Contraceptive mandate challenge dismissed for lack of standing and ripeness

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Wheaton College v. Sebelius(D DC, Aug. 24,2012), the D.C. federal district court dismissed for lack of standing and ripeness a challenge by Wheaton College to the mandate issued under the Affordable Care Act requiring group health insurance policies to cover contraceptive services for women.  Wheaton College claimed that offering Plan B and Ella emergency contraception violates its religious beliefs. (See prior posting.)  Because the Department of Health and Human Services has announced a one-year enforcement safe harbor for non-profit groups whose religious beliefs are violated by the mandate, the court concluded that Wheaton does not face imminent enforcement action.