U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Hobby Lobby
In 5-4 Decision, Court Says Family Businesses May Claim Religious Exemption from Mandate on Contraception Coverage
by | Source: EWTN
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) -
Religious groups in the United States are celebrating a U.S. Supreme
Court decision today which has ruled that closely held companies can
claim a religious exemption from the requirement that they offer
contraception coverage in their worker health plans.
voted 5-4 in favour of family-run businesses, including the craft-store
chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., saying that on religious grounds they do
not have to mandate the free provision of contraception to their
employees, according to Bloomberg News.
The court majority
concluded that the Obama administration failed to prove that the
so-called HHS mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its
interest in guaranteeing the provision of free access to contraception
in health insurance plans.
It also said the 1993 Religious
Freedom Restoration Act requires that closely held companies receive the
same accommodation the administration has already granted to nonprofit
organizations that object to the mandate on religious grounds.
ruling is a significant advance in the expansion of corporate rights,
showing that for-profit companies as well as individuals can claim
religious freedoms under federal law.
Safeguarding the religious
rights of corporations "protects the religious liberty of the humans who
own and control those companies," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the
Bloomberg News said the case divided the court along
ideological lines. Alito's majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice
John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony
Kennedy. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor
and Elena Kagan dissented.
The case centered on the 1993
Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says the U.S. government may
"substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" only when it
meets a demanding test.
The Obama administration argued that the
law doesn't cover corporations and that the government's interests
outweighed any religious rights the corporations possess.
to today's decision, Human Life International President Father Shenan
J. Boquet said the full implications of this decision are not yet known,
but this appears to be "at least some good news in the fight for
"What many found deeply disturbing about this
case was not only the assault on religious freedom, but the
manipulation of scientific facts in order to support a radical political
agenda promoting abortion," he said in a statement.
scientific consensus that when sperm meets egg and fertilization occurs,
a new human life begins. Yet we see our own government and pro-abortion
lobbyist groups like American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists (ACOG) play games with the words 'fertilization,'
'conception,' 'pregnancy,' and even 'abortion' to make it seem as though
the drugs and devices in question in the Hobby Lobby case don't kill
innocent human life-when it's scientific fact that they can, and do
destroy new life in the womb."
Fr. Boquet said not only does the
"HHS contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate seek to undermine
our God-given freedom to practice our faith, the mandate furthers U.S.
government support for the greatest human rights abuse in history, using
taxpayer dollars to kill preborn human life.
"There's no doubt
that legal action will continue on this mandate, and the many other
troubling provisions of Obamacare," Fr. Boquet said. "The American
people must make clear to our elected representatives that we will not
allow our religious liberty to be violated by our own government,
especially in pursuit of an immoral agenda that furthers the erosion of
human rights, and ends human lives."
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