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Supreme Court Ruling: Employers Can Refuse to Pay for Birth Control

The case had been a closely-watch test of religious rights


In a 5-4 decision handed down on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a company that objected to paying for workers’ birth control under an Affordable Care Act mandate.

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Source: Flickr

Hobby Lobby, owned by a Christian family, argued that forcing it to pay for birth control under employee health insurance infringed on its religious rights. The court’s conservative justices agreed, finding that closely-held companies like Hobby Lobby would have their free exercise of religion mitigated by the law, USA TODAY notes.

However, the majority limited the scope of its ruling to companies owned by a small group of people, like Hobby Lobby. The majority also noted that the Obama administration has already created a work-around to provide contraceptive coverage to women who work for religious non-profits, under which insurers pay for the birth control.

Liberal justices — including all three female justices — filed a vigorous dissent, warning that the decision could prompt objections to other health care coverage, including coverage for blood transfusions and vaccinations.

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