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The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that closely held businesses can cite religious reasons and opt out of providing free contraceptive coverage for their employees.
Reuters reported that the court ruled 5-4 that such companies can seek an exemption from the birth control mandate of the healthcare law. Employees of those companies would then have to access their chosen form of birth control from another source.
As CNN noted, the owners of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties and the Christian bookseller Mardel, each argued that the Affordable Care Act violated the First Amendment. The companies also said other federal laws protecting religious freedoms were violated since they were required to provide coverage for contraceptives such as the “morning-after pill.”
Some company owners involved in the litigation are not opposed to all forms of birth control, however, the “morning-after pill” is something they view as being related to abortion.
This ruling is the first big challenge to ObamaCare since the justices upheld the law’s individual requirement to buy healthcare insurance.