IRONDALE, Ala. — Eternal Word Television Network filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala., seeking to halt the federal government’s imposition of its contraception mandate and to have the court declare the federal rule unconstitutional.
The lawsuit names Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal agencies, as defendants.
The network released a statement today regarding the action.
The network is the first lay Catholic organization to challenge the constitutionality of the HHS final rule, approved by the Obama administration on Jan. 20. North Carolina’s Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University, based in Denver, have both filed suit. All three are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the public-interest law firm that recently won a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC, a closely watched First Amendment case. Becket is representing EWTN pro bono.
The Register is a service of EWTN.
Michael Warsaw, EWTN’s president and CEO, expressed regret at the necessity of taking legal action to defend the network’s constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
“We had no other option but to take this to the courts,” said Warsaw. “Under the HHS mandate, EWTN is being forced by the government to make a choice: Either we provide employees coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and violate our conscience or offer our employees and their families no health-insurance coverage at all. Neither of those choices is acceptable.”
Thursday, February 9, 2012
EWTN Files Suit Against Obama Administration
Now it gets really interesting.