From the Archdiocese of Washington tonight:
The Archdiocese of Washington is pleased that today the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an injunction that prevents the Archdiocese and its affiliates from having to choose between paying crippling fines or facilitating the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives to their employees. The order prohibits the government from enforcing the HHS mandate’s objectionable requirements against the Archdiocese and its co-appellants pending further order from the court.
This action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is in line with the rulings of courts all across the country which have held that the HHS mandate imposes a substantial and impermissible burden on the free exercise of religion. These decisions also vindicate the pledge of the U.S. Catholic bishops to stand united in resolute defense of the first and most sacred freedom – religious liberty.
While the decision today is a preliminary ruling, and the merits of the case are soon to be considered, the Archdiocese is hopeful that the final disposition of this case will support religious freedom and rights of conscience.
Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Catholic Information Center, which is a part of this lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services.