From CNS News, the gauntlet has been thrown down.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and 42 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.
The suits focus on the regulation that Sebelius announced last August and finalized in January that requires virtually all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that can cause abortions.
The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong and that Catholics should not be involved in them. Thus, the regulation would require faithful Catholics and Catholic organizations to act against their consciences and violate the teachings of their faith.
Earlier, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had called the regulation an "unprecedented attack on religious liberty" and asked the Obama administration to rescind it.
“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress–and we’ll keep at it–but there’s still no fix," Cardinal Dolan, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement released by the conference this morning.