Contraceptive Cases Raise Religious Liberty Issues

by Rachel Baker on December 3, 2013

Politico has a good article that asks five key questions about the contraceptive cases in regards to the ACA the Supreme Court will be hearing this spring.

The Supreme Court in early spring will hear two legal challenges to Obamacare’s contraception coverage requirement, a case that addresses a complex question that has never come squarely before the court: Can a for-profit company engaged in commercial activities declare religious beliefs?

Under the women’s preventive health benefit in the Affordable Care Act most employers must provide all Food and Drug Administration-approved forms of contraception with no co-pays. There are exemptions for religious organizations and ways for religious-affiliated institutions to try to work around the requirement. But owners of nonreligious businesses who oppose some or all contraceptives say the government shouldn’t be able to require them to break with their religious beliefs.

The Obama administration says the coverage requirement is about health — not religion — and business owners shouldn’t be able to impose their views on their employees. They say the contraception policy is based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine on the health of all women and their families.

So far, the lower courts have split on the issue, sending it to the Supreme Court. One hour of oral arguments is expected in March, and a ruling will come before the court’s term ends in June. Here are five key questions:

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