Federal judge exempts Christian college from Obamacare’s contraception mandate
A small Christian college in Beaver Falls, Pa, will not be required to provide its employees with insurance coverage for contraception, abortion-inducing drugs or devices, a U.S. District Court ruled Monday.
In the 30-page ruling, Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the Western District of Pennsylvania granted a preliminary injunction against the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate on the grounds that the school would otherwise “be forced to choose between: (a) violating its religious convictions by acquiescing to a government requirement that it facilitate access to abortion-inducing drugs and devices; and (b) violating its religious convictions by cancelling all health care coverage for it’s employees.”
Religious organizations such as churches are excluded from the mandate but religious nonprofit organizations like Geneva College, which is funded by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, are not.
Monday’s ruling marks the second time Conti has ruled in favor of Geneva College; six months ago, Conti also granted another injunction, ruling that the school did not have to provide its students with contraceptive insurance.
Both injunctions are preliminary, meaning the case can continue in the Western District.
According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which keeps a scorecard of suits against the contraceptive mandate, injunctions have been granted in 7 of 43 lawsuits brought by nonprofits with only one injunction denied; the remainder of cases are pending.
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