Important Update: Archdiocese of Washington Files Opening Brief with U.S. Court of Appeals Read More.
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Archdiocese of Washington Files Opening Brief with U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al.

The Archdiocese of Washington and its co-plaintiffs filed an opening brief today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the archdiocese’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate. By order of the Court, the case has been consolidated with Priests for Life, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

On December 31, 2013, the Court of Appeals granted an injunction which prevents the government from enforcing the HHS mandate against the archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs while their appeal is pending. In other words, the archdiocese and its affiliates will not be forced to choose between paying crippling fines or facilitating the provision of abortion-inducing products, sterilizations, and contraceptives to their employees during the appeal. The filing today is the next step in the legal process where the merits of the case will be considered. The archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs are hopeful that the final disposition of this case will support religious freedom and rights of conscience.

For more information about the lawsuit brought by the Archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., D.C. Cir. case no. 14-5021, please visit www.PreserveReligiousFreedom.org.

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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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