President of Catholic College: "If It Came Down To It We Would Close the College Before We Ever Provided [Contraceptive Coverage in Health Care Plan]"
From The Washington Times:
The president of a small Catholic college said Friday he would rather close the school's doors than violate the church's teachings on contraception should the college lose the latest battle involving health-insurance laws and religious freedom.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has determined that Belmont Abbey College violated discrimination laws because the school's employee health insurance plan does not cover contraception, according to a letter the EEOC sent to the school.
"I hope it would never get this far," college President William K. Thierfelder told The Washington Times, "but if it came down to it we would close the college before we ever provided that."
The factual conclusion reached by the EEOC could be a precursor to the commission filing a federal discrimination lawsuit against the college.
"By denying prescription contraceptive drugs, [the college] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives," the EEOC wrote in a letter to the North Carolina college. "By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women."
Mr. Thierfelder disputed that conclusion in a letter posted on the college's Web site: "Belmont Abbey College rejects the notion that by following the moral teachings of the Catholic Church we are discriminating against anyone.
"We are simply and honestly exercising the freedom of religion that is protected by the Constitution," he wrote.
Chris Blosser has more details at Catholics in the Public Square: "Catholic college faces lawsuit over refusal to provide contraception".
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
EEOC Violates Religious Liberty By Forcing Catholic College to Provide Insurance for Contraceptives