Federal appeals court refuses to grant Notre Dame a birth control mandate
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Notre Dame University’s request for an exception to the Obamacare birth control mandate, ruling that the school must process paperwork authorizing its two private health insurance providers to pay for contraceptives, sterilizations and certain abortifacient drugs for all eligible female students and employees, reports LifeSiteNews.
Notre Dame’s lawsuit challenged the so-called “compromise” offered by the Obama administration after Roman Catholic and other religious institutions cried foul over Obamacare’s requirement that all health insurance plans provide contraceptive drugs and procedures to females without a co-pay. Contraceptives, sterilization and abortion are all considered gravely sinful by the Catholic Church.
The “compromise” plan allowed certain religious institutions, including Notre Dame, to refuse to directly pay for the offending drugs and procedures, provided they sign authorizations allowing their insurance companies to pick up the tab instead.
Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, the university signed the form late last year in order to avoid crippling fines of $100 per day per employee and student. The move earned them sharp rebukes from Catholic observers. But they also advised students and employees that they would continue to fight the mandate in the courts, and hoped that coverage for contraceptives or sterilizations would only be temporary.
Notre Dame’s attorneys argued that forcing the school to sign the authorization was a violation of their first amendment rights, because they are effectively being compelled to condone the provision of religiously illicit materials and actions.