Religious employers have recently brought lawsuits against the federal government, stating that the Affordable Care Act violates their religious beliefs. The ACA requires big employers to offer their workers thorough health insurance that covers contraception, or pay a fine. Now, two employer cases are being contested in the Supreme Court, on the grounds that the ACA allegedly violates freedom of religion.
The Court is currently examining both a case involving Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and another involving Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for-profit companies not affiliated with the Church, but with religious values and shareholders. They do provide coverage for birth control pills, but object to having to pay for IUDs and the morning after pill – contraceptive methods that attorneys say “end human life after conception.”
Protesters from both sides showed up by the hundreds outside the Court. One woman held a sign reading “My body. My healthcare. My decision. My baby.” On the other side, people hashtagged “#TEAMLIFE” and chanted “Everyone’s business, freedom is!”
The cases rest on whether the ACA violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 federal law that says “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”
The Court will announce a decision some time in June.