The Attorney General of the State of Alabama filed documents today in US District Court in Birmingham, Alabama to join EWTN Global Catholic Network as a plaintiff in its lawsuit against the Obama Administration's contraception mandate. EWTN filed its lawsuit on February 9, asking the federal courts to overturn the new rules which require most U.S. employers to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans even if it violates their conscience.
"We are grateful to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange for taking such a strong stand on this issue," said EWTN President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. "This suit demonstrates that the Alabama motto, `We dare to defend our rights,' is no mere slogan. The state could simply have chosen to file a brief advising the court of the impact of the case on its citizens. Instead, it is intervening in the suit as a co-plaintiff with EWTN. The Attorney General of Alabama is saying, in effect, that this unjust, unconstitutional mandate hurts not only EWTN, but the entire community."
According to the state's motion to intervene, filed March 22, Alabama law does not mandate that insurers must provide contraception or sterilization coverage or that any employer or person in the state is required to purchase such coverage. The documents note that Alabama citizens enjoy the freedom to contract for an insurance plan or with a religious-affiliated insurer that does not cover these services. In contrast, the federal regulation would mandate the type of health insurance Alabama could offer on its state-run health insurance exchange, and, if allowed to stand, would preempt Alabama law guaranteeing its citizens' right of conscience.