EAST TEXAS — East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) and Houston Baptist University (HBU) have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, asking the court for relief from the Department of Health and Human Services’ “preventative services” mandate. This forces the Christian Universities to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay severe fines, according to KETK.
“Baptists in America, by virtue of their history, are particularly sensitive to coercive government actions that infringe on religious liberty,” says Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed suit this morning on behalf of the Universities. “America’s first Baptist leader, Roger Williams, had to flee Massachusetts and found a colony in Providence, Rhode Island, because his religious beliefs were not tolerated by the laws of Massachusetts. We shouldn’t have to fight for that same right today.”
ETBU’s and HBU’s religious convictions prevent them from providing their employees with access to abortion-causing drugs. The Universities’ lawsuit aims to preserve their religious liberty and the right to carry out their missions free from government coercion. The two Universities face fines of over $10 million per year, per institution, if they do not comply with the HHS mandate.