US District Judge Brian Cogan ruled yesterday that a group of New York Catholic institutions cannot be forced to offer birth control in employee health care plans as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The group consisted of six New York-area Catholic organizations including the Archdiocese, high schools, medical and health services, and non-profits and collectively covers approximately 57,000 employees.
Judge Cogan decided that the organizations had the right to completely abstain from participating in the ACA mandate that compelled them "to perform acts undeniably at odds with fundamental tenets of their religious beliefs" even though not all employees affected are Catholic or hold those same fundamental tenets.
This is one of many battles regarding religious organizations and the ACA's birth control mandate, although for-profit secular corporations like Hobby Lobby are also fighting the mandate on religious grounds. It seems the bitter irony of mandating the non-mandating of a mandate is lost on these groups.
Image via AP