Wednesday, December 25, 2013
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that Geneva College can temporarily exclude coverage for birth control like the morning-after pill and the week-after pill when it offers a health insurance plan to its employees.
The ruling Monday echoes an earlier finding, also by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti, that Geneva can exclude such coverage in a health plan it offers to students.
The preliminary injunctions remain in effect until the judge rules on the school's underlying lawsuit challenging looming federal health care reforms, or until a higher appeals court rules on the issue.
Conti's ruling indicates she expects the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the underlying religious freedom issues next year, now that it has agreed to hear two similar cases, including one filed by Hobby Lobby. The arts and craft chain has argued that the contraceptive mandates violate the beliefs of the "biblically founded business."
Geneva, a school near Pittsburgh that is affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, argues certain types of birth control violate its religious beliefs against abortion.