On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, Cornerstone University joins Dordt College in filing a federal lawsuit against the federal government.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys will today file a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration on behalf of Cornerstone University and Dordt College in Iowa.
The lawsuit challenges President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act mandate that requires most employers who offer health insurance plans (including Christian schools) to provide access to certain abortion-inducing drugs by 2014. Employers face fines if they either stop offering insurance or do not include access to the objectionable drugs and treatments in their health plans.
The lawsuit is one of many that have been filed on behalf of religious higher education institutions whose religious freedom is at stake.
Why is Cornerstone University filing a lawsuit against the federal government?
Cornerstone University, as a religious higher education institution, believes it is essential that its religious liberties be protected. As a religious institution, we should be exempt from the requirements of the abortion-pill mandate. All religious institutions have the right to have the same protection that has been afforded churches under the current law. Therefore, after board members researched the mandate they recommended to the CU Board of Trustees that the University pursue litigation with the help of ADF. Trustees voted in favor of the litigation at a meeting earlier this year.
How does this affect employees’ healthcare?
Our healthcare plan currently does not cover these types of potentially abortion-inducing drugs. A temporary “safe harbor” permits this. If we succeed in the litigation, we will continue to offer a healthcare plan that does not facilitate access to abortifacient drugs, even after the expiration of the temporary safe harbor.
Does this mean we do not cover contraceptives?
No. The employee health insurance plan we offer covers most contraceptives, but we have chosen, for religious reasons, to exclude those contraceptives that sometimes cause early abortions.
What is the cost?
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Cornerstone University. ADF will bear all of the legal costs related to this litigation.
What are the next steps?
The lawsuit will be filed in Iowa and we will post more information as it is available.
What other schools have filed suits?
Cornerstone University will join the ranks of Wheaton, Biola, Notre Dame, Geneva College, and many others in challenging the mandate.
Please direct any further questions to Bob Sack, executive director of marketing and communication at Cornerstone, at firstname.lastname@example.org.