November 26th, 2013
11:58 AM ET
7 years ago

Supreme Court to take up Obamacare contraception case

Washington (CNN) - The high-stakes fight over implementing parts of the troubled healthcare reform law will move to the U.S. Supreme Court in coming months, in a dispute involving coverage for contraceptives and "religious liberty."

The justices agreed on Tuesday to review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay.


Filed under: Obamacare • Supreme Court
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "At issue is whether private companies and non-profits can refuse on the claim it violates their religious beliefs."
    This is a very slippery slope. The 1st Amendment says that the government should not support any religion. Shouldn't that include granting exceptions to individuals from having to follow the laws on purely religious grounds?

    What is to stop someone from going overboard and claim that any professional medical care is against their beliefs, because they prefer faith healing? Wouldn't allowoing employers to impose their beliefs upon their employees a violation of the 1st Amendment for those same employees?

    Why are we even debating this issue when we already know that the SCOTUS will vote to allow religious exceptions on any and everything? Which would completely upset the apple cart.

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Kat

    So, the issue before the court is whether Hobby Lobby can force it's religious views onto its employees. Wait. How can a corporation, or any business for that matter, have religious views? Isn't religion about the views of an individual? Does Hobby Lobby also seek to impose its corporate religious views on customers? How will Hobby Lobby notify customers about its religious views? Or, is Hobby Lobby saying it will force its religious views on employees and not force its religious views on customers? But, it would seem they should have to take the good with the bad. If Hobby Lobby only wants employees who meet its particular religious views then how can it justify entering into relationships with customers who do not also have those same religious views? After all, Hobby Lobby takes money from customers and gives it to employees, right? So taking money from customers that is tainted with Godless sins is good? And, allowing employees to choose what religious acts to follow or not is bad?

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Colin

    Christianity is the belief that an immortal, all-knowing being, powerful enough to creat the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars and planets, has a personal interest in how I mate.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is ridiculous.

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. canon808

    The whole "pro life pro choice" debate is a word game. The truth is, we are all pro life and we are all pro choice. No one wants anybody being killed and we can all choose not to get pregnant. Now liberals have changed the debate and made it about "women reproduction" rights, well no one is asking you to have babies, we are just asking you to make up your mind before you conceive the baby, is that too much to ask?

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Tom

    That would be like saying, I as an individual, do not want to participate in the healthcare law for religious reasons, or pay taxes for religious reasons......... Nice try, but your attempts are futile.. If it goes through.....look for all churches to lose their tax exempt status then..........This religious beliefs crock of poop can be used for everything then, if so for this........just won't happen..........very slippery slope.........we're writing stuff in the constitution that isn't there to suit our needs.

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Brian

    I can't believe they're even hearing this case, it's complete and utter nonsense. Requiring coverage for contraception does not in any way prohibit the free exercise of religion. No one is forcing you to use it.

    November 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. David

    If his employees adhere to the same religious beliefs as their employer, then not one single penny would be spent on something contrary to that belief. An employer has no say in how you spend your money, they should have no say in how you use your health care benefits. What this lawsuit really amount to is they wish to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. It's not about their religious freedom, it's about their religion being imposed on everyone else.

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Colin

    You are only capable of believing something as patently absurd as the entire Universe beginning less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake if you are influenced by:

    (a) your education;

    (b) your diet;

    (c) your family history; or

    (d) your religion

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. mole man

    They will take all money but will only pay their employees per their belief. Time to boycott or force them to pay per the law not their beliefs

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Rosie

    Donna I agree with you. The SCOTUS did nothing to help the American people. Too bad we can't elect them too!!

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Name

    Typical of religious nuts: "religious freedom as long as it means believing the same as me". Otherwise it's the mentality that anything outside of their beliefs is an affront to them personally.

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Melissa

    lol. Except that the mandate has nothing to do with religion at all. The government can't mandate anything to do with religion. So yes, they can order insurance companies to cover birth control because insurance companies aren't religions, they're corporations. How amusing. It will be thrown out.

    November 26, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Quentin

    If you don't like birth control requirements then opt out for yourself, but don't take your whole company with you. Each individual should have a choice in whether he or she thinks that birth control is wrong, but if you take that choice away from everyone you are a crook who is LIMITING freedoms of your employees. You are controlling them. In the case that you do have employees who would like to use birth control and you do manage to secure a right to prevent them from using it (per healthcare) what would stop you from having the right to fire them outright? Yes, that does seem silly and ridiculous now. But why should you be fighting this? Maybe you should hire people who all believe exactly as you do and would never use birth control.... But that is illegal and prejudice. Not all people are religious. That we should give EVERYONE equal coverage under the healthcare act seems outstanding, and the people who condemn birth control should opt out of those steps. The separation of religion from our government should be UPHELD!

