Wheaton Drops Student Health Care Over Contraception Rule

July 29, 2015

More than 700 students at Wheaton College of Illinois will need to find a new health care plan on Friday, as the college will cease providing health care to students to avoid complying with a federal requirement that employers include emergency contraceptives in its coverage.

The Obama administration two years ago set a compromise on the health care law. Under that plan, religious colleges and other religious institutions need not pay for contraception, but insurance companies that cover their employees are required to provide the coverage, and the institution must fill out a form to be given an exemption. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not require Wheaton to fill out such a form. But Wheaton continued to argue that the mandate violated the college's religious beliefs as its plan, no matter how indirectly, would still be allowing the use of contraception.

"The college’s concern is with its own actions in facilitating the provision of morally objectionable products on its own plans, and with its right to constitutionally protected religious liberty," Paul Chelsen, vice president for student development at Wheaton, said in a statement.

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