The Archdiocese of Washington says it is suing the federal government over new healthcare rules requiring religious-affiliated institutions to provide contraception coverage.
The archdiocese claims in the suit filed in U.S. District Court that the mandate violates free speech guarantees under the First Amendment. The archdiocese says the suit is one of 12 actions filed nationwide Monday on behalf of 43 Catholic institutions.
The archdiocese says the definition of what constitutes a religious organization is at the heart of the suit. It says the rules exempt only institutions that primarily serve and employ individuals of their own faith. That forces Catholic hospitals, charities and schools that serve all individuals to abide by the new rules, violating their Catholic beliefs.