May 22, 2014 01:31 PM EDT
ObamaCare: Judge Rules That Christian Colleges Are Exempt From Contraception Mandate
A federal court on Wednesday ruled that Christian colleges do not have to comply with Obamacare's contraceptive mandate, Campus Reform reported.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett halted the enforcement of Obamacare for Cornerstone College in Michigan and Dordt College in Iowa, "victory for those against employers paying for contraceptives, including the controversial 'morning-after pill.'"
Obamacare's contraceptive mandate forces employers to provide contraceptives to employees regardless of the organization's religious practices and beliefs.
The two schools filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying that the mandate is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and is unconstitutional.
The act states that the government "must have a compelling state interest, as well as pursue the least restrictive means of furthering that interest, when it comes to restricting religious freedom," Campus Reform reported. The judge said that the probable harm the mandate would inflict on the two colleges was greater than that of the supporters of the Affordable Care Act.
"They believe that God has condemned the intentional destruction of innocent human life," the lawsuit states. "The Schools hold, as a matter of religious conviction, that it would be sinful and immoral for them intentionally to participate in, pay for, facilitate, enable, or otherwise support access to abortion, which destroys human life."
The court's decision only affects employees of Christian Universities, not their students.
"[W]e'll continue to monitor the situation, but we're hopeful, and we expect the courts to ultimately reach the correct conclusion and protect religious freedom by declaring enforcement of the mandate unconstitutional," Dordt College President Erik Hoekstra told Campus Reform.
According to Campus Reform, this ruling is only temporary and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on similar situations regarding craft store Hobby Lobby and wood company Conestoga.
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