A court ruling issued this month grants Dordt College a permanent injunction against certain requirements in the Affordable Care Act mandate. The ruling made by Judge Mark Bennett on June 12 ends a five-year long wait after the college filed suit in 2013 and received a temporary injunction in 2014.
Howard Wilson, Dordt College’s vice president, said, “It's a long-awaited victory for Dordt College. We are glad that the decision has been permanently made.” He added, “Our faith governs all spheres of life, including healthcare, and we want to provide our employees with comprehensive healthcare but within the bounds of what we understand as biblical principles and ethics.”
The mandate would have required all organizations with more than 150 employees to include certain prescription drugs—including those commonly referred to as “the morning-after pill” and other interventions intended to interfere with pregnancy—in their employee health plans. Dordt College objected to this requirement. On behalf of the college, the Alliance for Defending Freedom took on the case, covering all legal fees.
“Dordt College pursued this matter through the federal courts because, as a faith-based institution, we believed that the 2011 Affordable Care Act impinged on our religious freedom as a Christian college,” Wilson said. “The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Dordt and [co-appellant] Cornerstone University in this matter . . . declaring that mandate to be a violation of federal law.”