Press Release

His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan signs statement rejecting HHS mandate Over 500 religious leaders and scholars sign statement opposing unconstitutional mandate

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Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

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Today, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop of New York, His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, joined more than 500 leading scholars, university presidents and other academic administrators, activists, and religious leaders from a multitude of faiths, in a statement rejecting the governmental Health and Human Services mandate requiring employers to provide, directly or indirectly, insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives, and also rejecting President Obama’s so-called “accommodation” of religious liberty as a mere “accounting trick” that changes nothing of moral substance.

The statement is entitled “Unacceptable” and is available here. Its original drafters are Professor Mary Ann Glendon, of the Harvard Law School; Professor Robert P. George of Princeton; Yuval Levin, Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Professor O. Carter Snead of Notre Dame; and, President of Catholic University, John Garvey.

Among the signers are Emory University’s Ann Hartle, Fordham’s Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, Rabbi David Novak of the University of Toronto; the eminent Muslim scholar and public intellectual Shaykh Hamza Yusuf; University of Chicago Professor Jean Bethke Elshtain; the great religious liberty scholar and appellate litigator Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the distinguished political theorist Thomas Pangle of the University of Texas; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University; Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia; Evangelical leader and Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson; Archbishop Peter Akinola, former Anglican Primate of Nigeria; Dr. Paige Patterson, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention; Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III of the Church of God in Christ; Stockholm Prize laureate Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe of Princeton University;  Russell Moore, Dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary ; Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, Superior General of the Sisters of Life; Lorraine Pangle, Professor of Government, UT Austin; Ann W. Astell, University of Notre Dame; Lynn Wardle , BYU; Helen Alvaré, George Mason University; Maria S. Aguirre, Catholic University; Lorraine Gin, University of Arizona; Jeanne Heffernan Schindler, Villanova University; Mary Sommers, University of St. Thomas in Texas; Paz Zorita, Arizona State; Tiffany Donaldson, University of Massachusetts; Mary Daly at Notre Dame; Kimberly Shankman at Benedictine College, among many others.

Not only is this an alliance of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Latter-Day Saints, Jews, Muslims, and others; the list of signers includes people from across the political spectrum–liberals, conservatives, and people fitting into neither category. This is an unprecedented coming together of people to defend religious liberty and the rights of conscience against a deeply misguided and unjust governmental action.

Related developments: Asma Uddin of Becket Law will be testifying on this matter before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28. Professor Carter Snead will be speaking at a Federalist Society event on this matter on Thursday, March 1.

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the drafters of the letter, please contact Melinda Skea at or call 202.349.7224.