The Obamacare Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate forcing Catholic non-profits to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization, was dealt a lethal blow by U.S. District Court Judge David Russell.
He issued a permanent injunction stopping the federal government from enforcing the mandate against the Catholic Benefits Association (CBA). He also issued a declaratory judgment, holding that the mandate was illegal; it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The CBA represents over 1,000 Catholic employers, including 60 dioceses and archdioceses, as well as many religious orders, colleges and universities, hospitals, and other ministries. Baltimore Archbishop William Lori chairs the CBA; serving with him are six other archbishops. Douglas G. Wilson is the CEO of the organization.
Judge Russell's ruling not only binds the Trump administration (which was opposed to the HHS mandate anyway), but all future administrations. Catholic employers who belong to the CBA are now free from attempts by the federal government to coerce them into providing morally offensive healthcare coverage.
This is a smashing victory for religious liberty and a stunning defeat for the pro-abortion industry and its allies.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.