Contraception Mandate by Supreme Court: Obama Calls It 'Jeopardised'

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 2, 2014 2:55 PM EST

The latest verdict by the U.S. Supreme Court over birth control came as a massive blow towards Obama’s health care law. The decision given by the court scraped out an important part of the law which states the mandatory requirement of covering birth control through every kind of insurance plan.

Reuters
A protester dressed as a copy of the Bible joins groups demonstrating outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 30, 2014

The birth control coverage mandate was challenged by the Hobby Lobby Corporation, a familiar chain of over 500 arts and crafts stores with over 16,000 employees. They didn’t approve of two contraceptives; IUDs and morning after pills as they considered them as early form of abortion.

“Today the nation’s highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country’s founding principles,” Barbara Green, David Green’s wife and co-founder of Hobby Lobby, said in a statement.

The court ruled that “family-owned businesses do not have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the owners’ religious beliefs.”

“Our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for his conservative colleagues. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs.”

Reacting strongly, the press secretary of White House, Josh Earnest, stated that President Barack Obama thinks this verdict will “jeopardise” the health of women in general.

“We believe that the owners of for-profit companies should not be allowed to assert their personal religious views to deny their employees federally mandated benefits,” Earnest was quoted as saying.

He further added that the White House “will work with Congress to make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else.”

According to Professor Richard Garnett of Notre Dame Law School, Monday’s ruling gives a new expansion to RFRA (The Religious Freedom Restoration Act).

Many other noted personalities expressed their concern over the matter.

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(Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)
A protester dressed as a copy of the Bible joins groups demonstrating outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 30, 2014
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