Administration ‘Taking another Mulligan’

Image: Administration ‘Taking another Mulligan’

Administration fails for fourth time to protect religious liberty

For Immediate Release: March 16, 2012
Contact: Emily Hardman,  202.349.7224

The Administration is taking a mulligan, make that its fourth mulligan in this abortion-drug mandate debacle. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released additional details regarding its so-called “compromise” on the abortion-drug mandate.

In the fourth Friday of such announcements, the Administration stated they would solicit public comment for several options to create a new “insurance mandate,” and provide a potential safe harbor rule for certain student health plans.

“We do not need any more rule making.  We do not need any more comment periods.  We already settled this with that one original rule: The First Amendment” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund.

In fact, many religious groups will not qualify for the safe harbor even for their employee health plans so their student health plans will similarly begin to dispense the offending drugs and services beginning this August. The impending harm on religious groups continues.

“The Administration’s action is just another delay tactic,” said Smith. “It’s not that complicated. Grant a wide enough exemption to honor the conscience of millions of Americans. The First Amendment demands it.”

The timing of this announcement is also suspect. The Administration knew that the Becket Fund’s response to the government’s motion to dismiss will be filed in federal court on Monday. This delay tactic is designed to disrupt those arguments, because the administration knows it won’t be able to answer them.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is the first and leading law firm to legally challenge the Obama Administration’s mandate.  The Becket Fund currently represents Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts college founded by Benedictine monks, and Colorado Christian University, an evangelical college located outside of Denver, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic news organization founded 30 years ago by a cloistered nun named Mother Angelica, and Ave Maria University, a school dedicated to living the teachings of the Catholic church.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law, and they recently won a 9-0 victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

Additional Resources:

HHS Announcement

Becket Fund’s HHS Case Page

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