While the University of Notre Dame has decided to comply with the HHS mandate requiring employers to cover contraception, abortifacients and abortions in employee health insurance, the University of Dallas continues to fight the mandate.
The University of Dallas, a Catholic institution founded in 1910 by the Vincentian Fathers, received a preliminary injunction on January 2, 2014, that would relieve the university of the necessity to comply with the mandate.
In issuing the injunction, the court exempted the university from complying with the ACA mandate’s Jan. 1, 2014, deadline.
“Providing these types of care is contrary to the values of the University of Dallas and to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said University of Dallas President Thomas W. Keefe. “Clearly, the provision is a violation of the First Amendment and federal civil rights laws.” UD provides health insurance to benefits-eligible employees through a consortium of private colleges and universities in Texas. Under the law, health plans like that offered by the University of Dallas are required to include “insurance coverage for women’s preventative care and screenings.” In writing the law, Congress did not define “preventative care,” delegating the duty of defining the term to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS, in turn, tasked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) with developing guidelines. The IOM recommended that women’s preventative care include “the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity.” HHS later adopted the IOM’s recommendations.