Government Watch

Court Strikes Down Mandate for Birth Control in ObamaCare

from The Hill – by Julian Hattem –

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.

Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.

Legal analysts expect the Supreme Court to ultimately pick up an appeal on the birth-control requirement and make a final decision on its constitutionality.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress have pushed for a conscience clause that would allow employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage for moral or religious reasons.

The measure emerged most recently during negotiations to fund the federal government. Some House Republicans wanted to include the conscience clause in a legislative package ending the government shutdown.

The split ruling against the government on Friday was the latest in a string of court cases challenging the healthcare law’s mandate.

Friday’s ruling centered on two Catholic brothers, Francis and Philip Gilardi, who own a 400-person produce company based in Ohio.

The brothers oppose contraception as part of their religion and challenged the Affordable Care Act provision requiring them to provide insurance that covers their employees’ birth control.

Refusing to abide by the letter of the law, they said, would result in a $14 million fine.

“They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong,” Brown wrote.

The Obama administration said that the requirement is necessary to protect women’s right to decide whether and when to have children.

The judges were unconvinced, however, that forcing companies to cover contraception protected that right.

Brown wrote that “it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right — whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy — can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices.”

She added that denying coverage of contraception would not undermine the Affordable Care Act’s requirements that health insurance provide preventative care.

The Gilardis’ employees will still be covered for a series of counseling, screenings and tests, she noted.

“The provision of these services — even without the contraceptive mandate — by and large fulfills the statutory command for insurers to provide gender-specific preventive care,” she wrote. “At the very least, the statutory scheme will not go to pieces.”

The two other judges on the panel disagreed with parts of the ruling and said the rights of religious people do not extend to the companies they own. They also disputed that the Gilardis were unduly burdened by the coverage requirement.

Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the ObamaCare mandate to cover contraception. People who work for religiously affiliated institutions can get birth control directly from their insurance companies.

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Steve Hoir
7 years ago

Refusing to violate one’s religious belief about the sanctity of human life, does not interfere one bit with women that choose to do such. The availability of contraceptives and procedures is still there. And it’s still easily available. Refusing to provide those services is not the same as making them illegal or out of reach.

ELN
7 years ago

I think employers can offer to the employee an option to pay for their own birth control coverage. An employer with religious beliefs that they must uphold can provide a basic health plan and the employee can pay extra for the coverage for birth control. Many women do not take hormone therapy for contraception but for other health reasons, such as controlling cysts.

Or people will have to decide for themselves if they want to work for an employer who can’t provide that kind of coverage. Either use what the government/employer provides or provide it for yourself. It is wrong to me that someone’s religious beliefs can be imposed on others this way, but I know that would not want my money going to support something I abhor. There just has to be more options. If your employer can’t cover it (whatever it may be) then there needs to be a supplemental option available. I am facing the holes in Medicare. My primary health issues are addressed by medication. Prescription coverage is important to me.

Donald R Gronewold
7 years ago

It is time for the prersident be impeached, He breaks every rule when it is to his benefit. We have lost all respect from other countries

Charles Michel
7 years ago

The down fall of our country, which is still taking place, and has excellerated since the Obama administration , is a prime example of people being sold a bag of lies that have been sugar coated .if you know anything about history you know this is how Hitler was able to fool the German people into thinking he was there savior .The comparisons of Obama and Hitler are scary , even liberals can see things that are being done by Obama, are not what our founding fathers put in play. At every turn Obama has went around congress,he honestly believes he doesn’t have to answer to any one and can do what ever he pleases , if you think about the people he has surrounded him self with Harry brain dead Reid ,we have to pass it be fore we read it Nancy Pelosi , what’s the deference Hillary Clinton and I just ramble on Bidden , you can see why he gets a way with every thing . The last piece of the puzzle Obama needed was to get all the tv news stations and news papers in his control , now the comparison between Obama and Hitler is complete ,all I ask of you after you read this is to think honestly about how the masses can be fooled into things they don’t even want.

