The University of Notre Dame may have undermined its legal case against the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare by approving a student health plan that covers abortifacients, the National Catholic Register reported, citing legal experts:
“The university need not provide student health insurance at all,” said Gerard Bradley, a constitutional scholar at Notre Dame’s law school, who outlined the options available to university administrators.
Bradley noted that only group health plans must comply with the mandate. Consequently, the university also had another option: It could have opted to self-insure the plan for students and avoid coverage of services that violate Catholic teaching. …
“In its pending lawsuit about the employee and staff health plan, Notre Dame has said that its Catholic faith forbids it to arrange or facilitate coverage for contraception and abortion,” Bradley said.
“Yet when it comes to student health coverage, the university has chosen to facilitate and arrange coverage for contraception and abortion. The court hearing Notre Dame’s lawsuit will surely notice this inconsistency.”
Part of the problem is how long the school waited to challenge the mandate after its original suit was thrown out as premature:
[Alumni group leader William] Dempsey contended that Notre Dame’s 11th-hour petition prompted the judge to question the university’s sincerity. That skepticism, said Dempsey, will be reinforced in the wake of the latest news regarding the student health plan.
“Notre Dame has declared in court that to do what it is doing now would be scandalous. And it is doing this voluntarily,” Dempsey emphasized, echoing concerns raised in the alumni newsletter.
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