TULSA - A federal judge has granted a temporary injunction barring the government from enforcing some provisions of the Affordable Care Act objected to by four religious universities in Oklahoma.
The schools, including Oklahoma Wesleyan University, could have faced serious penalties for refusing to provide abortion-inducing drugs to employees through their health insurance plan.
The judge agreed with the schools, who don't object to most contraceptive methods, but do have issues with Plan B and other contraceptives which can cause abortions.
The attorney representing the universities argued that they shouldn't have to abandon their religious beliefs or face punishment.
The other schools are Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Mid-America Christian University.
OWU and SNU both have campuses in Tulsa.
The ACA exempts churches in its requirements to provide birth control coverage, but not businesses or universities.
Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City, has famously sued over the same issue and so far has met with some success.
If the law were enforced as written, violators would face fines of $100 per day per employee covered by insurance.
The schools or companies could also elect to drop coverage entirely, but would then face a fine of $2,000 per year for each employee (with the first 30 employees exempted).