NEWSFLASH: Federal Judge Shoots Down Contraception Lawsuit

Religious freedom won’t be ringing for the seven states that attempted to curb access to no co-pay contraception.

U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom of Lincoln, Neb. dismissed a federal lawsuit today that challenged the Affordable Care Act’s HHS mandate, which requires health insurers to provide coverage of birth control, emergency contraception and sterilization. In line with most criticisms of the ACA, the lawsuit argued that the contraception mandate violated the so-called religious liberties of American citizens.

The lawsuit was filed by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning along with the attorney generals of six other states: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Several Catholic-affiliated institutions were also listed as plaintiffs.

In his ruling, Urbom said everything we already knew: Religious freedom is a non-issue when it comes to the ACA and its HHS mandate.

According to Urbom:

Although the rule that lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ complaint establishes a definitive, final definition of ‘religious employer,’ the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirements are not being enforced against non-exempted religious organizations, and the rule is currently undergoing a process of amendment to accommodate these organizations.

The cry of religious freedom has been echoing around the country since President Obama signed the ACA in 2010. This seven-state lawsuit might be out, but 43 Catholic-affiliated institutions, including major universities such as Notre Dame, are still entangled in 12 separate lawsuits against the federal government. These lawsuits, which also specifically challenge contraception coverage, were led by numerous American bishops who have been relentlessly leading the fight against affordable and accessible birth control.

Photo of the Affordable Care Act rally in Washington, D.C. from Flickr user LaDawna via Creative Commons 3.0.


  1. Saphira says:

    Sorry to be pedantic, but it’s “attorneys general.” Otherwise, thanks for the good news!

  2. The hollier than thou are nothing but dictators. I remember when we had to go to church or be called commies and GOD would strike us dead. We were not supposed to know anything about sex, babies were brought by the stork, and later, if one had the money to have their babies in a hospital, were supposed to have been bought. Like going to the grocery store. We didn’t know the word, pregnant, it was the family way when adults spoke of as their bellies got big, or they ate a watermellon seed and hide it behind an apron. Even in the 1950 one had to have 6 living babies to have a tubulagation rather or not you could afford them. No birth control pills, only the good old douse bag that didn’t work. I had 7. An abortion was out of the question, unless you were wealthy and took a “vacation” to Europe. The church leaders, especially the priests consider it a sin not to have people brought into the world to suffer for lack of food, clothing, good edcation, and are often neglected, but it’s not a sin when children are molasted or the leaders have sex affairs, no matter what religion they represent. The supposed The supposed Christian leaders are nothing but hypocrites hiding behind the word ,”GOD”.-Especially the catholic church and fundamentalists Tea Party.

  3. Art Connelly says:

    1. Do the “Attorneys General” understand that their job is to represent ALL of a states citizens? Not just the ones that keep electing, and financing them.
    2. If the catholic church keeps attacking President Obama’s Constitutionally OK Affordable Care Act, let’s even the playing field and allow them to pay taxes like everyone else.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Notre Dame isn’t worried about how contraception reflects their religious beliefs. They’re worried about putting on a show for their politically motivated donors and getting out of putting money into their students health. Their insurance is already out of reach for many students.

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