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College’s big religious liberty win gets ‘crickets’ from media

School will not have to provide certain contraceptives under insurance plan; media silent

An Illinois college’s recent victory against an Obamacare mandate has received virtually no coverage in the media, with major outlets remaining silent as the school won a lawsuit at the district level.

Wheaton College, a Christian school in Wheaton, Illinois, recently won a “five-year battle” against the Department of Health and Human Services’s contraception mandate, the school’s website reported two weeks ago.

That mandate required Wheaton to provide certain types of contraceptives via its healthcare plan. The school objected to being forced to cover the “week-after pill.” These pills can actually function as abortifacients, killing young humans after they’ve formed via the union of a sperm and egg, as the manufacturer of Plan B admits on its website.

Yet that major victory has received “news-media crickets,” writes Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.

Quoting the conservative Newsbusters, Mattingly points out: “[T]here hasn’t been a word in the national establishment press about the Christian college’s victory over the Obamacare contraception mandate – a victory which should ripple though all remaining related cases.”

“Of course, this crucial update in a national-level case did receive all kinds of attention in alternative ‘conservative’ news outlets,” Mattingly adds.

From the post:

So what is going on here? Why isn’t this court win a valid news story, in keeping with the mainstream press coverage of earlier landmark moments in the Wheaton case?

I fear that, once again, we may be seeing a fascinating – old-fashioned First Amendment radicals would say “disturbing” – development in journalism.

While a rock-ribbed defense of First Amendment rights – for everyone, left and right – used to be a key element of liberalism, as traditionally defined in American political thought, it would appear that this is no longer the case.

All of a sudden, “free speech” and “religious liberty” (but not freedom of the press, thank God) have been locked inside scare quotes. Thus, journalism about wins for the wrong kinds of First Amendment rights is something for the Internet-era “conservative” media to handle.

Thus, the crickets.

“We are grateful to God that the court recognized Wheaton’s religious identity and protected our ability to affirm the sanctity of human life,” Wheaton president Phillip Ryken said in a statement. “The government should never have tried to force us to provide drugs and services against our faith, and we are pleased by the resolution of our case.”

Read the GetReligion post here, and the college’s statement on the decision here.

MORE: Student group delivers condoms, pregnancy tests on Catholic campus

MORE: Public university to sell emergency contraceptive Plan B from vending machine

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