Six years ago, this Catholic college was the first to sue over the HHS mandate

Catholic News Agency | 10/11/2017 | Staff
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Charlotte, N.C., Oct 11, 2017 / 03:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- It has been six years since Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts school near Charlotte, North Carolina, filed the first lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate.

“It’s hard to believe it’s gone on for this long,” college president William Thierfelder told CNA Oct. 9.

Week - Trump - Administration - Revisions - HHS

Last week, the Trump administration announced revisions to the HHS mandate, a regulation introduced by the Obama administration that required employers to fund employee health care plans covering contraception, sterilization, and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

The revisions considerably expand exemptions for religious groups and others with moral or ethical objections to the demands of the mandate.

Thierfelder - Administration - Mandate - Right - Freedom

Thierfelder said he is grateful that the current administration has acknowledged the original mandate as violating the right to religious freedom and is taking action to correct it.

Founded by Benedictine monks, Belmont Abbey College adheres to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life and sexuality.

HHS - Mandate - Thierfelder - College - Conscience

When the HHS mandate was unveiled in 2011, Thierfelder knew the college could not in good conscience comply.

“We actually filed in November 2011, and it’s kind of interesting how we became the first ones to sue the federal government, because you would think it’s the most unlikely of all places – this little Benedictine monastery and college in the south,” he said.

Issues - Agencies - Mandate - Mandate - Think

“We had some issues with other governmental agencies prior to the mandate coming out,” he explained. “And so when this mandate did come out, we were particularly sensitive to what it was saying…I think we knew where this was going to go, and we just said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this now, before it’s imposed on us’.”

Thierfelder knew several people at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and they discussed the possibility of filing a lawsuit. He had expected to be joined...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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