Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Here is another decision in a developing circuit split, with the Third Circuit (now joined by the Sixth) ruling against secular employers challenging the mandate, and the Tenth Circuit ruling in favor of secular employer Hobby Lobby.
ACLU press release: Sixth Circuit Orders Company to Comply With Rule Requiring Contraception Coverage:
Rules that a Manufacturing Company Cannot Impose Beliefs on Workers by Denying Basic Healthcare
CINCINNATI, Ohio – The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that a corporation that provides manufacturing services for automotive and medical industries must provide its 661 U.S. employees with insurance coverage for contraception in compliance with federal law. The court heard the company’s challenge during arguments in June. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, as well as several other cases that were argued last spring, supporting the Obama administration’s rule requiring contraceptive coverage in employee health insurance benefits. In all cases, for-profit companies are claiming a religious objection to the rule and seeking a special exemption. “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, and everyone should be free to practice their beliefs as they see fit,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “However, companies cannot break the law by withholding coverage for health services just because they have a religious objection. Nearly every woman uses contraception at some point in her life. This law ensures that employers do not discriminate against their workers by making it difficult for them to obtain the care they need.” This case is one of more than 50 across the country currently pending that address the rule mandating contraception coverage. Today’s decision is the third issued by a circuit court in one of these cases. The 3rd Circuit previously held that a Pennsylvania cabinetmaking company was unlikely to succeed in its challenge to the rule, and the 10th Circuit held the opposite in a challenge from an Oklahoma-based craft supply chain.
For more information on the cases challenging the federal contraceptive coverage mandate go to http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/challenges-federal-contraceptive-coverage-rule.
The decision can be found here.
The Hill: Appeals court rules in favor of ObamaCare birth control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that a for-profit manufacturing corporation must cover birth control in its employee health plan despite the religious beliefs of the company's owners.
The decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals represents a victory for the Obama administration in a series of ongoing fights over the contraception policy, which critics see as a violation of religious freedom. . . .