Two Major Birth Control Cases Hit the Supreme Court

Experts say they could open up a Pandora's box of Obamacare denials.

By Akiba Solomon Mar 24, 2014

Arguments begin tomorrow March 25 for the Supreme Court cases Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. The cases center on whether the for-profit businesses can refuse to cover no-cost birth control–part of the Affordable Care Act–in its insurance plans because of religious objections. According to the National Women’s Law Center more than 100 lawsuits have been filed in federal court challenging the ACA’s birth control coverage benefit.  In a statement, Adam Sonfield, a researcher for the Guttmacher Institute, lays out some of the risks of the two cases:

"[T]he Supreme Court must also be aware that its decision could have consequences far beyond contraception. For example, there are many important coverage guarantees included in the ACA, and federal law more broadly, and if the Court sides with the plaintiffs, it could truly open a Pandora’s box of discrimination. Employers might claim religious objections to coverage–for everyone or, for instance, for those who are young, unmarried or gay–of HPV vaccination, STI testing, breast-feeding equipment, maternity care, blood transfusions, HIV medication and mental health care."

For more (non-partisan) analysis and facts, read the rest of the Guttmacher statement.