Court Sides With Oklahoma Schools Suing Gov. Over Birth Control Mandate
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal court rules in favor of four Oklahoma Christian schools suing the government over the Obamacare mandate on birth control.
Those four colleges are Southern Nazerene University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Mid-America Christian University. The ruling came down late last week and if it's left un-appealed, could be a sea change for college students looking for birth control options.
The schools sued the government over a mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires colleges and universities to provide contraceptives.
But the Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma said the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing the schools to act against closely held religious beliefs.
The case sets precedent. It's the first case to officially give christian schools an exemption of this kind.
In a statement the SNU Vice President for Business and Finance said in part... "We are grateful that we live in a country where religious liberty remains a guaranteed constitutional right."
The case also closely mirrors the landmark Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases that exempted businesses and religious non-profit organizations from the same mandate.
The decision could be challenged by the government but at this point it seems unlikely. Back in 2017 the Trump Administration took steps to further dismantle the birth control mandate, signaling the White House is likely on board with the ruling.
What seems more likely is a challenge from a pro-choice or women's rights group. This will certainly be something to watch.