Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Hillary Senour

5/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

Signed into law May 11, Arizona's House Bill 2625 expands the definition of religiously affiliated employers

"We're absolutely thrilled that Gov. Brewer signed this important religious liberty legislation after many years of battling over this issue in Arizona and now across the country," Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, told CNA. Although the bill will not trump federal law if the controversial Health and Human Services mandate is put into practice, Johnson said he hopes the Arizona measure will "be an example for the rest of the country."

Arizona Governor Jan brewer

Arizona Governor Jan brewer

Article Highlights

By Hillary Senour

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

5/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: HHS Mandate, contraception, abortifacient, Jan Brewer, Arizona, Free Exercise, Religious Freedom


PHOENIX,AZ (CNA) - Governor Jan Brewer drew praise for signing a measure into law that allows employers in Arizona to opt out of contraception and abortifacient coverage.

"We're absolutely thrilled that Gov. Brewer signed this important religious liberty legislation after many years of battling over this issue in Arizona and now across the country," Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, told CNA.

Although the bill will not trump federal law if the controversial Health and Human Services mandate is put into practice, Johnson said he hopes the Arizona measure will "be an example for the rest of the country."

Johnson explained in a May 10 interview that the bill provides a "better position" for "Arizonians who are interested in suing the Obama administration over the HHS mandate," now that their religious freedom is protected by state law.

The Obama administration's contraception mandate, announced on Jan. 20, will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates religious beliefs.

Catholic bishops from every diocese in the U.S. have condemned the mandate, warning that it threatens religious freedom and could force Catholic hospitals, schools and charitable agencies to shut down.

The bishops have also criticized the rule's narrow religious exemption which allows institutions to opt out only if they are non-profit organizations that mainly employ and serve people of the same faith.

Signed into law May 11, Arizona's House Bill 2625 expands the definition of  "religiously affiliated" employers to any organization whose articles of incorporation state a religious motivation and whose religious beliefs play a significant role in its operations.

"In its final form, this bill is about nothing more," Gov. Brewer said in a statement, "than preserving the religious freedom to which we are all Constitutionally-entitled."

Although the Arizona Catholic Conference has been in favor of the bill since then-Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed it in 2002, Representative Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale) and Senator Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) helped carry it through the Arizona House and Senate in its most recent form.

Johnson called the new law an "extremely important piece of legislation" not only for Catholics, but for all Americans who value religious freedom.

"It's also a very good time to unite with people of other faiths on this bedrock issue," Johnson said, "If we don't do it now, we're going to to see much more serious erosion."

This law comes after many private companies have filed lawsuits against the Obama administration for the federal mandate on the grounds of First Amendment violation.

The Arizona Catholic Conference called the law "very helpful" in a May 10 press release, for any religiously-affiliated employers "who have an objection to abortion inducing drugs and contraceptives."
 
Arizona is now among the 20 states that allow employers to opt-out of contraception and abortifacient coverage in their healthcare plans due to religious beliefs.

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.



Comments


More U.S.

Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Child in the Womb Has Fundamental Rights

Image of The Alabama Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal ... continue reading


Time to Live the Easter Way of Life Watch

Image of Easter is more than a Day; it is a way of living our lives in Jesus Christ. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which broke forth from that empty tomb. That Light is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians lived their lives in the Lord, for the sake of the world. They exhibited a holy boldness; because they internalized the faith they professed and allowed it to transform every aspect of their lives. They experienced the transforming power of ... continue reading


50,000-strong OK Militia declares they will resist federal takeover attempts Watch

Image of The Oklahoma Militia is ready to defend property against unlawful federal seizure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Oklahoma militia which claims the allegiance of 50,000 members has sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his recent clash against the feds. Although the standoff appears to be over, and is not likely to resume, the militia says it is ready to defend the rights ... continue reading


BLOODY EASTER WEEKEND IN CHICAGO: Six children shot in widespread violence Watch

Image of Five of the six children wounded, aged from 11 to 15 years, were shot during a drive-by shooting Sunday night.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With 36 people wounded, and nine people dead, it was one of the most violent Easter weekends in Chicago within recent memory. Far more shocking was the fact that six young children were among those injured. Gang violence remains prevalent on Chicago's windy ... continue reading


Militant atheist organization seeks to ban schools from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance Watch

Image of The AHA says that the line

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An organization of militant atheists is suing a New Jersey school district of discrimination, on the behalf of a family who take offense to the line "Under God," within the Pledge of Allegiance. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lawsuit against the ... continue reading


CONGRATULATIONS! Your job just became temporary Watch

Image of Demand for temporary workers is rapidly increasing in the US job market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With full time employment remaining a scarcity since the 2008 recession, more and more Americans are turning away from the employment model of their parents, instead seeking part time employment. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The booming demand for temporary ... continue reading


Study finds American middle class has collapsed over last decade Watch

Image of A study shows that America's middle class has collapsed during the last decade.

By Catholic Online (News Consortium)

Long thought impossible, a new study suggests that the American middle class has lost its standing in the world as the most affluent global class. [media id="1203"]LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a study based on surveys conducted over the last 35 years by ... continue reading


The Coming Canonizations: Deal Hudson on Saints and Dead Atheists Watch

Image of The Church in recognizing saints - there are many unrecognized, uncanonized saints - affirms that our Communion of Saints extends into heaven, creating a between the saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory, the angels, and the faithful on earth.  The message here is a simple one: we are not on our own, ever - the virtue of supernatural charity is not a mean, but an excess.

By Deal W. Hudson

We know that St. Peter's Square will be overflowing with happy faces, banners waving, and spontaneous outburst of songs - in many languages -  who will greet the arrival and presence of Pope Francis.  What would the mood be like in Washington Square at ... continue reading


Sharia, go home! Billy Graham's son says. What did he mean? Watch

Image of The Reverend Franklin Graham, the overseer of the international Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse, added that Sharia law is the law of Islam, which governs public life as well as private life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of legendary Christian evangelist Billy Graham has never been one to conceal his opinions. "We should be afraid of sharia law" in America, and Muslims here who want to practice sharia should go back to where they came from, "to ... continue reading


Live the Easter Way! The Holy Spirit which Transformed the Early Church Enlists Us! Watch

Image of Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminates the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I just watched Pope Francis preside at the Easter Vigil at the Basilica of St Peter. His homily on encountering Jesus and finding our own Galilee was beautiful. Now, I am about to depart for the Easter Vigil at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. I will greet the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter