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Ave Maria University sues over Obama-contraception rule

AveAve Maria University, the Catholic institution near Naples, today sued the Barack Obama administration over the law requiring that health care plans include contraception coverage.

"It is a sad day when an American citizen or organization has no choice but to sue its own government in order to exercise religious liberty rights guaranteed by our nation’s Constitution,'' Ave Maria president Jim Towey, left, said in a conference call a few minutes ago. "As an American Catholic, I am in disbelief that I have to choose between being a good Catholic and a good citizen. I will not, and the University will not, accept this false choice. The federal government has no right to coerce the University into funding contraceptive services that include abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization, in the health plan we offer our employees."

Towey, former head of the Bush Administration’s Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and a former aide to Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, said the school's 129 employees are free to decide on their own whether to use birth control, but that Ave Maria is prepared to discontinue its health plan and the the $2,000 per employee annual fine rather than comply with a law that violates Catholic teachings.

"What was announced as an accomodation or comporiise was simply a fig leaf to provide a little bit of cover for some left of center Catholics and some other allies of the administration," said Towey.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is handling the Ave Maria suit. It had already filed similar suits on behalf of Catholic and Protestabt institutions including Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, Colorado Christian Universuity, and Eternal Word Television Network.

Posted by Adam C. Smith


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These religious institutions are waking up a new generation of women who have finally figured out how bad men are trying to take women down. Thank you!!! I wonder how much tax dollars they get? Maybe give up those and they are free to do as they wish!!!!


I don't see the big deal, just take the insurance if you don,t use the service then u don't use it. It's just extra coverage.


If you really want to understand this controversy, look at the Catholic Church in China. In China, there exists the true Catholic Church, which is persecuted and forced to operate underground. Many of the leaders are in prison. On the other hand, in China there exists an "official, government sponsored" Catholic Church, who places their highest authority in the Chinese Government. The Government appoints Bishops and regulates the Ordination of Priests.

In the U.S., we have the true Catholich Church, led by the Bishops. We also have the "government sponsored" Catholich Church, as found in Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sabelius, Sister Carol Keehan and Joe Biden, . Their highest church authority again lies with the Federal Government. In both instances, the "government sponsored" Catholic Church exists merely to subvert the true Church.


I'm not sure why its such a huge deal. If people don't want to use the extra coverage, then they don't need to. I'm definitely not a fan of the current administration, but I can't see this as a bad thing. Nobody is forcing any pills down women's throats, and they're not strapping anybody down on a table and tying off their tubes against their will... And what about the employees that aren't catholic? I'm not catholic, so I don't know if they only hire catholics, but if they do hire outside the catholic faith, isn't that a way that the catholic church is forcing their beliefs and practices upon non-catholic employees?

Kate Ernsting

To Sarah:
One of the most basic rights a person has is the right of conscience--the right to make a moral choice. It's something at that basis of many of our laws and our legal system. The absence of this ability to protect the right to a moral choice was behind abuses committed by the Nazis exposed in the Nuremburg judgments, and even some things that have happened in America, like the Tuskegee experiments. And it is not only Catholics who are being threatened here. Everyone--Buddhist, Protestant, Hindu, or Athiest, has a moral codes. Giving financial support towards something you think morally repugnant would bother you if it affected you.

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