Ave Maria University in Florida may be the second Catholic college in the space of a week to drop student health coverage because of the moral concerns arising from the HHS contraceptive mandate. Earlier this week, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio announced similar plans. Both colleges also cited economic concerns raised by the Obama administration's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"We're studying it right now," Ave Maria University President James Towey reportedly told FoxNews.com
. "My own sense is, I don't see ... how it makes sense for us to stay in this."
According to the report, university officials plan to meet Monday to discuss their insurance options, and an announcement will be made shortly afterwards.
Much of Ave Maria's ire against the mandate stems from the requirement that Catholic institutions must provide coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures. Ave Maria already has filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate.
There are also financial considerations. Towey reportedly said the mandate would cause students' insurance premiums to go up anywhere from 65 to 82 percent in the coming year.
Towey previously said
that the mandate would "force the University to either violate our core beliefs or discontinue health care coverage for our employees, and in the process, pay a steep fine to the federal government. This is wrong. Ave Maria University rejects this religious intolerance and will not bow down before government regulations that are manifestly unjust."
"These are the unintended consequences of what happens when you hastily pass a 1,000-page bill," he reportedly said.
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