Geneva College sues over insurance for morning-after drugs

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Geneva College today sued federal agencies and officials, saying provisions in the new healthcare law violate the constitutional rights of the Christian institution by requiring its insurer to pay for morning-after and week-after anti-pregnancy medications.

The 164-year-old Beaver Falls college, founded by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, contends in the lawsuit that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will "coerce thousands of religious institutions and individuals to engage in acts they consider sinful and immoral in violation of their most deeply held religious beliefs" by forcing them to cover "drugs used to abort a pregnancy."


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The complaint in U.S. District Court said that the college's current health insurance contract excludes such drugs because it believes they violate God's word, which "has condemned the intentional destruction of innocent human life."

It said the act's exemptions for religious employers are too narrow to apply to the college.

"Geneva College is not 'religious' enough under this definition in several respects," it said, adding that recent efforts by the Obama administration to tweak the law to address churches' concerns are "entirely fictitious."

The Alliance Defense Fund, using attorneys based in Washington D.C., Georgia and Kansas, is helping Geneva pursue the case.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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