June 30 2014
The SCOTUS Strikes Down HHS Mandate
Ruling upholds religious freedom for business-owners in America
In a close 5-4 ruling, in the case of Burwell v. Hobbly Lobby, the Supreme Court struck down the HHS mandate this morning. They ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and other companies, which, on the basis of their religious conviction, objected to being forced to pay for employee insurance covering sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs without co-payments.
This is the first serious blow to President Obama's Affordable Care Act since the SCOTUS upheld much of it in a constitutionality suit several years ago. The 5-4 opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, says the government failed to show that the contraception mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing access to free birth control. Justice Anthony Kennedy said the government could choose to pay for contraception coverage itself, if it is so determined that women have such coverage.
Some groups believed the mandate would have inevitably had the opposite reaction the government supposedly intended.
Independent Women's Forum Hadley Heath Manning said: "By removing price competition from birth control markets, the mandate would have driven up the cost of drugs for women who remain uninsured, and may have discouraged condom use among those who are insured. We are thankful that the Court ruled today that closely-held corporations will not be required to follow this misguided policy."
Executive Director Gayle Atteberry commented after hearing the decision: "I am thrilled with this win for religious freedom in America. Contraception has and will remain readily accessible at low cost to women who want it. The HHS Mandate was simply another attempt by the most pro-abortion Presidential administration of all time to force Americans to set aside their convictions and support abortion by paying for abortion-inducing drugs."
Read the decision here.