HHS Mandate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this year issued a mandate that would force institutions across the country to choose between violating our consciences, and violating federal law – and incurring crippling fines that go with it. As this mandate poses a serious threat to our religious liberty, and as the Church at the highest levels in the United States has exhausted all other means to achieve a resolution through working with the administration, the Michigan Catholic Conference – representing the seven dioceses of Michigan – this spring filed a lawsuit against the federal government. We are not alone, as we have joined dozens of major Catholic organizations around the country in such legal efforts. Our hope is that the court sees that this is, indeed, a Constitutional matter centered on religious liberty afforded to all citizens by our First Amendment.


On October 25, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launched an advertising campaign in support of religious liberty. These advertisements are being run locally and nationally through the general election on November 6.

On Oct. 20, hundreds gathered at Dearborn City Hall during the third Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron addressed those gathered.

Listen to the Archbishop's speech

On June 8, 2012 the second Rally for Religious Freedom was held in Detroit. This video produced by the Catholic Television Network of Detroit features excerpts from all the featured speakers.

Taking Action for Religious Freedom: Bishops of Michigan's seven dioceses have encouraged President Barack Obama to change this position. However, without change, our bishops are now challenging this mandate and endorsing a federal lawsuit filed by the Michigan Catholic Conference—which provides health insurance to approximately 1,100 Catholic institutions and 10,000 employees in the state.

Dr. Janet Smith, Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Al Jazeera about the Health and Human Services mandate and the lawsuits. Accompanying Dr. Smith is Sister Simone Campbell, Director of NETWORK and Mary Rose Somarriba from the Catholic Information Center.

HHS Mandate

Q&A: The HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom. Archbishop Vigneron responds to common HHS concerns.

Watch video responses

Archbishop Vigneron comments on the federal health care mandate: February 14, 2012.

Related links:

Press Release: Michigan Bishops File Suit
Read the lawsuit
Statement from Archbishop Vigneron
Coverage in the Michigan Catholic Newspaper
Q&A: The HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom
Reference this information directly at http://www.aod.org/hhs/