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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - UPDATE: Court Says Obamacare Can't Make Employers Cover Contraception
Monday, June 30 2014, 11:40 PM EDT
UPDATE: Court Says Obamacare Can't Make Employers Cover Contraception
DAYTON - Hobby Lobby, known for its affordably priced crafts and selection of faith-based items, will now be forever known for another reason: a landmark supreme court case. 

By a 5-4 vote, the court decided that the government cannot force family-owned corporations to pay for insurance that covers contraception. The court says the requirement violated the private business owner's constitutional rights. A polarizing decision many say pits religious freedom vs. women's rights

"I don't think any manager should be able to tell you what you can or cannot take," UD student Logan Cobbs said Monday.

Pastor Jerry Siler of Cornerstone Baptist Temple in Dayton counts the move as a win for Christians, and business.

"The owners of Hobby Lobby have invested their money," Siler explained. "I think they should have an opportunity to order their company based on those beliefs."

But some say the bible is not a health care plan.

Miami Valley Women's Center sent us the following statement Monday:

"Miami Valley Women's Center believes birth control is a choice that should be left to the woman and her doctor or the woman and her spouse.
We believe there are long-term health risks to women who receive emergency contraception, and we support decisions that will protect a woman's body and her future health."

"Women should be able to have the right to have birth control and they should support that but if that's not what they want to do, then that's no what they want to do. It's their choice," Oakwood's Hailey Aiken reasoned.

Pastor Siler hopes the decision sends a specific message.

"[That] people that have convictions will be able to live by those convictions and not be mandated by law to forgo the religious convictions that we have," Siler added.

The White House says the Hobby Lobby ruling jeopardizes women's health and will press congress to rewrite the wrong.




EARLIER...

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.

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama's campaign for re-election.

On Monday, dealing with a small sliver of the law, Roberts sided with the four justices who would have struck down the law in its entirety.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. The court's four liberal justices dissented.

The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said today's ruling reaffirms our nation's commitment to religious freedom.

"The government should not force citizens to violate their religious beliefs in order to operate a business, and Obamacare's contraception mandate infringes upon religious liberties," Portman said. "I am pleased that the Court has ruled that the mandate is unlawful."

Portman said he has fought against the Affordable Care Act's effect on religious liberties, citing among other efforts a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Feb. 6, 2012.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald also weighed in on the Hobby Lobby Court Decision.
 
"Today's decision on the Hobby Lobby case is bad for both women and families across Ohio. Not only does this ruling inappropriately involve a woman's boss in extremely personal healthcare decisions, but it also hits at the pocketbooks of families who are already struggling to get by," FitzGerald said.



Earlier coverage:

Awaiting a Decision: All Eyes on Supreme Court and Hobby Lobby

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling today on the Hobby Lobby case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate.

At issue, is whether a for-profit corporation can deny its employees contraception coverage.

The family-run chain of more than 600 arts and crafts stores claims that providing birth control under the Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom.

The Obama administration disagrees, saying insurance coverage for birth control is important for women's health and that a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby would amount to legal discrimination against women.

The court has never before recognized the religious rights of a company that operates for profit.UPDATE: Court Says Obamacare Can't Make Employers Cover Contraception

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