A judge recently dismissed Franciscan University of Steubenville’s federal lawsuit against the government, litigation which aimed to stop the feds from enforcing the pending HHS requirement that employers provide insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs.
But educators at the Ohio-based college said they still have high hopes for their battle against their religious freedoms, noting the judge tossed the case because the university had yet to be injured by the pro-abortion mandate.
“This is in no way a loss,” Father Terence Henry, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, in a statement. “The judge did not rule on the merits of our case and dismissed our lawsuit for ripeness, so Franciscan University has every right—and I would add, the duty—to re-file our lawsuit at the appropriate time.”
Campus officials argued the mandate violates their core beliefs and moral convictions.
The judge, in his ruling, also noted the Obama administration has promised religious exemptions to the mandate, and Father Henry said the school “awaits details of those revisions with caution.”
“We will not stop fighting this unjust mandate, and we are in this for the long haul,” Father Henry said. “We are very confident in the merits of our case, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect our constitutional right to religious freedom.”
According to Franciscan University officials, their lawsuit was one of 12 lawsuits filed in May of last year by 43 Catholic organizations, including the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, as well as the Dioceses of Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockville Centre, and Pittsburgh. Several of those lawsuits have already been dismissed in the first round of what Franciscan’s legal counsel foresees as a protracted legal battle.
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