The G Girl
7 years ago

Big mistake letting government control your lives. Wake up, people! If you depend on the government for your personal well being, then you feel obligated to them and they now own you (and your vote).

Abortion is not health care. Health care heals and saves lives. Abortion is the opposite. You may notice that many
women who depend on abortion as a means of birth control may have drug addictions or mental illness. I would rather subsidize the treatment to correct their problem instead of paying to kill their baby.

Those of you out there, who are much smarter than these women, should take responsibility for your actions. You
know who you are. To all the Sandra Flukes out there, here is some advice. Hold yourself to a higher standard than
the other creatures on this planet, at least try to have some class, have respect for yourself and you will not have to
worry so much about getting pregnant.

For those of you who find yourself pregnant, for whatever reason, and you feel that abortion is the only way, there should be organized fund raisers by all the pro-abortion groups to help you. If these groups really care, they would do this. Then you can leave the rest of us alone!

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  The G Girl

Yes, a little self-respect is in order. Remember, self=respect is an earned attribute. Self esteem as taught throughout our schools is an artificial replacement visited upon our children that requires no actions other than thinking, not doing anything. But remember that the individual mandate penalty for not getting a medical policy was ruled by the Supreme Court as a “tax” and likewise when the D.C. Appeals Court’s ruling gets to the Supreme Court that 14million penalty would also be ruled as a tax. What’s really wrong is the central governments legislature and the central governt’s executive and the central government.s judicial branches get to determine what the central government gets to do. When the government gets to decide what their powers are, we have already lost our liberty. Those who want to have their way and screw around on other peoples dollar aren’t looking for liberty; they are looking for license. The government uses force to take from some to give to others. That is theft regardless of it being legalized theft. If I wanted an abortion before Obama (don’t) Care, and decided to rob you so as to pay for it, I would likely spend time in jail for such an act. He and his cronies do it and get accredited as caring about the people. But they only care about the ones they can buy and will in return them with the votes to continue to abuse this nations productive class. There are two sets of people, the dooers and the takers. True to their name, the takers are taking over.

Jim
7 years ago

Joe Wilson is right, Obama lies, his whole life is and has been a lie. The worst human to occupy the position. But I guess the Democrat party is still proud of him, Loser Harry and Princess Nancy. What a team….

dick
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

They say the Lord works in mysterious ways..having this crew running our country is a mystery I will never understand. When Pelosi said ” we have to pass this bill so we can find out what’s in it”, I knew then that all was lost and our country was going down the toilet….

Marcia Southerland
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes his own life is a lie. He doesn’t even use his Real name of Barry Obama, he has to use an alias. Does that mean he wasn’t born in the US. If so he shouldn’t be President as that LIE is still a thorn in my side. He doesn’t like being in the U.S. He considers himself black but in reality he is White & Black. I guess its means more votes if he calls Himself black. I could care less what color a person is, its not about color, its about doing the correct thing, being truthful and not putting your pants on fire. (Otherwise, liar, liar, pants on fire) I also know that some Democrats want the best for this country, but they are to left for my taste. I know there are people upset because there is a reduction in Food Stamps. I feel bad for the Seniors as they can only do so much. The younger can work even necessary two jobs. If you have children, do what I did, pay a babysitter & work. If your doing hair, nails, having them done you’ll need to feed your children first. Call Daddy & get support from HIM. HE helped with their creation so HE needs to MAN UP & take Responsibility or he’s just a sperm donor. Take pride in yourself go back to school, get a trade, some type of training. This is what our forefathers fought for in the Civil War, no slavery, freedom to go & do what we wanted, & States Rights. Its not been that many years ago.

KarenFaye
7 years ago

Well we are expected to pay for morning after pills, viagra and Sandra Fluke’s condoms — and maternity and newborn baby care ….what’s the difference?????

dick
7 years ago
Reply to  KarenFaye

Too bad Obamas mother didn’t have access to free condoms..

