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Supreme Court Strikes Down Contraceptive Mandate

HobbyLobbyStowOhio

A 5-4 decision was made by the Supreme Court on Monday morning in the case of companies being forced to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods they view as abortion, according to USA Today.

This case has become the most controversial of the current term, which began back in October. Justice Samuel Alito led the conservatives, who ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects for-profit corporations from the ‘contraception mandate’ of the health care reform law.

The majority noted that the decision of the court should not deny contraceptives to women who are employed, because the Obama administration already has a plan in place. The plan involves the insurance companies providing women with contraceptives and not the employers.

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The liberal side of the court, with the three female justices, denounced the idea of denying free coverage of all birth control methods to employees of companies that object to the law. The case was filed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities Corp.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that if some companies are allowed to avoid covering contraceptives, it could lead to other religious waivers for vaccines or blood transfusions.

The requirement to provide contraceptives continues to be a hot issue, with 80 lawsuits still in process around the country.

Per the law, companies with more than 50 employees who do not offer the contraceptive coverage can be fined $100 per day per employee. Hobby Lobby could be charged $475 million per year for its 13,000 employees. They would save money by dropping health coverage completely. Those fines would cost them $2,000 per employee per year, for a total of $26 million per year.

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