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Ave Maria University Files Lawsuit Over Controversial Obamacare Mandate

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ave Maria University will file suit against the federal government, renewing the University’s efforts to fight the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. 

“The Obama administration’s mandate that seeks to coerce Ave Maria University to cooperate with its scheme to make abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and other contraceptive services available to employees under our employer-provided health plan, is unconstitutional and a violation of Federal law, and today we are suing to prevent its enforcement,” University President Jim Towey said Thursday.

In March, the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, granted the motion by the Defendants (Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al) to dismiss Ave Maria University’s lawsuit. At that time, the dismissal was made on technical legal grounds - so-called “ripeness” – because the federal regulations in question are not in final form. 

Now that the regulations have been finalized, President Towey says he believes this lawsuit is a logical next step, and perhaps the only way, to preserve the rights of religious groups.

“The Obama administration seems hell-bent on denying faith-based organizations their rights of conscience and religious freedom,” he said. 

On January 1, 2014, the so-called “safe harbor” protection the University now enjoys will no longer exist, and the Obama administration’s contraception mandate will be in full force. 

 “..the fines with which the Obama administration threatens to compel Ave Maria’s compliance – $100 per day, per beneficiary, totally as much as $7 million in fines annually – seem to have the intended effect of forcing us to choose to either violate our religious beliefs or face bankruptcy,” President Towey said.  “Ave Maria University will not violate its core religious beliefs, wash our hands like Pontius Pilate, and surrender to the Obama administration’s coercive mandate.” 


Click here for AMU Pres. Jim Towey's Statement.

Click here for PDF version.