Lincoln, Neb., Feb 23, 2012 / 19:04 pm
President Obama's contraception mandate is facing its biggest legal challenge yet, in a lawsuit brought by seven state attorneys general, a school, two women, a charitable group, and a major Catholic insurer.
In their lawsuit filed Feb. 23 against the federal government, the 12 plaintiffs challenge the rule they say “would coerce religious organizations … to directly subsidize contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related services in contravention with their religious beliefs.”
They maintain that the administration's rule, requiring insurance coverage of the controversial drugs and devices, is an “unprecedented invasion” of their “First Amendment rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and free association.”
“This case illustrates that the federal government's rule punishes people of faith in all situations, just because they want to make decisions according to their own religious beliefs,” Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told CNA on Feb. 23.