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US court dismisses one challenge to HHS contraceptive mandate

Catholic World News - October 02, 2012

A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a St. Louis businessman who argued that the mandated coverage of contraceptives in the new federal health-care program violates his religious freedom.

Frank O’Brien, the owner of O’Brien Industrial Holdings, argued that the contraceptive mandate forces him to violate the moral principles that he, as a Catholic, holds. Judge Carole Jackson disagreed, writing in her opinion: “This court rejects the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which the plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise.”

The O’Brien lawsuit is one of more than 30 legal challenges to the HHS mandate. The Missouri court’s decision does not affect the cases that have been filed in other federal courts. It is likely that different federal courts will reach different decisions, forcing the US Supreme Court to resolve the debate.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 03, 2012 10:47 PM ET USA

    The only "burden" recognized today is that of the "encumbered" conscience burdened with absolutes (The American Myth of Religious Freedom- K. Craycraft). Revelation, Divine Positive Law, Natural Law etc. are not to be endured by any who wish to exercise true religious freedom. The "unencumbered" conscience is a necessary prerequisite to proper application of this ideal. Thus the "sleeping giant" weakened by complicity will prove conflicted and ineffectual as recent polls tragically affirm.

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 03, 2012 9:52 AM ET USA

    This is just a "preview of coming attractions" as our secular judiciary deals with freedom of religion cases. We won't know if our God-given constitutional rights are protected until the Supreme Court rules.

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