Two evangelical colleges, Biola University (California) and Grace College (Indiana), filed a lawsuit today against the Obama administration. The lawsuit is the most recent challenge to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that employers provide insurance coverage of contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and ella, at no cost to employees.
The HHS announced in August 2011 that organizations would be required to provide contraception to their employees as part of the health care reform signed by President Obama.
Attorneys have filed a total of six lawsuits on behalf of evangelical colleges against the mandate: Biola and Grace join Wheaton College, Geneva College, Colorado Christian University, and Louisiana College.
Like Wheaton College, Biola previously covered Plan B and ella in its insurance plans. Biola's insurance plan covered FDA-approved contraceptives before April 1, the lawsuit states. "The prior inclusion of abortion-inducing drugs like ella and Plan B was neither knowing nor intentional."
Working with several insurance companies for faculty and student plans, Biola did not look into the details of its coverage until the Obama administration's mandate became an issue for the college, said Biola University President Barry H. Corey.
"Whether or not people were taking advantage of [ella or Plan B], that's something we weren't and couldn't track," Corey said. "We did realize at that point that our insurance companies should exclude those."
Leaders at the religious institutions assert that pills like ella and Plan B prevent pregnancy by blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg. As the scientific community ...