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Catholic TV network will fight court ruling on contraceptives

Catholic TV network will fight court ruling on contraceptives

An Alabama-based Catholic television network says it plans to appeal a federal court's ruling this week that rejected the company's challenge to the government mandate requiring employers to include contraceptive coverage in their health plans.

On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court judge ruled against the Eternal Word Television Network in its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which claimed the agency's requirement for employers to cover contraceptives was unconstitutional because it violated religious rights.

“We are extremely disappointed with the decision reached by the court in this case,” said Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO of EWTN, in a written statement. “The opinion issued is clearly inconsistent with the decisions reached in nearly all of the cases decided to date. The fact that the court has dismissed the serious issues of conscience and religious freedom that EWTN has raised is very troubling.”

This is second time the network has lost a court challenge regarding the issue. EWTN filed a suit in 2012 that was dismissed in federal court last year. The company plans to immediately file an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Mr. Warsaw said.

Steven Ross Johnson writes for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Business Insurance.