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Court halts abortion pill mandate for Catholic university student outreach

ADF represents Colorado-based fellowship

DENVER — A federal court issued an order Wednesday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent the group in its lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the mandate, which forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.

“In America, we don’t try to separate what people do from what they believe. Faith-based organizations should be free to operate according to the faith they espouse and live out on a daily basis,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “If the administration can punish Christian ministries simply because they want to abide by their faith, there is no limit to what other freedoms it can take away. The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate against FOCUS.”

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.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado issued the preliminary injunction order in Fellowship of Catholic University Students v. Sebelius.

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.

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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