Christian University First to Renew its Lawsuit Over HHS Mandate

Image: Christian University First to Renew its Lawsuit Over HHS Mandate

Calls “Accommodation” a Farce

For Immediate Release:  August 7, 2013
Media Contact:  Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Colorado Christian University (CCU) became the first non-profit organization to renew its lawsuit challenging the HHS abortion-drug mandate’s “accommodation,” which still forces the Christian university to violate its deeply held religious beliefs or pay crippling fines. The new challenge comes just weeks after the final rule was announced in June.

“The bureaucrats’ proposed solution does not solve anything,” said Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents CCU in this matter. “CCU is still forced to participate in the government’s scheme to provide free access to abortion-causing drugs and devices.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado dismissed CCU’s challenge while waiting for the administration to issue final regulations responding to the religious objections of non-profit organizations. Under those now-released regulations, organizations like CCU are excused from directly paying for abortion-causing drugs and devices only if they “designate” another organization to do the same thing they cannot do directly. They and their health care plan remain the central cog in the government’s scheme.

“CCU cannot assuage its conscience by simply requiring someone else to provide the objectionable services.  It cannot allow its healthcare plan to facilitate access to abortion-causing drugs and devices in any way,” said Baxter. “Like other religious employers, CCU deserves a complete exemption.”

CCU’s renewed lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The lawsuit challenges the HHS regulations as violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and the Administrative Procedures Act. There have been more than 60 cases challenging the mandate.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory 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, 202.349.7224.

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