The National Catholic Bioethics Center Supports The Archdiocese of Philadelphia
and Its Lawsuit Against the HHS Mandate
June 6, 2014
On June 3, 2014, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it has filed suit, together with its affiliated charitable organizations, against the federal government to secure protection against the HHS Mandate. The Mandate is a regulation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring that all employer-provided health insurance coverage include contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices free of cost sharing. A narrow religious exemption in the regulation applies only to houses of worship, excluding charitable ministries such as many Catholic educational institutions and health care ministries. The National Catholic Bioethics Center supports the courageous stance of the Archdiocese against this unjust regulation, which seeks to impose a “choice” between the untenable alternatives of supporting the intrinsic evils of contraception, sterilization, and abortion or ceasing to provide basic health care coverage to its employees.
St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that “when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 93, a. 3, ad 2um). The Archdiocese of Philadelphia bears witness to Christ in opposing this violation of the natural moral law and religious liberty. In the words of Pope Saint John Paul II, “it is precisely from obedience to God . . . that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born” (Evangelium vitae, n. 73). We pray for the success of the court challenge and for the elimination of the unjust regulations.
- The National Catholic Bioethics Center -