Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Appeals court rules against Liberty University in HHS mandate case

Catholic World News - July 16, 2013

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled against Liberty University’s challenges to healthcare legislation enacted by Congress in 2010 and to the ensuing HHS mandate.

The Catholic Medical Association filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Liberty University, while the Catholic Health Association filed a brief on behalf of the federal government.

The evangelical Protestant university argued that the legislation’s mandate to large employers to provide health insurance was unconstitutional. The court ruled that “we find that the employer mandate is no monster; rather, it is simply another example of Congress’s longstanding authority to regulate employee compensation offered and paid for by employers in interstate commerce.”

Liberty University also argued that its religious beliefs forbid it from “play[ing] [any] part in abortions, including [any] part in facilitating, subsidizing, easing, funding, or supporting abortions since to do so is evil and morally repugnant complicity.” The court ruled that “plaintiffs present no plausible claim that the Act substantially burdens their free exercise of religion, by forcing them to facilitate or support abortion or otherwise. The Act specifically provides individuals the option to purchase a plan that covers no abortion services except those for cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the mother would be endangered.”

In a footnote, the court, citing federal law, stated that drugs and devices that kill a newly-conceived human being between the moment of fertilization and implantation in the mother’s womb are not abortifacients:

In their new briefs, Plaintiffs seek to challenge as abortifacients forms of FDA-approved contraception that may act after fertilization, including emergency contraceptive pills and intra-uterine devices. But the Government does not define such contraceptives as abortifacients or abortion. Well-established federal law defines “pregnancy” to “encompass the period of time from implantation until delivery.” The forms of contraception that Plaintiffs now challenge, as they themselves recognize, do not act after implantation, so they do not terminate a “pregnancy” as defined in this regulation.

The university vowed to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($22,408 to go):
$35,000.00 $12,592.44
64% 36%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Jul. 17, 2013 8:33 AM ET USA

    The Court has certainly overstepped in ruling that the Government definition of abortifacients should used to guide the the actions of people of faith. The Supreme Court will certainly rule that "legal is not necessarily moral", and that the First Amendment does not allow government to define actions of believers in a manner that conflicts with their beliefs. If it does not, then our Constitution no longer protects our God given rights.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

As Catholic News Unfolds... 16 hours ago
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West 17 hours ago
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story 22 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas August 19
It is time to revoke the Catholic status of the LCWR August 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8