AL Attorney General, EWTN challenge new health care law - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

AL Attorney General, EWTN challenge new health care law

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Alabama's Attorney General and Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) Global Catholic Network are again suing over the nation's new health care law.

The EWTN has 350 employees and is based in Leeds.

They are challenging a requirement in the law that makes employers provide contraception and abortion drugs in health care plans for workers. The suit argues the mandate is unconstitutional on religious grounds since Catholic teaching opposes contraception and abortion.

Last year the company filed a similar lawsuit but it was dismissed with the belief the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would come with new rules but those changes did not allow EWTN any exemption.

"Essentially what the government is saying in the final rules, we are deciding EWTN is not religious enough to qualify as an exemption to these rules," Michael Warsaw, Chairman and CEO of EWTN, said.

Churches were provided those exemptions and Warsaw said the company felt it had to file suit again before the July deadline forced them to provide certain health care services.

"Procedures such as sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraceptives all of which is considered moral evils of the Catholic church," Warsaw said.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange joined the lawsuit filed in the Southern District U.S. Court of Alabama.

"The people of Alabama and the country want to take their religion into the work place, living out their moral and religious beliefs. In the case of EWTN there is a strong moral objection to contraception," Strange said.

Warsaw said the company welcomes the attorney general's help.

A judge previously said a similar suit was premature, but the network now says it has a July 1st deadline to comply with the law.

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