A Christian college is suing the Obama administration over requiring businesses to pay for insurance plans that cover Plan B and ella — two types of birth-control pills the college and other prolife advocates view as abortifacient.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius handed down the mandate last summer in a list of preventative services insurers must cover without copayments (i.e., for free upon purchase) under President Obama’s health-care law.
Colorado Christian University filed a lawsuit against the mandate on Wednesday, charging that it violates the constitutional rights of free speech and religion.
“The government’s mandate unconstitutionally coerces Colorado Christian to violate its deeply-held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties,” the lawsuit said.
“The mandate also forces Colorado Christian to fund government-dictated speech that is directly at odds with its own speech and religious teachings. Having to pay a fine to the taxing authorities for the privilege of practicing one’s religion or controlling one’s own speech is un-American, unprecedented, and flagrantly unconstitutional.”
While the rule does allow for some religious exemptions, opponents say they aren’t broad enough. In a full page ad that ran in the New York Times and the Washington Post on Wednesday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said it puts many religious organizations and individuals in an untenable position.
“As written, the rule will force Catholic organizations that play a vital role in providing health care and other needed services either to violate their conscience or severely curtail those services,” the ad said. “This would harm both religious freedom and access to health care.”