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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Supreme Court to Consider Permitting Religious Bias to Excuse Compliance with Contraceptive Mandate in ACA

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear another legal challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, this time to decide whether a corporation can refuse to pay to cover birth control drugs that violate the religious beliefs of the firm's owners.

At issue is a growing clash between some Christian employers who object to some contraceptives they consider “abortion-inducing” and potentially millions of female workers who can benefit from free birth control.

The case also calls on the court to decide whether corporations have religious rights similar to the free-speech rights that were upheld in the Citizens United decision in 2010. ...

Dozens of private employers have filed suits seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate. They include David Green, founder of the Hobby Lobby chain of crafts stores based in Oklahoma City, who brought the suit which is now headed for the high court. ...

Responding to this claim, Obama administration lawyers argued that although individuals have religious beliefs, a “for-profit corporate employer” does not and may not ignore laws that protect the rights of its employees. ...

The ruling “would transform the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from a shield for individuals and religious institutions into a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws,” [U.S. Solicitor General Donald] Verrilli said.

Read more:
Supreme Court to hear Obamacare challenge over birth control drugs


SuccubaSuprema writes:

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will issue a ruling that does not excuse for-profit businesses from providing this funding.  The issue is one of interference in the personal lives of employees by their employers.  No employer should have that much power over their employees' lives.  An employee is not a slave, or a child, of the employer, and matters of conscience should be left up to individuals, not decided for them by others.

CNN's article on this story reports:

David Green and his family are the owners and say their Christian beliefs clash with parts of the law's mandates for comprehensive coverage.

They say some of the drugs that would be provided prevent human embryos from being implanted in a woman's womb, which the Greens equate to abortion.

USA Today's article reports:

The government says none of the mandated drugs are abortifacients.

Indeed.  Redefining "abortion" to include the prevention of an embryo from being implanted in a womb is another example of linguistic revisionism motivated by greed and bias.

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