Catholic Missionary Suing Government Willing to Risk Health Over HHS Mandate
DENVER, Colo., March 6, 2012—A missionary with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and one of two private citizens who has joined states, senators and others in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that nearly all health insurance plans cover female sterilization and contraceptives free of charge, says she would give up her critically important health insurance if the mandate is not overturned.
Stacy Molai, of Omaha, Neb., suffers from Crohn’s disease and says her health insurance coverage is critical in order to avoid financial ruin and possibly life-threatening consequences. Medical supplies for her condition cost up to $400 every month.
Molai, 31, raises her own salary as a lay Catholic missionary and says that “should the mandate be upheld, I would gladly give up my insurance coverage, despite the very real risk that would pose to my financial well-being and my health.”
“The government mandate violates my constitutional guarantee of the Freedom of Association,” Molai added. “I'm no longer free to associate with another Catholic employer without grave risks in abandoning a grandfathered insurance policy. I have had four surgeries and countless hospitalizations because of my Crohn's disease.”
“But my relationship with Jesus Christ is at the core of who I am, and the government mandate violates my unalienable rights by interfering with that sacred relationship. I'm no longer free to follow the dictates of my conscience and the teaching of my Church without great financial and health risks. That's not freedom.”
Jeremy Rivera, director of communications at FOCUS, stated that “FOCUS is proud to have a woman like Stacy among our missionary staff. As her employer, we stand in solidarity with her and her convictions to remain true to her conscience and to exercise her religious liberty in the face of the government’s proposed HHS mandate. Given the reality of Stacy’s serious health issues, her courage should inspire all Catholics and people of faith to reinforce the necessity to overturn this unjust regulation.”