Michael Warsaw, president and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN, issued this statement today in reaction to President Obama’s announcement of an “accommodation” to the Health and Human Services rule that all employers cover contraceptives and sterilizations. The network yesterday filed a lawsuit against HHS because the rule violates the religious liberty guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
“I am certainly pleased to see that EWTN’s decision to file suit against the recent contraception mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services may have played some role in forcing the administration to revisit the application of these rules on religious institutions. However, we remain quite skeptical that the changes announced by President Obama will in fact address the concerns raised by EWTN.
“According to a White House statement, some religious institutions may no longer be required to directly provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs; however, this accommodation may not actually apply to EWTN or actually give any relief to the network and other similar organizations. Like EWTN, many religious institutions self-insure their health-care plans, meaning that we will still be forced to pay for these services in violation of our religious beliefs. Today’s announcement certainly does not give any hope to countless individual business owners and people of faith who share the concern about being required to provide for these services which they personally find immoral.
“EWTN is particularly concerned that the proposed rules for non-exempted religious organizations will still not be finalized until later in the coming year. This leaves EWTN and other such organizations very uncertain about what the future may hold with regard to this mandate. We will continue to consult with our legal counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to determine the implications of this revised approach; however, our legal action against the administration will continue.”