Notre Dame sues over insurance mandate

May 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM
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SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 21 (UPI) -- Indiana's University of Notre Dame filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the federal mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, names Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their departments as defendants, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported.

The Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, said in a statement the federal mandate would require the Catholic-affiliated school to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which go against Catholic Church teachings.

"And we believe that, if the Government wishes to provide such services, means are available that do not compel religious organizations to serve as its agents," Jenkins said. "We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings."

Jenkins said the school filed the lawsuit because the federal government has not yet made clear how it would decide which religious organizations can be exempt from the health insurance mandate.

"For if we concede that the Government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions," Jenkins said.

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