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  1. #1
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    Christian College Files Lawsuit Over HHS Mandate to Provide Contraceptives

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    An evangelical college is joining Catholic groups in suing the Obama administration over the so-called contraception mandate.

    Illinois-based Wheaton College announced Wednesday morning that it had joined The Catholic University of America in filing suit before District of Columbia federal court.

    The wave of lawsuits has so far been dominated by Catholic organizations. After the Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care overhaul last month, those groups vowed to continue their legal challenge against the requirement that employers provide access to contraceptive care.

    The announcement Wednesday marks the first time an evangelical group has joined that effort.

    "In this case, we recognize we have common cause with the Catholic University of America and other Catholic institutions in defending religious liberty," Wheaton College President Philip Graham Ryken said on a conference call.

    Wheaton, a protestant institution, is objecting to the Department Health and Human Services rule on slightly different grounds than the Catholic institutions. While those institutions are opposed to the requirement regarding all contraceptive coverage, Wheaton objected only to the possibility that they would have to provide access to coverage for "abortion-inducing drugs."

    "We're very clear on the sanctity of life, and this insurance mandate goes against our conscience," Ryken said. He said the fact that Catholic groups are teaming up with an evangelical college in this lawsuit should signal that "something really significant in terms of religious liberty is at stake."

    In May, dozens of Catholic groups filed a dozen separate but related federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the requirement. Among the organizations were the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and The Catholic University of America.

    The Obama administration several months ago softened its position on the mandate, but some religious organizations complain the administration did not go far enough to ensure the rule would not compel them to violate their religious beliefs.

    Ryken accused the administration of creating "two classes" of religious institutions by providing an exemption for churches but not religious-affiliated colleges.

    The lawsuit filing came a day after a federal judge in Nebraska dismissed a suit over the HHS rule filed by seven states.

    The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Wheaton College, claims the ruling will not affect their case.
    For the record: this is not a debate on whether God exists or any of that stuff. That is essentially irrelevant here. The question is, can the government force a private, religious institution to cover contraceptives, including things such as the "morning after" pill to their employees and students.

    I am not sure how I feel about it, and I don't know enough about the situation. I believe people should practice sex in a safe way, use contraceptives, etc. However, this school believes that premarital sex is immoral, and that morning-after drugs are a form of abortion. If they take these stances in accordance with their religion, can the government force them to do otherwise? I also don't see why it should be the school or insurance company's job to provide contraceptives. Shouldn't that be on people's own dime, considering it simply deals with their own personal life decisions?

    I actually went to this college and thus it sparked my interest. I no longer hold to their religious beliefs, but I thought this was an interesting topic. I will also attest that this is a very well respected institution, and the administration there are very good people. They are not extremists, and Wheaton College was named the "Harvard of Christian Schools" by the Princeton Review a few years ago. I only say this to stress that this isn't some whacked out fringe group. Please don't make this a god debate or a thread about how much Fox News sucks. I hate Fox news too, but that isn't the topic here.
    In case you weren't aware, there is now a Religion Forum here. All high-quality discussion welcome!

  2. #2
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    Does Wheaton College accept Federal Funds? If so, don't those fund come with the rules attached to them?

    If not, they have a better case to me. But taking the money and not wanting to follow the restrictions attached seems hypocritical.

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    Wheaton is a private school. Does that mean they don't take Fed money? Not sure how that works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b1e9a8r5s View Post
    Wheaton is a private school. Does that mean they don't take Fed money? Not sure how that works.
    I would expect so, but it's tough to say to be honest. I would bet that private institutions still get some grants and loans from state and federal government agencies. But I think this is above that, in that it solely relates to their insurance plans.

    My question is that if they are hiring people of like-minds, then they won't have to pay a dime for these plans. Because if I can't skydive, then no one is going to have to cover my skydiving insurance.
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    Forcing them to pay for contraceptive coverage is ridiculous. Federal government overreach to the max.





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    Quote Originally Posted by b1e9a8r5s View Post
    Wheaton is a private school. Does that mean they don't take Fed money? Not sure how that works.
    If they do research you can be 99.9% sure they take federal money. The government probably gives loans to their students as well.

    The way I see it who's rights are more important the institutions or the user of the institution. And catholic who doesn't want to use contraceptives has that freedom, those who do not are being inhibited.

    Taken to its logical conclusion should a religion that believes in faith,healing be able to deny insurance all together?

