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Dozens of Catholic institutions now suing the Obama administration all fighting the policy requiring contraception coverage in employee health care plans now.
The plaintiffs include schools like Notre Dame and a long list of arch diocese.
If you could just eliminate that attempt.
-- -- the federal government.
To define religion.
Will be we'll we'll we'll step back because it will be able to rejoice in the religious freedom for which this country stands.
-- be able to keep up our ministries which we considered to be rather essential to our faith.
And we'll live happily ever after so it shows it's the narrowness -- the choking nature of these exemptions that HHS is put out.
Lord knows -- -- I mean this is in the fight that we asked artists not a fight that were relishing -- -- Love to put it behind us and get back to normal and be left alone.
Seen Monahan is director of the center for human dignity at the family research council and a former employee of the Health and Human Services Department in both the bush and Obama administration's.
Thank you so much for being with us.
If Catholics for institutions.
Feel that this mandate is contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs and clearly many do.
They do have an alternative don't think they can simply drop their coverage and in that way they can exercise their religion freely.
Well not necessarily because the penalties for dropping coverage we believe our about 2000 dollars per person.
So I mean they would be extraordinarily find it might have been less than providing insurance coverage per person.
Well for many of these groups that would put them out of business I mean we're talking social services agencies Catholic Charities -- -- -- I don't think this would end up being lessen their insurance -- him.
Let me just.
Point a couple examples to you ave Maria university in Florida they dropped their insurance coverage so they'll pay the penalty Franciscan university Ohio -- drop their coverage is well.
And there are a bunch of others who simply said look we can't violate our religious beliefs so we'll drop the coverage.
While grabbed the two groups that you just named our universities.
And I'm not sure that -- same rules would apply actually to student coverage as -- -- to employee coverage so there's some -- that still needs to be done with that.
In it the bishops rejected a compromise.
That was put forward by a President Obama in February -- would have insurance coverage.
Provided by insurance companies and not the Catholic employee -- -- what's wrong -- that there.
There is no compromise I mean frankly.
The Obama administration now has put out that advance notice of proposed rule making so it -- an initial regulation.
Asking for advice from the public on how people can violate their consciences.
And they will not collect comments until the middle of June -- means interestingly.
That they will not give feedback about the comments about how this compromise so called compromise -- actually happen.
Until after the election you know they bring it back to in -- principal client.
A violation of freedom of religion under the First Amendment this was all litigated in state courts here in New York a decade ago.
When New York go legislature passed -- law requiring somewhere contraception coverage.
-- all the way through the court system in the -- the Catholic institutions lost I'm wondering.
How -- is also different.
Okay well first of all the -- in New York is extraordinarily different then the federal mandate.
Because it about like Arnold Howland said it was very similar to use his -- similar.
Similar except is that it allows an opt out if prescription coverage is not included.
And so that does actually give away in what's organizations can get out of it it's not ideal by any stretch of the imagination.
But but listen this is a war on religious liberty.
The constitution absolutely protects our First Amendment religious liberty -- fundamental freedom.
As Americans and the government must be able to prove a few things that they're gonna violate that constitutionally protected right.
They should be able to prove that this is the least restrictive means they can not do so and that.
They also have to prove that they have a compelling reason.
To do that they cannot prove that in either of those situations well I think it's a fascinating.
Intellectual argument -- constitutional question that.
May work its way all the way to as the Supreme Court -- a great many Catholics.
It in America are looking.
Now to the courts for a solution and thank you very much for your thoughts gene Monahan the -- -- pleasure thanks for having me.
We'll -- just.
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