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Two More Evangelical Colleges Oppose HHS Anti-Conscience Mandate

By Sarah TorreThe Foundry Blog from Heritage.org
Posted on: Thursday, August 30th, 2012
Original publication date: August 27, 2012

Two more evangelical schools are challenging the Obama Administration’s anti-conscience mandate, filing a joint lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Grace College and Seminary, an evangelical institution in Winona Lake, Indiana, and Biola University, a prominent Christian college in Mirada, California.

The lawsuit comes just a few weeks after the official implementation of the HHS mandate on August 1 and joins the lawsuits of some 60 organizations, including four other Protestant institutions.

Under the mandate, at the start of their next health plan year, both colleges will be forced to provide and pay for insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of their deeply held religious and moral objections to such drugs.

Both schools have fallen victim to the Obama Administration’s offensively constricted view of faith in public life. The mandate affords only the narrowest religious exemption in federal law that effectively only applies to formal houses of worship. Like many other religious employers, Grace College and Seminary and Biola University are left completely unprotected by the exemption simply because they serve individuals without regard to their creeds or backgrounds.

Follow this link to read more.

About Preserve Religious Freedom

This lawsuit is about religious freedom and our ability to serve the public, not about contraception. The Church maintains that the First Amendment protects the Catholic Church's ability to serve the public in accordance with its faith and to operate its religious institutions without government interference. The argument challenges the way the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines what is, and is not, a religious institution. By including an exemption at all, the government apparently agrees that, in keeping with decades of practice and precedent, religious institutions should not be compelled to purchase drugs or procedures that violate deeply held religious or moral beliefs.

But, the Administration's HHS mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that religious schools, hospitals, and social services don't qualify as religious, and must therefore provide these drugs and procedures. This violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. It forces religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving the public. Read more about the plaintiffs filing this lawsuit here.

Preserve Religious Freedom
c/o Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260

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