EWTN wins injunction against enforcement of contraceptive mandate
June 30, 2014
The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has won a last-minute reprieve from enforcement of a federal mandate calling for required coverage of contraceptives in employees' health-care programs.
Citing the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision announced by the Supreme Court on June 30, the 11th federal circuit appeals court issued an injunction blocking fines that would have been assessed against EWTN beginning on July 1 for a failure to comply with the contraceptive mandate.
The 11th circuit court found, in issuing its order, that EWTN "has asserted, without dispute, that it 'is prohibited by its religion from signing, submitting, or facilitating the transfer of the government-required certification' necessary to opt out of the mandate." EWTN has challenged the federal regulation that compels religious employees to certify their objections to covering contraceptive costs. That certification triggers coverage of the contraceptives by other insurers.
The 11th circuit did not decide the merits of the EWTN lawsuit, but blocked enforcement of the HHS mandate until the case is decided.
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