Health mandate halted at Iowa, Michigan schools

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has granted a temporary injunction to two Christian colleges in Iowa and Michigan that halts a federal mandate requiring them to provide insurance coverage for certain contraceptives.

U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett's ruling Wednesday is in response to a lawsuit filed in October by Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The schools argue the mandate violates their religious freedoms.

Gregory S. Baylor is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law group representing the schools. He says in a statement that Christian colleges should "remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs."

The Justice Department has said the lawsuit is meritless and an attempt to prevent female employees from obtaining coverage.

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