Aquinas, Diocese of Nashville sue Health and Human Services over 'contraception mandate'

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 5:42pm

The Catholic Diocese of Nashville, Aquinas College and others filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in federal court Wednesday claiming the section of the federal health care law referred to as the “contraception mandate” is unconstitutional.

The college’s board of directors as well as the General Council of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia unanimously approved the lawsuit, which seeks to prevent the federal government from enforcing that section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a statement, President Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith said the mandate placed Aquinas in a “precarious position” in which the “narrowness of the religious employer exemption clause within this mandate seriously compromises our freedom as an institution to act according to our conscience.”

Galbraith continued, “We are now placed in the position of having little choice but to proceed with litigation. We do this in order to protect our most fundamental right to exercise our consciences and our religious beliefs freely.”

Leaders of the college assert that the restrictions the mandate places on “service agencies that exist for the sake of the common good” unfairly burdens those who rely on the services provided by those agencies, such as “food, health care, education, and the basic needs of daily life.”

The statement reads, “It is regrettable that those agencies and individuals who have publically pledged their lives in service of the needs of all humankind, from conception to natural death, must now defend themselves from a Federal Government that pledged more than 200 years ago to protect, defend, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for each and every American.”

For the full text of the Aquinas release, click here.

Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Father Ryan High School, Pope John Paul II High School, Mary Queen of Angels, Villa Maria Manor, and St. Mary Villa are also listed as plaintiffs in the suit.

Aquinas College HHS release and statement.doc1.6 MB

8 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 9/12/12 at 6:17

The Supreme Court has already voted on this. (5-4)

By: dogmrb on 9/12/12 at 9:22

Did they talk to Nuns On The Bus about this?

By: faithkeeping on 9/13/12 at 3:00

I wonder if the many people placing their hard-earned money in the collection plate each week understand that the broad litigation their church chooses to initiate is paid for with their tithe.

The Catholic church, in Rome and at the American diocesan level, has spent far too much money settling claims of child abuse, amassing huge collections of art, and building huge and wasteful houses of worship. (As have/do so many, many denominations.)

Imagine how many people of need could be served in the typical enormous church sanctuary if it was, say, a four-story building housing worship on a modest first level and using levels above to provide housing for the homeless, daycare centers, job retooling and education centers, financial and spiritual counselors, instead of heating and cooling 40 foot tall monuments to mankind. No prophet I've come to know preached or healed in these enormous tombs we call churches - indeed, quite the contrary.

When your lawyers and plaintiffs outnumber your clergy are you serving your savior and his children?

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 9/13/12 at 6:57

It is right and good that the Catholic Church stand against this. Long past time to stand up against this two-bit Chicago petty tyrant. The "nuns on the bus" are nothing but Liberation Theology old women while the Dominican Sisters are actual devout Catholics.

By: dogmrb on 9/13/12 at 9:20

And Emmett, do you have an old white woman in your life? Who maybe was once your Mother or teacher? What happened?

By: joe41 on 9/14/12 at 8:56

Sister, you need to serve your employees. They earned a right for this.

By: adchick on 9/15/12 at 3:00


How has ANYONE earned the right for free contraception? It is bad enough that Catholic organizations who have established policies against birth control are expected to cover it under their plans, but now it has to be FREE too?

What about free blood pressure meds, free cholesterol meds, free viagra, feee chemotherapy for a kid with cancer? This administration is clearly pandering to the women's vote with this policy with a disregard for the constitution.

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