    BTW

    Not providing condoms to college students should be Negligent homicide. Especially if you are pro-life.
    Last edited by flips333; 07-18-2012 at 07:03 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
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    Quote Originally Posted by homestarunner93 View Post
    Forcing them to pay for contraceptive coverage is ridiculous. Federal government overreach to the max.
    Well they only have to pay for the contraceptive coverage if their employees want to use it. I go back to my skydiving insurance example.
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    Governmental Force is almost never OK.

    This is no exception.
    Son, you just don't get it, i'm talking bout TWTW!

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    Eh. Just call it a tax and you can do whatever you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    Well they only have to pay for the contraceptive coverage if their employees want to use it. I go back to my skydiving insurance example.
    So what? It doesn't matter who they hire. If they don't want to pay it, they shouldn't have to.





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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    Well they only have to pay for the contraceptive coverage if their employees want to use it. I go back to my skydiving insurance example.
    Are you sure about that? Or do they have to pay for the insurance regardless of whether contraceptives are utilized? Either way, Wheaton isn't worried about the money, they just don't like the principle of it. They believe the morning after pill is equivalent to late term abortion. Therefore, they don't want the government telling them they are required to aid someone in "killing" an unborn human if they so desire. Even if no employees or students ever used it, it is still the principle that they have a problem with.

    So, should their moral beliefs (derived from their religion) get them exempt from providing contraceptives?
    In case you weren't aware, there is now a Religion Forum here. All high-quality discussion welcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoggin88 View Post
    Are you sure about that? Or do they have to pay for the insurance regardless of whether contraceptives are utilized? Either way, Wheaton isn't worried about the money, they just don't like the principle of it. They believe the morning after pill is equivalent to late term abortion. Therefore, they don't want the government telling them they are required to aid someone in "killing" an unborn human if they so desire. Even if no employees or students ever used it, it is still the principle that they have a problem with.

    So, should their moral beliefs (derived from their religion) get them exempt from providing contraceptives?
    No more than claiming "why does my health insurance pay for lung transplants, I'm never going to need that".

    If they are worried about the principle, then it sounds like they shouldn't be hiring people who would want to use birth control or whatever else. If I don't want to hire someone who thinks its moral to kill people for sport, then I won't hire people who kill others for sport.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    No more than claiming "why does my health insurance pay for lung transplants, I'm never going to need that".

    If they are worried about the principle, then it sounds like they shouldn't be hiring people who would want to use birth control or whatever else. If I don't want to hire someone who thinks its moral to kill people for sport, then I won't hire people who kill others for sport.
    Employees and students there both sign a statement that they will abstain from sex outside of marriage. It would be a very rare occurrence if these contraceptives were ever requested of the school. The students/employees would never approach the school to receive them, they would figure something out on their own to keep it under wraps.

    But even if they screened potential employees for their views on birth control, and no employees/students ever used them or even wanted to use them, that isn't completely the issue here. Like I said, they don't want the government forcing them to adhere to a policy that would, in principle, require them to provide aid in aborting an unborn "child". Even if this never transpired, they would still feel as if they were sending a message that they are ok with being a part of this system that is killing people.

    Do you see what I'm getting at? It doesn't matter whether they hire people who use birth control, it is the sheer principle of the whole thing. That said, do you have an opinion on whether this lawsuit holds any water in a court of law?
    In case you weren't aware, there is now a Religion Forum here. All high-quality discussion welcome!

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    I don't see why it would hold up in court. Because the only way that their employees would get access to these things is if they wanted them. They don't just bring samples and drop them off on campus. So it seems that the employee getting te birth control has the more immediate and direct desire to get the access. They are the ones "paying" for the birth control and not the employer. I say this because the employee pays for it through lost possible payment. As opposed to getting health care, they could have gotten paid in dollars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoggin88 View Post
    Employees and students there both sign a statement that they will abstain from sex outside of marriage. It would be a very rare occurrence if these contraceptives were ever requested of the school. The students/employees would never approach the school to receive them, they would figure something out on their own to keep it under wraps.

    But even if they screened potential employees for their views on birth control, and no employees/students ever used them or even wanted to use them, that isn't completely the issue here. Like I said, they don't want the government forcing them to adhere to a policy that would, in principle, require them to provide aid in aborting an unborn "child". Even if this never transpired, they would still feel as if they were sending a message that they are ok with being a part of this system that is killing people.

    Do you see what I'm getting at? It doesn't matter whether they hire people who use birth control, it is the sheer principle of the whole thing. That said, do you have an opinion on whether this lawsuit holds any water in a court of law?
    but by not providing birth control they are more likely to do just that.

    And the rights of the institution should not be paramount to the rights of the individual.
    Last edited by flips333; 07-19-2012 at 07:08 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
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