A federal district court has permanently halted enforcement of the 2011 HHS birth control mandate, which requires employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraception and drugs that could induce an abortion, against two Christian colleges in Iowa.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on Tuesday issued an order protecting the religious freedom of Dordt College of Iowa and Cornerstone University of Michigan by blocking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing its mandate.
The mandate was first implemented in 2011 by the Barack Obama administration, using the authority of the Affordable Care Act, with a narrow exemption for faith groups and religiously-motivated employers. The Donald Trump administration expanded the religious exemption last October.
“Under the HHS mandate, religious employers were given no real choice: They had to either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and pay severe fines for their faith. this mandate to protect the colleges’ religious freedom,” said Gregory S. Baylor, Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the two colleges.
The court also issued a judgment that declares the mandate to be in violation of federal law.
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Source: Christian Post