South Bend / Mishawaka, IN – The United States Supreme Court, in ruling on the Affordable Care Act Contraception Mandate, created a new exemption by stating that closely held for-profit corporations are entitled to religious freedom protections. The Contraception Mandate required companies with more than 50 employees to provide female employees covered by a company health plan with specified contraceptive coverage at no cost, or face financial penalties.
In a 5-4 vote, the Court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restriction Act (“RFRA”) applies to closely held companies; shields them from providing contraceptive coverage to their employees. However, the Court refused to expand that ruling to other medical practices such as blood transfusions or vaccinations, regardless of an employer’s religious beliefs.
The contraception mandate has been heavily contested by both religious groups and employers who argued that no constitutional right, including that of religious freedom turns on the tax status of a corporation, a premise that the Supreme Court ultimately agreed with.
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