In 2012, two years after the Obama administration issued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis sued the HHS and its then-director, Kathleen Sebelius.
The archdiocese was among more than 70 different religious organizations that sued the government over the mandate, which required employer-based health insurance policies to include contraceptive medications, some of which have been known to induce abortions.
The mandate was later revised to exempt churches but not religious organizations such as Catholic Charities.
Last week, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis announced a settlement of the lawsuit with the U.S. government, stating that “we have finally prevailed in this unwelcome fight for religious liberty — a fight which was not of our making.”
The settlement agreement, he explained, provides relief from fines and other penalties both now and into the future.
The archbishop expressed gratitude to the Jones Day law firm, which provided legal counsel, and to the many faithful Catholics who provided spiritual and material support during the legal battle.
The Missouri Catholic Conference, public policy agency of the state’s four Roman Catholic diocesees, provided some of the information in this article.