July 7, 2021
Eleven students at Loyola University in Chicago won a significant victory over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that is currently sweeping the country by storm.
The university implemented a rule requiring students to submit proof of vaccination or be granted an exception. If students did not comply with the rule, they would be barred from enrolling in classes.
Loyola initially denied written requests from 11 students, who stated that the available Covid vaccines were developed from cell lines from aborted fetuses and their religious beliefs do not condone abortion, according to a press release by their attorneys, Liberty Counsel.
“Loyola denied each of these students’ religious exemption requests with curt and ambiguous denials even though their statements were more than sufficient under applicable law and under Loyola’s nondiscrimination policy,” the release said.
In 2016, Illinois passed the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that provides strong protection to all residents against discrimination based on healthcare choices. The act imposes hefty financial penalties on those who discriminate.
The university backtracked on its decision after receiving a demand letter from the students’ attorneys on Wednesday.
“After Liberty Counsel gave the school a deadline of August 4 to accept the student’s religious exemptions or face a lawsuit, the school finally complied and accommodated these eleven students,” the release states.
After the press release was distributed, 10 more students contacted Liberty because their requests for exemption has been denied. The cases are under review.
“Loyola University needs to drop its unlawful mandate immediately,” said Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver in a statement. “Forcing any person to receive one of these COVID injections authorized for emergency use by the FDA is a violation of both state and federal law.”
A Loyola spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.