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Obama Administration Seeks To Block Catholic Archdiocese Subpoena Seeking Documents About Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Obama Administration Seeks To Block Catholic Archdiocese Subpoena Seeking Documents About Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

April 8, 2013 — The Obama administration on Thursday filed a lawsuit to stop a subpoena from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York seeking documents about the federal contraceptive coverage rules, Reuters reports.

In the filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the administration argued that the subpoena would be a burden to fulfill and that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such orders should only be issued in extraordinary circumstances (Ingram, Reuters, 4/5).

The contraceptive coverage rules, which are being implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), require that most health plans cover contraceptive services. Religious entities such as churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirements. In February, the Obama administration proposed an accommodation for other religiously affiliated employers that would ensure that their health plans do not have to pay for contraceptive coverage. The accommodation would not apply to for-profit businesses (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/5).

The New York archdiocese has predicted it will be fined nearly $200 million annually if it does not comply with the rules (Reuters, 4/5).