Important Update: Dioceses of Pittsburgh, Erie win injunction against HHS mandate! Read More.
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Catholic dioceses of Pittsburgh, Erie win injunction against Affordable Care Act

By Rich LordPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Posted on: Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Original publication date: November 21, 2013

The right of church-related organizations to keep a clear conscience trumps the federal government’s desire to improve access to contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Thursday in a preliminary decision that could set the tone in a legal fight of national scope.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab granted an injunction sought by the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Diocese of Erie and several affiliated nonprofit groups that do not want their insurance administrators to provide what they call “preventive services” coverage.

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About Preserve Religious Freedom

This lawsuit is about religious freedom and our ability to serve the public, not about contraception. The Church maintains that the First Amendment protects the Catholic Church's ability to serve the public in accordance with its faith and to operate its religious institutions without government interference. The argument challenges the way the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines what is, and is not, a religious institution. By including an exemption at all, the government apparently agrees that, in keeping with decades of practice and precedent, religious institutions should not be compelled to purchase drugs or procedures that violate deeply held religious or moral beliefs.

But, the Administration's HHS mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that religious schools, hospitals, and social services don't qualify as religious, and must therefore provide these drugs and procedures. This violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. It forces religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving the public. Read more about the plaintiffs filing this lawsuit here.

Preserve Religious Freedom
c/o Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260

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