The following comes from a February 18 Catholic News Agency article:

In a 2-1 decision delivered February 18, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in its challenge to the federal contraception mandate.

“We are disappointed in the Court’s refusal to protect our religious freedom,” EWTN chairman and CEO Michael Warsaw said.

“We simply want to continue to practice the same faith we preach to the world every day,” he said in a February 18 statement. “We are prayerful and hopeful that, if necessary, the Supreme Court will correct this critical error.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network was founded by Mother Angelica, a Franciscan nun. Its purpose is to share the Catholic faith across the globe. Reaching over 250 million homes in 144 different countries, it is the largest religious media network in the world and is among hundreds of organizations to challenge the Department of Health and Human Services mandate.

The mandate requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

Employers who fail to comply with the mandate face crippling penalties. Many Catholic and non-Catholic organizations have filed lawsuits against the mandate, saying it violates religious freedom and compels them to act against their religious and moral beliefs.

Directly after delivering its ruling, the court placed its effects on hold until the Supreme Court rules on the mandate later this year. This protects EWTN from accumulating fines while waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision.