Wheaton College has filed suit, alongside The Catholic University of
America, in D.C. District Court against the preventative services
mandate outlined in the Affordable Care Act. The institutions argue that the law "forces both institutions to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay severe fines." The lawsuit marks the first time that a Catholic institution has joined forces with an evangelical group to oppose the same law in the same court, according to a press release.
“This mandate is not just a Catholic issue—it threatens people of all faiths,” says Kyle Duncan, general counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the academic institutions in the case. “Wheaton’s historic decision to join the fight alongside a Catholic institution shows the broad consensus that the mandate endangers everyone's religious liberty.”
Wheaton College's religious foundation prevents it from providing employees with abortion-causing drugs, leading the institution to take part in the lawsuit in order to "to preserve its religious liberty and the right to carry out its mission free from government coercion."
On June 28, the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs in the "religious liberty" lawsuits say they will continue to press forward.
“The Becket Fund’s religious liberty lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue,” said Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors.”
The "religious liberty" lawsuits have been filed against the Department of Health and Human Services.