Published: Feb 21, 2012 11:14 PM EST
Updated: Feb 22, 2012 12:18 AM EST

The latest twist in the contraception controversy: Ave Maria University is taking the Obama administration to court. The school has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the government cannot force it to cover birth control for employees.

President Jim Towey is holding true to an earlier promise issued this statement today, and if forced to cover contraception will remove the health care for employees. He compares this battle to one of biblical proportions. "I'd say read the old testament - David and Goliath," he said.

It may be the small versus the very large, but Ave Maria President Jim Towey says he's fed up with the federal government. "When you sue the federal government, you're a tiny Catholic university like Ave Maria - the odds are against you but we think we have the right argument," he said.

The university is asking the a federal court in Florida to declare the healthcare mandate unconstitutional and illegal. A new provision, under President Obama's affordable healthcare act will require most church-affiliated employers to blanket free birth control, under their health insurance plans.


Ave Maria University is just one of the institutions forced to change their coverage. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a law firm in Washington DC filed the suit on the university's behalf, free of charge.

"They just won in the US Supreme Court against the Obama administration," said Towey.

"The basic idea of the lawsuit is that putting an institution in that position, essentially forcing it to violate its religious faith, putting strong pressure to violate its own convictions, violates their religious freedom, that is found both in the constitution, the first amendment of the constitution and also in federal and civil rights laws," said Kyle Duncan, with The Becket Fund.


"Its wrong what their doing, they're attempting to coerce us, and force us to change our beliefs

This law could go into effect in August. Ave Maria is not the first university to bring a lawsuit over contraception coverage, at least three others across the county are following suit and more are expected to follow.