Court Upholds Religious Freedom in Hobby Lobby Case
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.
Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.
"Today's decision is an enormous victory for personal freedom in America," said Josh Hawley, Missouri Liberty Project founder and president who helped represent Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court. "This decision confirms that people of conscience are welcome in business and that all Americans have the right to follow their moral and social convictions in every walk of life. The Obama Administration was wrong to assault this freedom. The Constitution has won out today."
The case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, concerns Obama Administration rules that would have required business owners to fund abortion-inducing drugs.
In September, KOMU 8 News reported a local chapter of the National Organization of Women protested outside of the Hobby Lobby near Worley Street, saying the chain's policy on contraceptives violates worker's rights.
[The headline to this story has been changed. This story has also been updated to include quotes and the latest information available.]