In yet another pro-life victory against the HHS mandate that forces churches and religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their employees, a federal judge has ruled that the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh doesn’t have to comply.
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh made such a stink when he testified in court recently that he received national attention. He said would rather pay fines, no matter how much they might be that be forced to follow the directives of the abortion mandate.
“I would not be able to live with myself knowing that we’re contradicting what we believe,” he said during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab.
Under the law’s penalties, Catholic Charities would be subject to a daily fine of $100 per employee if Zubik doesn’t sign, said Susan Rauscher, the nonprofit’s executive director. That would total $2 million to $4 million a year for an organization with a $10 million operating budget, she said. As a result, the Pittsburgh and Erie diocese are suing the government, claiming that the requirement violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They’re asking Schwab to temporarily block enforcement of the mandate on their nonprofits while the dioceses pursue the lawsuits.
Today, the judge did just that.
As KDKA in Pittsburgh reports, “A federal judge in western Pennsylvania says Catholic groups don’t immediately have to comply with mandates in the federal health care overhaul law.”http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/21/judge-rules-pittsburgh-catholic-church-doesnt-have-to-comply-with-hhs-mandate/