Posted on | July 19, 2012 by Lisa Correnti |
A federal judge dismissed a case brought by seven attorney generals from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas and three Catholic organizations ruling that the states and the groups failed to show that they would suffer harm once the contraception mandate was enacted.
The lawsuit lead by Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning challenged the validity of the contraception mandate in the federal healthcare law that requires plans to include contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs despite the religious freedom objection of employers.
U.S. District Court Judge Warren Urbom said the case was “based on layers of conjecture” and “failed to show how the implementation of the law would affect the states’ budgets. He also stated that the Catholic groups that joined the lawsuit are unaffected by the law and therefore do not have grounds for suit.”
The US Catholic Conference of Bishops renewed a call to Congress and the Obama administration to fix the provisions they find problematic after the Supreme Court upheld the “individual mandate” as constitutional:
First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy.The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of “high risk” insurance pools that would have covered abortion.
Second, the Act fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context.We have provided extensive analyses of ACA’s defects with respect to both abortion and conscience.The lack of statutory conscience protections applicable to ACA’s new mandates has been illustrated in dramatic fashion by HHS’s “preventive services” mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.
The state attorney generals are discussing an appeal. Read more here.