WASHINGTON — Foes of the federal contraception mandate are cheering a Tuesday (Dec. 18) appeals court decision requiring the Obama administration to devise exemptions to the new rule for two Christian colleges.
They’re also buoyed by the D.C. Circuit Court’s reversal of lower court decisions to throw out their cases. The administration had argued that because it was crafting an exemption to the contraception rule, the cases should not go forward.
Now the cases continue, and every 60 days, the administration must report on its plan to ensure that the colleges do not have to comply with the new rule, which mandates that employers cover contraception in their health plans.
“This is a win not just for Belmont Abbey and Wheaton, but for all religious non-profits challenging the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who argued the case.
The two colleges, Catholic Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois, filed suit against the Obama administration before the new rule went into effect on Aug. 1, and argued that the mandate is a violation of the schools’ religious freedom.