OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has granted nearly 200 Catholic employers an injunction to temporarily prevent the U.S. government from forcing them to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The Catholic Benefits Association filed a lawsuit in March alleging that a provision of the Affordable Care Act forced them to violate their religious objections to contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Russell of Oklahoma City granted an injunction that exempts members from any fines or penalties arising from not complying with the provision while their objections are litigated.
The association — which includes archdioceses, an insurance company and a nursing home across almost 2,000 Catholic parishes nationwide — believes in the Catholic teaching that their ministries should include health care to their employees. But members “also believe in the Catholic teaching that any artificial interference with the creation and nurture of new life is wrong,” Russell said.