Michigan Schools Sue Over Contraception Mandate - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

Michigan Schools Sue Over Contraception Mandate

Email




by Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS Mich.—Two Christian schools, Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, filed a federal lawsuit this week arguing that they should not have to comply with the contraception provision in the federal health care law.

They are the latest in a string of colleges and universities, faith-affiliated charities and hospitals to seek court relief over requirements that most employers provide insurance that covers contraception for free, including the morning-after pill. Many for-profit business owners are also suing, claiming a violation of their religious beliefs.

Cornerstone and Dordt, as well as others, could face fines for noncompliance.

“The schools hold, as a matter of religious conviction, that it would be sinful and immoral for them intentionally to participate in, pay for, facilitate, enable, or otherwise support access to abortion, which destroys human life,” according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Iowa.

The Catholic Church prohibits the use of artificial contraception. Evangelicals generally accept the use of birth control, but some object to specific methods such as the morning-after contraceptive pill, which they argue is tantamount to abortion.

The lawsuit names Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius as one of the defendants. Both schools are represented at no cost by Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law group.

Dordt has more than 1,400 students. The 3,000-student Cornerstone calls itself a “religious higher education institution” and believes it should be exempt from the law.

“Given our conviction that life begins at conception and our commitment to the sanctity of life, we find the mandate to provide our faculty, staff, and students with insurance that provides access to abortion-inducing pills abhorrent and unacceptable,” Cornerstone president Joseph Stowell wrote in a letter Wednesday to students, faculty and staff.

Related:  FIU students building green home to display at Olympics

“The government should not be able to force us to buy or provide insurance that gives access to morally objectionable drugs, devices, and services that violate our biblical convictions.”

In a separate case, a Michigan natural foods company failed to convince the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that it should be exempt on religious grounds.

In an opinion released Thursday, the court said Clinton-based Eden Foods is a secular, for-profit corporation and can’t “establish that it can exercise religion.”

RELATED ARTICLES >>
State High Court Orders New Hearing in UConn Animal Research Case HARTFORD, Conn. ― The Connecticut Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a lower court judge to hold another hearing to determine whether the names of some University of Connecticut animal researchers can be kept secret to protect their safety. People...
Former Yale Basketball Captain Sues School Over Expulsion NEW HAVEN, Conn. ― Former Yale basketball captain Jack Montague filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the Ivy League university of wrongfully expelling him over a sexual assault allegation. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Connecticut, says Mont...
Hearing Officer Awards $175K to Harassed MSU-Northern Dean HAVRE, Mont. ― A hearing officer with the Montana Human Rights Commission has awarded $175,000 to a dean at Montana State University-Northern who complained that the former provost sexually harassed him. Hearing officer Terry Spear said the universi...
Men Want Retrial on Pennsylvania University Sex Abuse Claims Three men who lost their lawsuit against a former state university administrator over allegations he sexually abused them are taking their case to a federal appeals court. The former East Stroudsburg University students filed a federal civil-right...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *