Important Update: U.S. Court of Appeals Grants an Injunction in Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius Read More.
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Statement of Archdiocese of Washington in Response to U.S. Court of Appeals Granting an Injunction in Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius

The Archdiocese of Washington is pleased that today the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an injunction that prevents the Archdiocese and its affiliates from having to choose between paying crippling fines or facilitating the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives to their employees.  The order prohibits the government from enforcing the HHS mandate’s objectionable requirements against the Archdiocese and its co-appellants pending further order from the court.

This action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is in line with the rulings of courts all across the country which have held that the HHS mandate imposes a substantial and impermissible burden on the free exercise of religion.  These decisions also vindicate the pledge of the U.S. Catholic bishops to stand united in resolute defense of the first and most sacred freedom – religious liberty.

While the decision today is a preliminary ruling, and the merits of the case are soon to be considered, the Archdiocese is 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. 13-5371, please visit

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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