SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has granted an injunction to Biola University in California and Grace College and Seminary in Indiana against he abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.
The two Christian institutions had filed suit in August 2012 with the assistance of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a faith-based legal organization headquarted in Scottsdale, Arizona. Officials representing the schools asserted that the mandate violated their core Christian principles.
“The Obama administration’s mandate forces us to act against our own doctrinal statement, which upholds the sanctity of human life,” Biola University President Barry H. Corey wrote in an update announcing the suit. “It unjustly intrudes on our religious liberty as protected under the U.S. Constitution and makes a mockery of our attempts to live our lives according to our faith convictions, time-honored and long protected.”
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio agreed, granting a temporary injunction to Biola and Grace College and Seminary while their case moves forward.
“Grace and Biola have established that their employees and students were made aware of the universities’ expectation that they were to promote the universities’ religious views and community standards by refraining from the procurement of, participation in, facilitation of, or payment for objectionable contraceptive services,” he wrote. “Thus, it cannot be said that there was any expectation that the universities would ever facilitate access to all FDA approved contraceptive services for its employees and students.”
“[T]he plaintiffs’ employees/students and the public is best served if the plaintiffs can continue to provide needed (and expected) educational services, and the needed (and expected) insurance coverage to its employees and students, without the threat of substantial fines for noncompliance with the contraception mandate and its accommodation,” DeGuilio said.
Following the issuance of the injunction against the mandate, ADF applauded yet another win in the courts surrounding the matter.
“The Constitution and federal law protect people of faith and the institutions they lead from invasive and punitive government mandates. Allowing two explicitly Christian universities to operate as Christian universities is the only constitutionally correct conclusion,” said Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor in a written statement. “In light of all the legal victories against the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate, the wisest course is for the administration to drop this unjust mandate, stop wasting taxpayer resources on these cases, and end its attacks on the First Amendment.”
In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide two cases next year surrounding the requirement. As previously reported, the Court announced last month that it would hear two challenges to the Affordable Care Act: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.
“The government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman, who represents Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation. “The administration has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free. We trust the Supreme Court will agree. A government that forces any citizen to participate in immoral acts—like the use of abortion drugs—under threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/HammyHammy88