MI Catholic Conference Sues Obama Administration

May 21, 2012

The Michigan Catholic Conference is in federal court in an effort to reverse an Obama administration rule that requires employer health plans to cover contraception.

Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio joined the Michigan Catholic Conference to file the lawsuit.

The Michigan Catholic Conference provides health coverage to thousands of people who work for local parishes, Catholic schools, and church-affiliated charities.

Catholic Conference President Paul Long says an exemption in the rule for faith-based groups is too narrow, and will force his organization to offer contraception coverage -- which is contrary to the Catholic faith.

“We view the mandate as a violation of religious liberty," he says. "We believe that it is a threat to religious liberty for everyone on this country because if they can mandate this there’s not much else that they can’t mandate.”

Catholic bishops have rejected as meaningless a proposed compromise that shifts the coverage requirement from employers to insurance companies.