Supreme Court rules employers may opt out of Obamacare birth control mandate for religious, moral reasons

by Adam Ford · Jul 8th, 2020 10:34 am

Last Updated Jul 9th, 2020 at 10:56 am

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Wednesday in favor of Catholic group Little Sisters of the Poor in their decade-long dispute over Obamacare's birth control mandate, which forced employers to provide free contraception to employees via their health care plans.

Wednesday's decision upheld a 2017 executive order from President Trump allowing employers with sincerely held religious or moral objections to decline to give their employees access to free contraception coverage.

Paul Clement, who defended the Little Sisters, said during arguments that even if the case were to be decided against them, they would still refuse offer contraception because it would be "inconsistent with their faith."

"There is nothing they can do to allow them to come into compliance with the mandate," he said.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who authored the opinion of the court, said that the Trump administration "had the authority to provide exemptions from the regulatory contraceptive requirements for employers with religious and conscientious objections." He added:

"The only question we face today is what the plain language of the statute authorizes. And the plain language of the statute clearly allows the Departments to create the preventive care standards as well as the religious and moral exemptions."

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor are the two justices who dissented.


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