The Hill reports.
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
Legal analysts expect the Supreme Court to ultimately pick up an appeal on the birth-control requirement and make a final decision on its constitutionality.
Hey, there’s Janice Rogers Brown – she was my second favorite pick for Supreme Court justices back when Bush chose that squish John Roberts. At least Alito was a good pick. My favorite two choices would be Edith H. Jones and Janice Rogers Brown.
More from the article:
In the meantime, Republicans in Congress have pushed for a conscience clause that would allow employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage for moral or religious reasons.
The measure emerged most recently during negotiations to fund the federal government. Some House Republicans wanted to include the conscience clause in a legislative package ending the government shutdown.
The split ruling against the government on Friday was the latest in a string of court cases challenging the healthcare law’s mandate.
Friday’s ruling centered on two Catholic brothers, Francis and Philip Gilardi, who own a 400-person produce company based in Ohio.
The brothers oppose contraception as part of their religion and challenged the Affordable Care Act provision requiring them to provide insurance that covers their employees’ birth control.
Refusing to abide by the letter of the law, they said, would result in a $14 million fine.
“They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong,” Brown wrote.
The Obama administration said that the requirement is necessary to protect women’s right to decide whether and when to have children.
The judges were unconvinced, however, that forcing companies to cover contraception protected that right.
Brown wrote that “it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right — whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy — can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices.”
She added that denying coverage of contraception would not undermine the Affordable Care Act’s requirements that health insurance provide preventative care.
It’s very important that people who favor big government solutions understand that a secular government is never going to recognize the rights of Christians as they take over more and more of the private sector economy. I am in favor of real care for people who have unexpected health care costs – like rare diseases and drunk drivers. We should give every citizen a voucher to purchase insurance that protects them from conditions that are not related to their own choices. But contraceptives and abortions are not unexpected – they are deliberate choices. People should have to pay for their own choices – not shove the costs on the rest of us who don’t even agree with those behaviors. You can see how far this goes in countries like Canada – which covers IVF, sex changes and abortions. And the UK, which covers IVF, sex changes and breast enlargements. Is that health care? Shouldn’t we have the right to opt out of paying for that for other people?
If liberals are so keen on paying for other people’s condoms and abortions, then why don’t they do it with their own money? I’m chaste. Why should I have to pay for these things for other people and give up my own plans and dreams?
- Obama administration files papers to take Hobby Lobby to Supreme Court
- House introduces new legislation to protect defenders of traditional marriage
- Robert P. George: what is religious liberty? what is conscience?
- Hobby Lobby granted temporary injunction from Obamacare abortion mandate
- Obama rejects conscience protections for military chaplains
- Department of Justice threatens to seize business from Catholics
- Republicans introduce bill to block tax on pro-life religious institutions
- UK doctors who refuse to perform sex changes can be banned from practicing
- Democrat Barbara Boxer: right to be insured trumps religious liberty
- UK midwives protest ruling forcing them to perform abortions
- Hospital told nurses: assist in abortions or lose your job
- Should Christian doctors be forced to act like atheists at work?