Judge dismisses EWTN’s lawsuit against HHS mandate
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, March 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Eternal Word Television Network is vowing to stay true their convictions after a U.S. District Court judge dismissed their lawsuit against President Obama’s HHS mandate on Monday.
Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN’s President and C.E.O., said his organization is disappointed the judge did not address their constitutional concerns. However, he said he is unsurprised by the ruling since it comes in response to repeated promises by the Obama administration to amend the mandate.
“Nearly everyone, including the courts, is left waiting to see what the government might or might not do to address the serious issues of conscience that have been raised since the first set of rules were published over a year ago,” said Warsaw in a statement Tuesday.
“Contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs are not healthcare,” he said. “EWTN cannot and will not compromise our strongly held beliefs on these moral issues.”
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He said they are consulting their legal team, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, about their options and asked for prayers as they respond to the decision.
EWTN, considered the largest religious media network in the world, filed suit on February 9th, 2012, saying that to comply with the mandate would betray the Catholic faith that they exist to proclaim.
“If we are willing to compromise our Catholic faith, we are selling the soul of the network,” Warsaw said at the time.
The administration released revised regulations on February 1st, 2013 that purported to broaden the number of religious employers who could opt out of the mandate, but they were widely panned by conservative and pro-life organizations as little more than an accounting gimmick.
At the time, EWTN vowed to press forward with their lawsuit, arguing that the revised regulations would do nothing to protect them.
On March 20th, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that despite the “accommodation,” the mandate “continues to represent an unprecedented (and now sustained) violation of religious liberty by the federal government.”