Student health insurance changes due to Obamacare prompted a University of Notre Dame lawsuit. Three students who feel that the school should add contraceptives in its offerings are attempting to intervene in the lawsuit challenging the federal government’s birth control mandate.
The unidentified University of Notre Dame students claimed in a motion filed earlier this week that they are entitled to join the lawsuit because they are directly impacted by the outcome. The legal filing against the Department of Health and Human Services argues against the Affordable Care Act’s dictate that religious employers must contract for contraceptives with third-party providers.
The Catholic college maintains that such a mandate contradicts its religious principles and therefore the university should enjoy the same blanket exemptions offered to houses of worship.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan had this to say about the Obamacare lawsuit:
“These women are the people principally affected by the outcome of the case, so their voice ought to be full heard. They contacted us because they were very concerned about this and very much in need of contraception and hopeful that they would finally be able to obtain access to it. They were very disheartened by the position that Notre Dame has taken.”
Critics of the student health insurance legal stance feel that the coeds knew they had enrolled in a Catholic school which did not offer contraceptives before opting to send a tuition check. Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne chose not to comment on how the three female students’ filing could impact the Obamacare lawsuit. Browne referred instead to past official statements made about the Affordable Care Act lawsuit. The college reportedly feels that the court battle is about the “freedom of a religious organization to live its mission.”
There are currently 91 lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, according to the Chicago Tribune. The three Notre Dame students are the first citizens seeking to object to a filing in court over a challenge. The Americans United for the Separation of Church and State representative argued in favor of keeping the identities of the three women private in order to prevent the sharing of information about their sexual activity with the public. Khan also noted concerns that the students could face backlash from the community and university if their names were released. She pointed to protests held on campus in 2009 when President Obama came to the school to deliver the commencement address.
Obamacare will likely be a topic during the president’s State of the Union address tonight. The latest Affordable Care Act statistics shared by the Health and Human Services agency indicates that more Americans lost insurance after the act became law than who have signed up on the exchange. The minimum number of young citizens needed in order to make the law fiscally feasible has not yet been reached.
How do you feel about the student health services lawsuits at Notre Dame?
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