    November 26, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. sonnie3

    Government involved in our bedroom lives/ They need to get out of this type of regulation. We should help the helpless and not condone the snuffing out of the helpless babies to be.

    November 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Steve

    So let me get this straight... There is an argument based on being provided an opportunity to choose. LOL, nuts.

    November 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Fred Evil

    Won't fly. If Jehovah's Witnesses aren't permitted to ban blood transfusions for their employees, then why is ANY company permitted to dictate what medical choices it's employees make?!
    Oh, because JESUS gave them the ok?
    Let him testify then, and we'll let it go.

    November 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. dakooj

    I don't see why they would even look at this. No one is forcing anyone to use birth control, they are merely making it an option to get without a co-pay. It is already available on most health care plans with a co-pay. I swear these battles get dumber by the day.

    Religion does't mean forcing everyone to abide by your rules. It is between you and your god. If birth control is not supposed to be used according to your religious beliefs, then don't use it, but don't force anyone else to abide by your religious rules. How would you like it if people forced Sharia Law on you?

    Birth control, by the way, is used for more than just birth control:

    Pill perk #1: Lower cancer risk
    Pill perk #2: Clearer skin
    Pill perk #3: Lighter, less painful periods
    Pill perk #4: PMS relief
    Pill perk #5: Endometriosis relief

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Data Driven


    "CNN makes me laugh, why do they have two different comment programs on there website, why cant it be the same. i like to see what i write when i go to other stories."

    Oh, I dunno about that. As aggravating as the heavier moderation is on the Ticker, it does - generally speaking - improve the quality of the comments. Disqus is a zoo full of trolls.

    Anyway, it would be nice if the Court followed the Constitution and not permit religious litmus tests to be used against people who require contraception for their sexual health.

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Tinker

    If u have t pay 4 your own protection

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    Haven't been to one in a long time but will NEVER go again.
    A company should not impose their backwards Mormon beliefs, in this case, on anyone!
    Boycotts work.

    November 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. TKO

    Canon808 Guess what? Men and women who use contraception still conceive! Women get raped (some on the conservative side would refuse them the option of abortion). Some get pregnant while still emotional children. Once you start trying to accommodate the exceptions, it becomes clear that the issue is not "life begins at conception"–which is itself semantic (What do you mean by life? Viability? Consciousness? Heartbeat? When, precisely, does conception occur? etc). rather the issue is one of property rights, as is the majority of the Constitution, the right of a women to own her own body. It may not be perfect, but the law seldom is, and I don't see any other legal argument that is relevant.

    November 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. ST

    This case will be thrown away. Private companies and nonprofits can't refuse to provide contraceptives in claim it violates their religious beliefs. What about other medicines they provide according to their beliefs that they will cure patients and still they don't? What matters is not the beliefs, what matters is providing services.

    November 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Data Driven


    "Now liberals have changed the debate and made it about "women reproduction" rights, well no one is asking you to have babies, we are just asking you to make up your mind before you conceive the baby, is that too much to ask?"

    Actually, conservatives have changed the debate to "religious rights". It's not Constitutional; sorry.

    Also, easier and affordable access to contraception makes it easier for couples to make up their mind. Get it now?

    November 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Dennis

    It is against my religion to pay taxes argument.

    November 26, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Anthony

    So the "pro choice/pro life" debate is a matter of semantics ... is it now? Us liberals changed the debate??? Apparently, us liberals are somehow using hocus pocus to divert the issues from the nonsensical conservative points of view back to the issues at hand. I guess us liberals just don't get conservatism. Are you listening to yourself canon808? Honestly, it would be remarkably entertaining to listen to the conservative point of view if it didn't trivalize the plight of millions of Americans.

    To answer your pointless question: yes, it is too much to ask. And no one asked you to get involved in one of the most personal decisions a woman can make – – – so please stay out. You are welcome to your opinion, but seriously I guess you must believe that when a woman decides something of this magnitude you believe that they haven't thought it out. Or don't understand the realities? Or haven't considered their options? Really??

    November 26, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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