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Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said in a statement that the government’s insistence that the college provide insurance services that contradict its religious beliefs forced it to make this “difficult choice.”Colleges are not required to provide health insurance to students, but the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, requires policies provided by colleges that offer insurance to cover preventive services for women, including access to contraception and sterilization.
The devout Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain, objected to four of the 20 federally approved contraceptive medications and devices that would be required under the health care law.
CHICAGO, (Reuters) — Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in Illinois, will stop providing health insurance to students on Friday because of its objection to the Obamacare mandate to provide contraceptive coverage, a legal group has announced.
The decision affects about 500 of 3,000 students at the nondenominational liberal arts school — nicknamed the “evangelical Harvard” — in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a Washington-based legal group that represents the college.
About 700 people are in Bethlehem to take part in the third CATC, which addresses the role of Christian peacemaking in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Before the event opened, Israel Today, a media outlet, queried Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) regarding its perspective on the event.
It provided, and continues to offer birth control pill through its insurance coverage after winning an exemption for small family owned corporations in a Supreme Court decision.
Update (March 12): Evangelical leaders of this week's Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference defended their four-day event against a chorus of critics who allege the gathering has an anti-Israel political agenda.
MFA officials told these leaders that Palmor's comments were genuine, but they said "he spoke in a personal capacity." "We were saddened by the comments of Mr.
A government provision would require the college to notify the government that it wanted to opt out by claiming a religious exemption, which would cause the college’s insurers to provide coverage directly to students.
Wheaton objected to the provision, which would allow the government to use the college’s health plans to get around its religious opposition, said Becket attorney Mark Rienzi. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Wheaton’s request for a preliminary injunction on July 1.
Yigal Palmor, MFA chief press aide, said in a statement, "Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy." [Full text] This prompted CATC leaders to deny the authenticity of the statement, which Israel Today editors later defended.
Earlier today, CATC delegates and speakers met privately with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.