Ave Maria University Files Another Lawsuit Against Obamacare

Sep 5, 2013

Credit Terence Faircloth / Flickr / Creative Commons

Ave Maria University in eastern Collier County has filed another lawsuit against the 2010 health care law. Officials said a federal mandate requiring birth control coverage is unconstitutional.

Ave Maria University filed a lawsuit against the federal government over a year ago alleging the insurance mandate under Obamacare violated their religious beliefs.

Under the law, all employers that are not churches are required to cover contraception in their insurance plans.

Ave Maria’s lawsuit was thrown out because many provisions in the law weren’t finalized at that point. Now that they are, the university’s president Jim Towey said they are seeking legal recourse once more. 

“We feel very strongly that as a faith-based university we are entitled to protections as a religious organization under the law, this has been granted by republican and democratic administrations alike for decades,” he said. “But for some reasons this administration decided to very narrowly define religious organizations to include only churches”

Towey said this requirement is an overreach by the federal government.

“We feel that is a mandate that is beyond the federal government’s right,” he said. “So, we think it’s unconstitutional. We think it’s a violation of federal law and we think it’s against what’s been America’s tradition of providing space for faith based organizations to be in the public square and not requiring them to abandon their rights and conscious.”

The mandate was created by the Department of Health as a way to combat the sometimes prohibitive costs of contraception.

Because religious hospitals and university’s—including Ave Maria—hire non-Catholics, the administration’s mandate was aimed at including the widest range of employers possible.