Court Rejects Notre Dame’s Request to Be Exempt from Obamacare Contraception Mandate

University of Notre Dame

A federal court of appeals has rejected the University of Notre Dame’s request to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.

The provision requires the school’s insurance providers to cover the costs of contraceptives for students and staff, which violates the Catholic school’s religious beliefs.

The university argued that the mandate imposes a substantial burden by forcing it to “identify and contract with a third party willing to provide the very services Notre Dame deems objectionable.”

But the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling 2-1 Tuesday that since the university doesn’t have to pay the cost for contraceptives directly, the school is not being forced to violate its religious convictions.

“The very word ‘accommodation’ implies a balance of competing interests,” the court noted.

“And when we compare the burden on the government or third parties of having to establish some entirely new method of providing contraceptive coverage with the burden on Notre Dame of simply notifying the government that the ball is now in the government’s court, we cannot conclude that Notre Dame has yet established its right to the injunctive relief that it is seeking before trial,” the court said.

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