Pa. College Can Exclude Birth Control From Student Health Plan, Judge Rules
Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pa., can offer its students a health-insurance plan that does not cover birth control, such as the morning-after pill, while it continues to challenge the new federal health-care law that requires insurers to pay for those options, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday. The Christian college is one of many institutions that have filed lawsuits objecting to the law. Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh first dismissed Geneva’s lawsuit, but reinstated it last month after agreeing with the college’s argument that it had to decide soon whether it would drop its student-health plan. Judge Conti’s ruling on Tuesday does not address the college’s employee plan because the health-care law will not require employee plans to cover the types of birth control in question until January.
"While Geneva does not oppose contraception, its president, Kenneth Smith, said when the suit was filed, “It’s about the government requiring us and other religious organizations to provide services against which we have a religious and morally based conviction.”