SCOTUS Rules in Hobby Lobby’s Favor Over Birth Control

By Julianne Hing Jun 30, 2014

In a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court sided with two companies who sought religious exemptions in Obamacare requirements that they cover birth control for employees.

The High Court agreed that the Affordable Care Act violated federal law which protects religious freedom. However, the Supreme Court also said that the government may provide its own alternatives for those who need to access coverage, SCOTUSblog reported.

The case was a key controversy over President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and became yet another bitterly fought battle over women’s reproductive rights. 

The case turned on legal arguments centered around religious freedom, but had everything to do with birth control. Imani Gandy at RH Reality Check explained the terrain:

Contraceptives prevent pregnancy, abortifacients terminate a pregnancy, and a pregnancy begins at implantation. So contraceptives by definition are not abortifacients because they prevent a pregnancy; if they work, there is no pregnancy to be terminated.

These statements are not up for debate. They’re not subject to any "well actually" muddying of the waters. They are incontrovertible facts based in science.

Nevertheless, should the Supreme Court rule in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood’s favor, and allow them to avoid their obligations under the Affordable Care Act because they are opposed to abortion-inducing drugs and they "believe" that certain emergency contraceptives qualify as such, those three factual statements will become mere matters of opinion.

Read the Supreme Court ruling in full (PDF).