A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that at least some for-profit corporations may not be required to provide contraceptives if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs.
But the five-justice majority writing in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, et al., took pains to try to limit their ruling only to the contraceptive mandate in the health law and only to “closely held” corporations like the family-owned businesses represented by the plaintiffs in the case.
Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:54 pm
The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.
The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.
The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.
Despite the urging of a top state lawmaker and some Catholic groups, Missouri’s Attorney General will not appeal a recent court ruling, which struck down a state law that would have required insurance companies to exclude birth control coverage if employers had religious, ethical or moral objections.
A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law that directly challenges the so-called contraceptive mandate under the federal health law. The result of the judge’s actions mean Missouri health plans have to include no-cost options for contraceptives.
A federal court is scheduled today, to take up one Missouri business’ challenge to a recently enacted provision of the federal health law. The provision requires that most employee-health plans include no-cost coverage of contraceptives, but the rule has faced backlash from several businesses and lawmakers around the region.
In response to leaders of Miami County voting against drawing down federal funds for a program that has long provided birth control to low income families, a group of area residents has raised the money.
A State Senate committee has passed legislation that would allow employers in Missouri to refuse insurance coverage for birth control, abortions and sterilizations – that is, if providing coverage for those services would violate the employer’s religious beliefs.