More institutions – Catholic and Protestant – sue over HHS mandate

Several more institutions, both Catholic and Protestant, have sued the Obama Administration over the HHS mandate.

The College of the Ozarks, a Missouri college, stated the the HHS mandate requiring that the college provide birth control and abortion-inducing drugs to employees violates their religious beliefs.  In its filing, the college noted that the HHS mandate violates both the Constitutional rights of the college as well as their rights under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because the mandate levies fines against the college for practicing their faith.

Aquinas College, a Catholic college in Nashville, Tennessee,  has also filed suit against the administration.  Aquinas College is owned and operated by the Nashville Dominicans.  The statement of the President of the College, Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith O.P., explains the college’s position.

Sister Mary Sarah notes:

 The Constitution of this great nation established “of the people, by the people, for the people”, clearly states the will of the Founding Fathers in the Preamble: to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Yet, within the constrictive measures of the HHS Mandate lies a double contempt for the common good, general welfare, and the blessings of tranquility for all peoples.

First, is the restriction placed on service agencies that exist for the sake of the common good; and second, is that placed on those who are served by these agencies. Such an unreasonably restrictive burden, laid upon institutions whose sole purpose is the support and preservation of the common good, creates an unwarranted hardship for those members of society who rely upon the services of these agencies for food, health care, education, and the basic needs of daily life. These agencies, now under threat of elimination due to the HHS Mandate, care for the temporal as well as the spiritual needs of those who come to their doors, regardless of age, creed, gender, race, color, culture, ethnicity, or socio-economic standing.

Along with Aquinas College, the Diocese of Nashville, two Catholic high schools, an assisted living facility, and a child development center have sued the administration over the HHS mandate.

This group’s lawsuit says:

It is not about whether people have a right to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Those services are and will continue to be freely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the Government itself from making them more widely available.

But the right to such services does not authorize the Government to force the Plaintiffs to violate their own consciences by making them provide, pay for, and/or facilitate those services to others, contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

There are now 29 separate lawsuits, representing over 80 separate institutions against the HHS mandate.

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