Supreme Court says employers with religious objections can refuse to pay for contraception

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 6/30 3:36 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama's campaign for re-election.

On Monday, dealing with a small sliver of the law, Roberts sided with the four justices who would have struck down the law in its entirety.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. The court's four liberal justices dissented.

The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.

Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. "Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer's religious beliefs," Alito said.

The administration said a victory for the companies would prevent women who work for them from making decisions about birth control based on what's best for their health, not whether they can afford it. The government's supporters pointed to research showing that nearly one-third of women would change their contraceptive if cost were not an issue; a very effective means of birth control, the intrauterine device, can cost up to $1,000.

The contraceptives at issue before the court were the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, and two IUDs.

Nearly 50 businesses have sued over covering contraceptives. Some, like those involved in the Supreme Court case, are willing to cover most methods of contraception, as long as they can exclude drugs or devices that the government says may work after an egg has been fertilized. Other companies object to paying for any form of birth control.

There are separate lawsuits challenging the contraception provision from religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and charities.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 85 percent of large American employers already had offered such coverage before the health care law required it.

It is unclear how many women potentially are affected by the high court ruling. The Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores is by far the largest employer of any company that has gone to court to fight the birth control provision.

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby has more than 15,000 full-time employees in more than 600 crafts stores in 41 states. The Greens are evangelical Christians who also own Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain.

The other company is Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. of East Earl, Pa., owned by a Mennonite family and employing 950 people in making wood cabinets.
Share
6 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

Paladin - 7/1/2014 8:37 AM
1 Vote
OK libertards, try to use facts once in a while, not just your party talking points. Of 20 different medications available, the law suit only objected to the 4 that aborted an already fertilized egg. The contraceptives (meaning against conception, implying stopping conception from happening)were not an issue, only the abortion drugs. It's not a "war on women" its actually a war on government takeover of our personal freedoms, which has been happening for years as we slip off the bank and end up in the raging waters of socialism.

angeloschild - 6/30/2014 9:42 PM
0 Votes
Yes, it's a slippery slope, and groups such as Hobby Lobby will push it as far as they can because some foolish judge who probably shares their sentiments made such an unwise decision. I do hope the decision is contested and the final decision made by a judge who remembers that the government is not supposed to favor any religion. Hobby Lobby if it really cared about their fellow human beings would now establish a fund to support all the unplanned pregnancies that providing birth control would prevent.

angeloschild - 6/30/2014 9:39 PM
0 Votes
Yes, it's a slippery slope, and groups such as Hobby Lobby will push it as far as they can because some foolish judge who probably shares their sentiments made such an unwise decision. I do hope the decision is contested and the final decision made by a judge who remembers that the government is not supposed to favor any religion. Hobby Lobby if it really cared about their fellow human beings would now establish a fund to support all the unplanned pregnancies that providing birth control would prevent.

sierra11 - 6/30/2014 8:13 PM
0 Votes
Why did ch4 take the gay marriage off the front headlines? I know this has nothing to do with contraceptives but I was not done with THIS STORY! The people of Nevada voted to keep a marriage between a Man and a Woman! Now we have a Court in San Francisco debating and possible changing the law for us in Nevada? How the hell does that WORK! California State Constitution has NOTHING to do with what happens in Nevada! Bulls%$@t! I saw two lesbians sticking their tongs down each other throats in front of 7/11 on Sunday. What a disgusting sight! I thought, what if a 5,6,7,8,9,10 or 11 year old was there to see that. Even they know this behavior is not right. Now why in the hell should we as Adults have to explain what these kids just saw was now the new norm! BullSh$#t! I don't care what you call me but homosexuals are mentally ill people. This society needs to quit making excuses for them and give them treatment! This is NOT O.K.! If I am out of line for some folks, then I guess those people will be the ones who votes for Hillary in 2016! When She shatters the glass ceiling and blows everyone away and tells them She is Gay! Heterosexual American Males.......it is over for US! Life as we have know it in America is done! This will be the final blow. Years down the road Women that helped this happen will ask "where are all the strong Men?" Your answer is everyone helped destroy us years ago! God Bless.........

Wannaknow - 6/30/2014 5:24 PM
0 Votes
Since they are trying to hold women down I will no longer use this company. Are they going to prohibit males from getting condoms?

Griffin - 6/30/2014 1:48 PM
2 Votes
By allowing these companies to opt out of providing health care including birth control they have opened it up to include opting out on anything that goes against the companies moral religious code. What's next? No blood transfusions can be given their employees, no drugs to fight aids or other sexually transmitted diseases, and those companies who have owners that belong to religions that do not believe in medical care can claim employees should not receive medical help from insurance their company should help provide. What about the ones' who suddenly have a religious opposition against vaccines? Will the employees children be refused vaccines because the employers' church is against it?
NEWSCASTS ON DEMAND
WATCH OUR LIVE NEWSCAST

What's On

All content © Copyright 2014 Intermountain West Communications Company. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
You may also view our Sitemap

Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.