June 3, 2014
ENTITIES FILE SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT TO BLOCK
ENFORCEMENT OF PORTIONS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Charitable entities related to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, along with the Archdiocese itself, filed suit late yesterday in Federal court against the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U. S. Department of Labor, and the U. S. Department of the Treasury as well as their respective Secretaries. Grounded on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment, the action asks the court to block enforcement of portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that force religious employers to provide contraceptive services that violate Catholic belief.
The charitable entities argue that ACA regulations force them to violate their religious convictions by either directly supplying, or cooperating in the process to supply, services that gravely conflict with Catholic belief. The court filing disputes the Government's power to order Catholic entities to offer or cooperate in such services.
Dozens of similar cases have been filed nationwide. Various courts have already recognized that the Affordable Care Act imposes a burden on sincerely held religious beliefs. Relief was recently granted in the Western District of Pennsylvania to the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie.
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications