Louisiana College president plans to defy Affordable Care Act

Kyle Barnett Aug. 17, 2012, 10:00am

Louisiana College President Joe Aguilard

PINEVILLE – The president of a North Louisiana Baptist-affiliated college has vowed to defy provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would require the school to provide certain "emergency contraceptives" under their employee health plan.

Louisiana College President Joe Aguilard told The Town Talk that the lawsuit filed by the school contends that the law is unconstitutional because it infringes on religious freedom.

As an employer of more than 50 employees, Louisiana College would fall under rigid restrictions over what type of healthcare it must provide to employees. At issue is a provision in the law that would make it necessary for employers to provide emergency contraceptive care, the so-called "morning after pill" that has the ability to halt the earliest stages of pregnancy.

During a March campaign stop by Newt Gingrich, who was campaigning for president at the time, Aguillard pledged to shutter the university before implementing the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in late June, Louisiana College has continued to pursue its own lawsuit.

The lawsuit, referred to as Louisiana College v. Sebilius, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Feb. 18. The lawsuit focuses on religious freedom and hopes to strike down the part of the law focusing on reproductive healthcare provisions.

The U.S. Department of Justice has twice filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit.

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