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Judge Dismisses HHS Mandate Lawsuit
A federal judge in Ohio dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and the Franciscan University of Steubenville against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' objectionable services mandate on March 22, ruling that it was premature. The lawsuit was filed May 21, 2012 in order to prevent the federal government from requiring MCC to include abortion inducing drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization in its employee health benefit plan. The following is a statement from Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long:
"The court has simply delayed, by dismissing as premature, MCC's lawsuit challenging the mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requiring employer health plans to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling. The court did not reach the merits of MCC's legal challenge; instead, it found only that MCC's challenge was premature because HHS has said it plans to revise the mandate by August 2013.
The ruling does not foreclose MCC bringing similar claims once the alleged administrative change to the mandate takes place. MCC continues to evaluate all of its options in light of the court's decision."
The MCC suit was dismissed by Judge Algenon L. Marbley in the U.S. District Court for the SouthernDistrict of Ohio.