The University of Notre Dame re-filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s birth control mandate Tuesday, using the much-maligned Colorado “Brosurance” ads as evidence it violates the Catholic university’s religious beliefs.
The mandate to provide insurance plans with contraceptive services at no additional costs is at odds with Catholic teaching, the school argues, and the university wants an exception. The school argues that the mandate’s “central financial premise — ‘cost neutrality’ through reductions in the number of childbirths — is antithetical to Notre Dame’s faith.”
Notre Dame’s court filing in the Northern Indiana district court pointed out that the contraceptive mandate is ultimately intended for purposes the religious institution holds immoral.
The university attached several ads from a Colorado group, reading “OMG, he’s hot! Lets hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control,” arguing that the ads support their position that complying with the mandate would show the university’s support for immoral behavior.
University President Father John Jenkins blasted the Obama administration for its current policy of issuing exemptions to certain institution as an attempt to “decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious.”
Jenkins even warned that the final outcome of the birth control mandate would turn religious institutions into “mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state.”
“If that happens, it will be the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name,” he concluded.
This tough talk is something new. Jenkins honored Obama in 2009 as the commencement speaker and doled out an honorary law degree to the freshly elected president, much to the chagrin of pro-life alumni and board members that took issue with Obama’s support for partial birth abortion as a state senator in Illinois just several years before.
Notre Dame has been in talks with the Obama administration for over a year regarding an exemption from the mandate, but filed the lawsuit just one day after the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the contraceptive mandate from Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia.
Liberty University’s lawsuit tackled not only the birth control coverage requirement, but the employer mandate as well, while Notre Dame’s complaint address solely the contraceptive mandate and its application to the religious institution.
The new suit is one of many pending against Obamacare, including a Hobby Lobby’s complaint that the mandate violates a business’s religious freedom. The Supreme Court agreed before Thanksgiving that it would hear Hobby Lobby’s case.
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