Important Update: Archdiocese of Washington Files Comments with HHS & a Motion for Summary Reversal Read More.
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Archdiocese of Washington Files Notice of Appeal of U.S. District Court’s Decision in Archbishop of Washington et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius

March 25, 2013

CONTACT: Chieko Noguchi, 301-853-4516
[email protected]

The Archdiocese of Washington and its co-plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia regarding the January dismissal of the archdiocese’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate.

In the January ruling, which was not based on the merits of the archdiocese’s case, the U.S. District Court asserted that the case was premature in light of the government’s promises to amend the HHS mandate. The archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs will continue to advocate for a meaningful change to the mandate that respects the right of Catholic hospitals, schools and social service ministries to serve all those in need without violating their religious beliefs.


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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