FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2014 Supreme Court Delivers Landmark Religious Freedom Victory

June 30, 2014 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council of Catholic Women praised today's landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding religious liberty in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, protecting the conscience rights of individuals who own family businesses and who object to being forced to violate their religious beliefs by including coverage for sterilizations, contraception and potentially life-terminating drugs in their company health insurance plans.

NCCW President Rebecca Woodhull praised the ruling this morning from her home in Springfield, Illinois: "The Supreme Court has delivered one of the most significant victories for religious freedom in our generation. Justice has indeed prevailed, as Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the USCCB, stated today. As women and as faithful members of the Catholic Church, we applaud the Supreme Court in upholding the rights of individuals not to be forced to violate their consciences under threat of steep fines.

“The Health and Human Services mandate, which forced individuals who own family businesses to provide their employees coverage that directly conflicts with their deeply held religious beliefs or else face crippling fines, was often praised in the name of furthering women’s equality. Yet there is no evidence that ingesting harmful chemicals or potentially life-terminating drugs is overall in the best interest of women and children,” Woodhull stated. “Furthermore, religious liberty is a fundamental freedom valued by all Catholic women.

“We are thankful the Supreme Court has deemed the HHS mandate unlawful and supports the religious freedom of individuals who own small businesses in protecting their right not to violate their consciences.”

The decision is a victory for the Green family that owns Hobby Lobby and the Hahn family who owns Conestoga, a cabinet making company, who had challenged the HHS mandate saying it forced them to either violate their religious beliefs or pay crippling fines.

Established in 1920 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Catholic Women acts through its membership to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. NCCW programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world. For more information, please contact Laraine Bennett at lbennett@nccw.org or 703-224-0990.

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