, photo), Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. In addition, reported the Catholic News Agency (CNA), plaintiffs in the case include Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln, Nebraska; Catholic Social Services, a Nebraska-based charity; Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, the insurance provider for a majority of Catholic dioceses and orders; and two private citizens, Stacy Molai, a lay missionary; and Sister Mary Catherine.
Defendants named in the suit include Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, “all of whom are being sued in their capacity as officials of the U.S. government,” reported the CNA.
In their lawsuit the 12 plaintiffs argue that the government mandate would “coerce religious organizations … to directly subsidize contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related services in contravention with their religious beliefs.” They charge that the rule amounts to an “unprecedented invasion” of their “First Amendment rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and free association.”
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