Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) sue to stop Obama's abortion pill mandate

Dec 03, 2013, 14:17 ET from FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students

New lawsuit opposes Obamacare's ongoing attack on religious freedom

DENVER, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit 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.

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

FOCUS 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. 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 Curtis Martin is joined by three other staff members in filing the suit. Martin and over 350 FOCUS missionaries willingly take an Oath of Fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and "promise to always preserve communion with the Catholic Church."

"As Catholics, we do not impose our faith on anyone, but rather propose to others the life-changing power of God's love. And as Americans, we cherish the religious freedom enshrined in our constitution," said John Zimmer, FOCUS Vice President of Training and Formation. "We revere each individual's right to form and follow his or her own conscience, and we demand that the United States government allow us the freedom to follow ours."

The lawsuit, Fellowship of Catholic University Students v. Sebelius, filed with 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 mandate. The 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.

SOURCE FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students