ETX University sues government over Obamacare

MARSHALL (KYTX) -- Leaders at East Texas Baptist University say the 2010 Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is hurting religious freedom and disregarding the constitution. The school is upset about having to pay for drugs that affect pregnancy like the morning after pill.

East Texas Baptist is counting down the days until its 100th anniversary. But in all those years, the school has never faced a fight like this one.

"You can't have a complaint if you don't do anything about it," Sophomore Kinsey Kent said.

All over campus students like Kent are talking about the "morning after pill" and the "week after pill." They both have the potential to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, but the federal government classifies them as something that prevents pregnancy--rather than ending it--and that's where the problem starts.

"We believe that life begins at conception," ETBU President Dr. Dub Oliver said. "We believe that the bible teaches that life is sacred."

Oliver started fighting for a religious exemption to the rule more than a year ago because it basically requires private university money to pay for the morning after pill.

"We ultimately think this is a religious liberty issue," Oliver said.

Ironically, the freedom the school extends to its students is what's stonewalling a solution.

"We don't only accept Christians at ETBU," Oliver said. "We accept people of all faiths. We accept people of no faith. Because of that we don't qualify as a religious organization or institution."

The suit goes on to complain that other companies are getting exemptions to rules like this one for financial reasons. It says that difference is an attack on faith.

"I think that it opens up students' eyes more to the government's power and how important it is that out elected officials stand up for what we want for our country," Kent said.

Outside the courtroom it's a well-timed lesson for students as many of them head the voting booth for the first time.

"When our beliefs are infringed upon it's important to stand up for our beliefs," Kent said.

With this lawsuit East Texas Baptist becomes one of a long list of schools suing the federal government over this specific provision in the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for running the Affordable Care Act, told CBS 19 they won't comment on pending lawsuits.


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