Important Update: Archdiocese of Washington files new complaint regarding HHS mandate. Read More.
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Statement of Archdiocese of Washington in Response to the Finalization of the HHS Mandate

June 28, 2013

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

After almost two years and over 400,000 public comments, the government today finalized the HHS mandate. We have begun to review the 110-page final rule to determine whether or not it addresses our longstanding concerns.

Our review and analysis of the complex rule should help us answer important questions concerning who determines which institutions are religious and, therefore, exempt, who is forced to have this coverage, and who must provide it.

The new regulations are being closely studied and a more comprehensive statement will follow at a later date.

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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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