Today the Obama Administration released its eighth revision to the Health and Human Service (HHS) Mandate. The mandate has been at the heart of dozens of legal battles because it requires employers to provide insurance coverage for abortifacients and contraception.
Among those who have taken the government to court are the Little Sisters of the Poor and EWTN.
Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has defended many of the plaintiffs in the legal cases, released this statement:
This is latest step in the administration’s long retreat on the HHS Mandate. It is the eighth time in three years the government has retreated from its original, hard-line stance that only “houses of worship” that hire and serve fellow believers deserve religious freedom.
We look forward to reviewing the new rule and its implications for the 102 cases, including religious charities like Little Sisters of the Poor (see video), Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network (see video), and religious colleges like Colorado Christian University. Ninety percent of religious ministries challenging the mandate have received relief from the courts, and we are hopeful the administration’s new rule will reflect the robust protections that have always been given to religious individuals in this country.
Religious ministries in these cases serve tens of thousands of Americans, helping the poor and homeless and healing the sick. The Little Sisters of the Poor alone serve more than ten thousand of the elderly poor. These charities want to continue following their faith. They want to focus on ministry—such as sharing their faith and serving the poor—without worrying about the threat of massive IRS penalties.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate, winning a landmark victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. It currently represents the Little Sisters of the Poor, Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network, and Colorado Christian University, along with many other religious ministries.
A longer analysis on the new rule will be posted here later today.