A Christian college has given thanks to God after winning a legal battle with significant implications for religious liberty in the US.
Wheaton College has won the right to not provide health insurance which covers abortion-inducing drugs.
The case centred on the Affordable Care Act – ‘Obamacare’ – which obliges employers to provide health insurance that includes ‘contraceptives’ which act to destroy human embryos.
A district judge ruled that Wheaton’s civil rights would be violated if it were forced to provide these drugs, and permanently banned the Government from forcing them to do so.
It ends a five-year legal battle for the college, which is guided by its mission “For Christ and His Kingdom”.
President of Wheaton College, Phillip Ryken, said: “We are grateful to God that the court recognised Wheaton’s religious identity and protected our ability to affirm the sanctity of human life.
“The government should never have tried to force us to provide drugs and services against our faith, and we are pleased by the resolution of our case.”
Diana Verm, legal counsel at religious liberty group Becket, said: “The government is not above the law—that’s why we have civil rights laws.
“Wheaton should never have had to go to court to protect its rights in the first place. This order ensures we won’t have to come back”.
Alumni of Wheaton College include Billy Graham, Jim Elliot and John Piper.
In 2014, a Christian-run business won a “landmark” religious liberty case in the US Supreme Court against Obamacare.
Hobby Lobby wanted to be free not to provide insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs such as the morning-after pill and the ‘week-after pill’.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court backed the business, and a number of other family-run companies with similar convictions.
Hobby Lobby said the decision allowed them to continue operating “according to our principles”.