Religious Rights Watch

The fight for freedom in the U.S. and abroad

Michigan Catholic Conference’s lawsuit against HHS mandate dismissed as premature

Detroit — A federal judge in Ohio ruled March 22 that a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Franciscan University of Steubenville against the federal government’s rule mandating coverage of birth control, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilzations in nearly all health insurance plans could not proceed, saying it was premature. Judge Algenon L.…

Cardinal Dolan: HHS rules create ‘second’ and ‘third-class citizens’

Catholic News Service Washington — The new proposed rules issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding insurance coverage of contraceptives show movement but fall short of addressing the U.S. bishops’ concerns, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in a Feb. 7 statement. The cardinal, who is president of the U.S.…

Michigan AG supporting Monaghan’s lawsuit

DETROIT — Domino’s Farms owner Tom Monaghan had his day in court against the HHS mandate, and he’s being supported by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. Schuette filed an amicus brief supporting Monaghan’s lawsuit Jan. 30 with the U.S. District Court in Detroit, a day before Monaghan’s case was to be heard. He said the…

MCC: Religious freedom, abortion priorities in 2013-14 legislative session

DETROIT — Keeping abortion out of public health care plans and protecting the conscience rights of faith-based organizations are two of the main advocacy priorities for the 2013-14 state legislative session, the Michigan Catholic Conference said Feb. 4. The MCC, which advocates public policy in accord with the Catholic Church’s teachings, approved its agenda for…

HHS offers new contraceptive insurance options, broadening exemptions

Catholic News Service Washington — Exemptions from certain requirements for contraceptive coverage in the Affordable Care Act will be broadened to include many more types of religious institutions and accommodate the needs of self-insured church entities. A new set of proposed rules announced Feb. 1 by the Department of Health and Human Services appear to accommodate…

Conscience protection bills gain traction in Michigan legislature

DETROIT — The Michigan Catholic Conference applauded bills passed by the Michigan Senate and a House committee last week that would protect religious liberty for health care providers and faith-based child placement agencies. The “Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act,” which seeks to limit abuses of religious freedom such as forcing religious employers to cover…