Federal judge reinstates Christian college’s lawsuit over HHS mandate
BEAVER FALLS, PA, May 22, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A federal judge has reinstated a Christian college's lawsuit against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate.
Geneva College sued the administration over the mandate, which would require the institution to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs for its female employees.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti said the case may now move forward, as the college must determine what to do about its health care plan in the face of pending regulations that will go into effect on August 1.
The Justice Department successfully argued for its lawsuit to be dismissed last year, because the regulation had not yet been written, much less implemented, and therefore the college could not show any damages. The legal doctrine, known as “ripeness,” has been used to dismiss scores of cases.
“At Geneva College, we only have one Lord, and he does not live in Washington, D.C.,” said college president Ken Smith when he filed the lawsuit last February. He called the mandate to purchase abortion-inducing drugs “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The president has described the abortifacient mandate as the heart of the Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare.
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The Pennsylvania school, which is aligned with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom in its struggle to fend off a regulation that would violate its convictions.
“All Americans, including job creators and providers, should be free to live according to their faith rather than be forced into violating their own consciences,” said Gregory S. Baylor, ADF senior counsel. "That’s no different for Geneva College, a Christian-run college that simply wants to abide by the very faith it espouses and teaches.
"The court has done the right thing in allowing Geneva College to remain in this lawsuit together with Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co. to ensure that the government doesn’t punish people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.”