GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A federal judge in Iowa has sided with Cornerstone University in its effort to curtail access to some forms of birth control for employees covered by health insurance.
The ruling issued Thursday comes after the Trump administration stopped defending a provision of the Affordable Care Act that called for insurers to offer all forms of birth control or face fees and penalties.
Cornerstone joined Dordt College, a similar Christian college in Sioux Center, Iowa, to sue in 2013, citing their opposition to the so-called "abortion pill."
In filing the suit in 2013, Cornerstone University President Joseph Stowell framed the dispute as a protection of First Amendment rights.
“Given our conviction that life begins at conception and our commitment to the sanctity of life, we find the mandate to provide our faculty, staff and students with insurance that provides access to abortion-inducing prescriptions unacceptable," Stowell wrote in 2013.
The lawsuit was financed and argued by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based legal-advocacy group labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services abandoned the Obamacare mandate and the Justice Department did not raise a substantive defense.