July 1, 2014

At AP, When EWTN Lost a Round in Contraception Case, It Was National News; But Not Its Yesterday Win

On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when “A federal judge in Alabama … dismissed a Catholic broadcaster’s legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional.” The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).

After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News’s Steven Ertelt called “a resounding victory,” when it “was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals,” thus enabling it to “freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court.” A search on “EWTN” at the AP’s national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:

Contraceptive mandate halted for Ala. broadcaster EWTN

A federal appeals court has temporarily barred the federal government from forcing a Catholic broadcasting network in Alabama to comply with a law requiring them to cover contraceptives for women.

Eternal Word Television Network, which has studios in Irondale, a Birmingham suburb, is appealing a federal judge’s order from last week dismissing its lawsuit (actually, as noted, almost two weeks ago — Ed.), which maintained that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional.

“This has been a very good day for religious liberty in America,” said EWTN Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw in a statement posted on EWTN.com. “The Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case was a great affirmation of the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression. While the Hobby Lobby decision did not directly resolve EWTN’s case, this afternoon’s injunction from the appellate court allows us to press forward without facing the government’s crushing fines.

In granting an injunction, the 11th Circuit cited the U.S. Supreme Court opinion Monday that says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement.

This would appear to bode well for EWTN.

When the side the AP clearly favors wins — in this case, big, no intrusive stone unturned government attempting to bulldoze any and all religious-based opposition — it’s national news. When it loses … shhh.

No bias here (/sarcasm).

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.