Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 13 May |
Saint of the Day: The Blessed Virgin Mary ~ Our Lady of Fatima
home iconNews
line break icon

NY Judge Orders First Permanent Block Against HHS Mandate

Wally Gobetz

Catholic News Agency - published on 12/18/13 - updated on 06/08/17

In his ruling, Cogan commented that despite the accommodation, the Catholic organizations faced “substantial” burdens on their religious beliefs and “coercive pressure” to comply with the mandate. He noted that the institutions were given the options of violating their religious beliefs or paying thousands of dollars per employee per year in fines.

The judge rejected the Department of Health and Human Services’ claim that there is no viable alternative to the mandate in providing access to contraceptives and related products. Rather, he stated, “numerous less restrictive alternatives are readily apparent,” such as the government directly providing contraceptives to individuals.

“It would set a dangerous precedent to hold that if the Executive Branch cannot act unilaterally, then there is no alternative solution,” Cogan commented, adding that “Congress may pass appropriate legislation” if the Executive Branch is unable to create an alternative on its own.

He also rejected the argument that alternatives to the federal mandate would be less effective or too burdensome on women. If such alternatives “only entail filling out a form,” he suggested as an example, the “burden of filling out that form should fall on those who have no religious objection to doing so.”

Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the Archdiocese of New York, welcomed the ruling in a Dec. 16 statement.

“The court has correctly cut through the artificial construct which essentially made faith-based organizations other than churches and other houses of worship second class citizens with second class First Amendment protections,” he said.

“Religious freedom is our ‘First Freedom,’ guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States,” he confirmed, adding that the decision reiterates that freedom of religion is not merely the freedom to worship, but also “must include how we act in accord with our religious beliefs.”

Originally published by Catholic News Agency.

  • 1
  • 2
PoliticsReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
Bret Thoman, OFS
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Catherine of Siena
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.