Wheaton College, an Evangelical school in Wheaton, Illinois, has joined Catholic University of America in suing the Department of Health and Human Services over the HHS mandate. The lawsuit was filed in Washington D.C. District Court.
As the Wheaton College media release notes,
This alliance marks the first-ever partnership between Catholic and evangelical institutions to oppose the same regulation in the same court.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing Wheaton:
“This mandate is not just a Catholic issue—it threatens people of all faiths,” says Kyle Duncan, General Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the College in its suit. “Wheaton’s historic decision to join the fight alongside a Catholic institution shows the broad consensus that the mandate endangers everyone’s religious liberty.”
Wheaton College is suing because complying with the HHS mandate would force them to violate their faith:
Wheaton’s religious convictions, as described in its Community Covenant, prevent it from providing its employees with access to abortifacient drugs. Through this lawsuit, the College acts to preserve its religious liberty and the right to carry out its mission free from government coercion.
“Wheaton College and other distinctively Christian institutions are faced with a clear and present threat to our religious liberty,” says Wheaton College President Dr. Philip Ryken. “Our first president, the abolitionist Jonathan Blanchard, believed it was imperative to act in defense of freedom. In bringing this suit, we act in defense of freedom again.”
The suit is filed together with that of the Catholic University of America:
“As the president of the national university of the Catholic Church, I am happy to express solidarity with our evangelical brothers and sisters from Wheaton College as they challenge the HHS mandate. Wheaton’s lawsuit is another sign of how troubling many people of faith find the government’s efforts to chip away at our first freedom,” added Catholic University President John Garvey.
There are now a total of 24 separate lawsuits against the HHS mandate.