The State of Alabama announced yesterday that it will join the Eternal Word Television Network in EWTN's lawsuit against the federal government to prevent the Catholic television and radio network from having to cover contraception and abortion in its insurance coverage. “EWTN has no other option but to continue our legal challenge to the mandate,” the network's Chairman, Michael P. Warsaw, said in a release yesterday. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced that his office would join the Global Catholic Network in fighting the mandate. “I am proud to stand with EWTN to oppose this unconscionable mandate. … the freedom of religion, and to believe as one sees fit, is our ‘first freedom’ under the United States Constitution,” Strange said yesterday.
The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has taken on the case, and since Alabama has joined it, the Becket Fund has agreed to represent both EWTN and the State in the cause against Washington. “Version 2.0 of the mandate is just as bad as version 1.0,” the Beckett Fund's Senior Counsel, Lori Windham, told Catholic News Agency. “It would still force the world’s preeminent Catholic network to betray publicly the very teachings it was founded to promote, and which it promotes on a daily basis.”
“As an organization that was founded to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, we do not believe that contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs constitute health care,”said Mr. Warsaw. “We simply cannot facilitate these immoral practices. We sincerely hoped that our concerns would be addressed. Instead, the government ignored our comments entirely and pressed forward with a rule that changed nothing. We are in the same position today as we were when the mandate was first published.”
"We are in a situation where we are forced to offer contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs as part of our employee health plan or to offer our employees and their families no insurance at all," Warsaw said, “neither of these options are acceptable. The mission of EWTN is not negotiable.”