DALLAS — A federal judge in Oklahoma issued a final judgment July 17 in favor of the Southern Baptist Convention’s health and financial benefits entity, as well as ministries it serves, GuideStone reported Aug. 8.
The ruling brought to an end GuideStone’s challenge of a 2011 rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that helped implement a controversial health-care law enacted the previous year. The regulation required employers to provide their workers with coverage for contraceptives, including those that can potentially induce abortions, or face potentially devastating fines.
GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said the court decision means “we finally have a clear declarative judgment that says the government cannot force a church-controlled organization like GuideStone to violate its faith in the manner the previous administration attempted to do.”