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Some Roman Catholic religious charities in Pennsylvania will not be forced to follow the federal government’s birth control coverage mandate— at least, temporarily.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the religious organization, including Catholic Charities, could be exempt from the mandate while the case is being litigated. The case is Zubik v. Burwell.
"Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicants' or their organizations' employees to obtain, without cost, the full range of FDA approved contraceptives,” the order said. “Nor does this order preclude the Government from relying on the information provided by the applicants, to the extent it considers it necessary, to facilitate the provision of full contraceptive coverage under the Act."
The HHS mandate requires that businesses, including religious ministries, provide birth control coverage or pay IRS penalties, The Christian Post reports.
In response to the interim decision, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty called the order a success.
"Every time a religious ministry has taken this issue to the Supreme Court, the government has lost and the religious plaintiffs have been granted relief,” said Becket Fund Deputy General Counsel Eric Rassbach.
The case is one of many being argued in the country. Previously, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs, saying that the mandate was not an “undue burden on their religious practices.”
A December 2013 poll found that about fifty percent of Americans disagree with forcing companies to obey the mandate, according to Life News.
Publication date: July 1, 2015