A federal court has granted a Christian liberal arts college in Pennsylvania a permanent injunction against the Obama-era abortion pill mandate that required the school to be complicit in providing health care coverage that violated its religious convictions.
On Thursday, Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted permanent relief to Geneva College, a liberal arts school affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
Conti ruled that the Department of Health and Human Services Obamacare contraception mandate violated the college’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring the school to facilitate coverage of services to which it has religious objections.
“[T]he court finds that Geneva is entitled to declaratory relief that defendants’ enforcement of the mandate … and implementing regulations against Geneva and requiring its compliance with the accommodation procedure with respect to providing, paying for, making accessible, or otherwise facilitating or causing access to coverage or payments through an insurance company or other third party for contraceptive coverage services to which Geneva College has religious objections … violates Geneva’s rights under RFRA,” the court document reads.
The mandate was first issued in 2011 under President Barack Obama. In 2016, the United States Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling against an order of Catholic nuns (Little Sisters of the Poor) and other organizations who objected to the mandate but were not given an exemption. The nation’s high court ordered lower courts to “arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates petitioners’ religious exercise.”
Last year, President Donald Trump’s administration expanded an exemption to the mandate to include any nonprofit or for-profit entity that has a moral objection to providing abortion-inducing and other birth control drugs.
According to the injunction in the Geneva College case, the Trump administration and the agencies implicated in the case conceded that enforcement of the Affordable Care Act Mandate “against Geneva would violate RFRA and indicating that it does not intend to offer a substantive defense with respect to that.”
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Source: Christian Post