The University of Notre Dame has joined 42 other Catholic institutions challenging the HHS contraception mandate as a violation of their 1st Amendment rights, according to the Catholic News Service.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana Monday names Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and their respective departments as defendants.
Notre Dame joins the Catholic University of America and the conservative Franciscan University of Steubenville, which announced last week it plans to drop its student health insurance plan to keep from complying, among others in the lawsuit.
“This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, wrote in a message to members of the campus community. “For if we concede that the government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions.”