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The U.S. Supreme Court  ruled this morning that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires closely held companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control.

With a 5-4 vote, the court said that companies are able to seek exemption from the birth-control mandate of the healthcare law. This means that employees of these companies will have to obtain birth control elsewhere.

From The Chicago Tribune:

In a majority opinion by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court said the ruling applies only to the birth control mandate and does not mean companies would necessarily succeed if they made similar claims to other insurance requirements, such as vaccinations and drug transfusions.

In the majority opinion, Alito indicated that employees could still be able to obtain the birth control coverage via an accommodation to the mandate that the Obama administration has already introduced for religious-affiliated nonprofits. The accommodation allows health insurance companies to provide the coverage without the employer being involved in the process.

Under the accommodation, eligible non-profits must provide a “self certification”, described by one lower court judge as a “permission slip” authorizing insurance companies to provide the coverage. The accommodation is itself the subject of a separate legal challenge.

The justices ruled for the first time that for-profit companies can make claims under a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The decision will affect similar cases brought by employers around the country. There are 49 cases in total, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Religious institutions are already exempt from the requirement.

The company owners involved in litigation around the country do not all oppose every type of birth control. Some, including Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, object only to emergency contraceptive methods, such as the so-called morning-after pill, which they view as akin to abortion.

One has to wonder how the  employees of Hobby Lobby feel about this?

Read the full SCOTUS opinion here: http://t.co/y2eHWA2CnX

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  • Objection

    One has to wonder how the employees of Hobby Lobby feel about this?

    The employees can go start their own business if they don’t like it. The owners of this company does not have to financially support people’s immoral behavior.

    • How about family planning services affect even the ‘moral’ married people! Even married people want to be able to have sex w/o producing a child! This isn’t immoral behavior but discrimination against women in general! Notice they cover viagra!

    • Brad

      Yeap, and what about companies who have owners who have Religious beliefs against blood transfusions.

    • Objection

      It depends on your moral belief. Some people believe contraceptives are immoral. The employer should have nothing to do with peoples family planing. Actually, I can understand why viagra would not be considered immoral. Viagra would help with the belief that people should, “be fruitful and multiply”.

  • Lakitha Goss

    This is dangerous. Some people use contraceptives such as the pill and the

  • I wanted to share this comment (by Marty Meyer on the Huff Post) because it echos my sentiments regarding this decision:

    This is interesting. Hobby Lobby is generally kept in business by women
    who like to craft. If women get angry enough, there are many other
    “craft stores” that carry the same kind of merchandise — some on the
    stock exchange. It would not take much to boycott and picket the Hobby
    Lobby stores and put them out of business because of this one practice
    that discriminates against their employees. The key to this decision is
    whether American women want to make this private corporation pay for
    thrusting their views on all women that would work for them. Not only
    do women have the choice of not buying anything from them, but they also
    have the choice of not working for them. The $64,000 question is —
    will women see this as a “call to arms” or will they meekly let it go.

    When women get together and make noise, change happens! I don’t support Hobby Lobby in solidarity with the women who work there who need/want family planning services but have been denied that service. Like another said, if you don’t support them, vote with your wallet.