The Michigan Catholic Conference, which serves as the public policy voice for the Catholic Church in Michigan, has filed a new lawsuit against the federal government regarding the HHS mandate. A press statement released today says:
Michigan Catholic Conference today filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan a new legal complaint against the federal government regarding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) objectionable services mandate. The complaint challenges the HHS mandate on the grounds that it violates longstanding religious liberty protections by forcing religious employers to facilitate coverage of morally objectionable services, such as abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization in their employee health benefit plans.
A similar legal complaint filed in May 2012 by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) against the federal government was dismissed without prejudice on procedural grounds in March 2013, when a judge found the case was not ripe for adjudication before HHS finalized its rule. MCC’s new complaint challenges the final HHS rule, which was promulgated on June 28 and is set to take effect beginning January 1, 2014. Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo, which provides extensive social service outreach to vulnerable persons, has joined MCC as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
According to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, there are currently 70 cases and over 200 plaintiffs involved in similar lawsuits regarding the HHS mandate.