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Catholic university students sue to stop Obama’s abortion pill mandate

New lawsuit opposes Obamacare’s ongoing attack of religious freedom

DENVER — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration on behalf of the Colorado-based Fellowship of Catholic University Students. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the administration’s mandate that religious employers provide insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception to employees regardless of religious or moral objections.

“Faith-based organizations should be free to live and operate according to the faith they teach and live,” said Senior Counsel Mike Norton. “If the government can fine Christian ministries out of existence because they want to uphold their faith, there is no limit to what other freedoms it can take away.”

Fellowship of Catholic University Students is a non-profit Catholic organization founded in 1998 as an outreach to bring Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church to students at colleges and universities in North America and around the world. The organization’s sincere religious beliefs forbid it from facilitating the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization through health insurance coverage it offers to its employees.

FOCUS President, CEO, and Founder Curtis A. Martin, joined by Chief Operating Officer Craig Miller, Senior Director of Finance Brenda Cannella, and Missionary Team Director Cindy O’Boyle are practicing Catholics who filed the suit on behalf of FOCUS’ 400 employees. Martin and FOCUS staff members voluntarily take an Oath of Fidelity to be faithful to Catholic teaching and promise “to always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.” They and their families object to Obamacare’s violation of religious freedom.

“All Americans should be free to live according to their faith and to honor God in what they do,” added Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “Religious freedom is our God-given birthright, and this lawsuit joins more than 80 others to take a stand for that freedom, which the Constitution protects. The administration can’t sell that off for the price of an abortion pill.”

The lawsuit, Fellowship of Catholic University Students v. Sebelius, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, argues that the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating numerous other lawsuits against the abortion-pill mandate. These lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics, who object to the mandate.

  • Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR'-ee-oh)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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Kevin Theriot
Kevin Theriot
Senior Counsel
Kevin Theriot serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom