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Notre Dame sues Obama over birth control mandate

The University of Notre Dame is suing the Obama administration over its mandate requiring employers to cover birth control, claiming it’s a violation of religious freedom.

Other Catholic schools have initiated lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services for requiring them to cover birth control. Notre Dame is the largest Roman Catholic university in the country and poses a problem for President Obama, who has had a good relationship with the school in the past.

Obama was given an honorary law degree by the university in 2009 and gave the graduation commencement speech that year, speaking about the need for civil debate in the abortion issue.

“Understand – I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it… the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable,” Obama said in his speech. “Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature… Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

This comes after U.S. Roman Catholic bishops rejected Obama’s plan to have insurance companies bear the cost of the birth control mandate. The bishops rejected the plan because their insurance plans would still be a “conduit” for abortion.

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