Court: Closely held companies can’t be required to cover contraceptives

By Patricia Zapor | Catholic News Service | June 30, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a narrowly tailored 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court June 30 said closely held companies may be exempted from a government requirement to include contraceptives in employee health insurance coverage under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The court said that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, the two family-run companies that objected to the government mandate that employees be covered for a range of contraceptives, including drugs considered to be abortifacients, are protected from the requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The opinion essentially held that for-profit companies may hold protected religious views.

But the court also said that government requirements do not necessarily lose if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.

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