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Judge Rejects Notre Dame Contraceptive Lawsuit

A federal judge rejected Notre Dame's request for an injunction to the contraceptive clause of the Affordable Care Act.

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Photo: Kymberly Janisch (Flickr)

The contraceptives mandate has been particularly controversial in South Bend, Ind., the home of the University of Notre Dame.

A federal judge rejected Notre Dame’s request for an injunction that would block the “contraceptive mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.

A federal judge rejected Notre Dame’s request for an injunction that would block the “contraceptive mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.

Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the federal government challenged the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires birth control to be provided under employer provided insurance plans. The Affordable Care Act does allow exemptions for religiously affiliated institutions like Notre Dame, to not provide birth control to employees if it is morally opposed, but the government would reimburse those employees to get the services elsewhere.

The Catholic university in South Bend filed the injunction after claiming the law violates its freedom to practice religion without government interference.

Chief Judge Philip P. Simon of the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend wrote in his opinion:

“Notre Dame wants to eat its cake, and have it still, at the expense of Congress, administrative agencies, and the employees who will be affected. Notre Dame is free to opt out of providing the coverage itself, but it can’t stop anyone else from providing it. But that is essentially what Notre Dame is requesting. Notre Dame is not being asked to do or say anything it doesn’t already do, and wouldn’t do regardless of the outcome of this case; the only thing that changes under the healthcare law is the actions of third parties. Notre Dame can’t claim to be “pressured” to do something it has done, will do, and would do regardless of the contraception requirement.”
After Simon’s ruling, Notre Dame filed an appeal Monday to U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Claire McInerny

Claire McInerny is a reporter/producer for WFIU/WTIU news. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.

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