KarenFaye
7 years ago
Reply to  dick

In that case, I’d say abortion was a must.

Margaret
7 years ago
Reply to  KarenFaye

Ummmm! I’d say, try self control. No? How about Natural Family Planning?

Evelyn
7 years ago

Steve H. is really correct. It is not about birth control — it’s about doing whatever you want to — both the President and all our people. but some have a conscience and others don’t. Frankly I wish somebody would pay for BC for the illegals who can’t afford it. We already have insurance paying for patients w/lung cancer, who caused it themselves by smoking all their lives. And we have companies who cover that treatment! Not much difference!!

Ralph Geronimo
7 years ago

God allowed His Son, Jesus, to be conceived and live the first nine months of His life in a safe, sacred place; His Mother Mary’s womb.

How dare we, as nation, contrive a “right to kill” as law of the land. Ripping a child from its mothers womb is not “woman’s health care!

steve harmon
7 years ago

I may be wrong but I see sanity creeping back into our society. Thank God. I don’t think this was ever about birth control (as someone stated earlier, it’s readily available and cheap) it’s about Obama saying “I’m more powerful than your stupid religions, I’ll do whatever the hell I want and you can’t stop me no matter how much it offends you”.

BobA
7 years ago
Reply to  steve harmon

Pray you are correct.. Ever since they took the bible out of our schools our Christian beliefs have been diminished every year. Roe vs. Wade being the most criminal decision the court has made in our history.

Jim
7 years ago

Abortion is not health care. Health care saves lives. It does not kill it. How dare that dictator tell the American people they have to subsidize the killing of the innocent, sacred unborn — a grave moral evil — against their consciences ! But Mr. O. has ignored far more of the Constitution than just the First Amendment, respecting religious freedom. He does whatever he wants and will go as far as he can get away with as a dangerous extremist to impose his perverted world view on America to destroy her.

D B
7 years ago

A PERSONS A PERSON NO MATTER HOW SMALL…………..

HORTON FINDS A WHO

T.R.Buttner
7 years ago

How come Mr. Obama thinks that “healthcare” for women is a choice, but it isn’t a choice for taxpayers?

radfox61
7 years ago

Since the decision to prevent unwanted pregnancy falls mainly on the woman, every man feels that it is in their best interest to block as much access to prevention as possible using whatever reason as possible (e.g. religious beliefs). Like the man who chooses to not use a condom because of “loss” of sensation a woman has the right to choose not to get pregnant. Most effective birth control methods used by women are costly and it is unfair to put the burden of cost on women who already make less than male workers compared to the cost of condoms. Before I get a rash of replies which will be only rehashing the religious belief viewpoint, I am proposing that cost be reasoned with by leaving the option to get the coverage to the people using the plan. All the employers are doing is offering plans to which employees chose their coverage needs depending personal situation.

Eric
7 years ago
Reply to  radfox61

How about not having sex in the first place??? A woman doesn’t have to have sex with some guy, who in your description, doesn’t seem to care much about her. If they need to have sex so badly he’ll put on a condom. Sorry but the woman’s right to have others pay for her sexual decisions is about as poor an argument that can be made.

TDC
7 years ago
Reply to  radfox61

Who said the woman has to purchase the contraceptive? If this is a choice between two adults then they should work out the details and live by the results/consequences.

Cindy
7 years ago
Reply to  radfox61

Really Radfox61!! You’ve got to be kidding. Kroger Store has birth control pills for $9/month or $24/3 months. Target, Wal-Mart, and Sam’s Club are at $9/month too. Planned Parenthood has them for free for teenagers and other individuals who they deem as their “target” clients. And, don’t forget the least expensive and most effective birth control method that works every time it is tried…….abstinence. How sad that you are so downtrodden that you haven’t the capacity to make enough money to pay for contraception or find resources to prevent unwanted pregnancy. My advice to you is to check your Obama Care coverage and consider sterilization. You can’t afford a child in more ways than just financial.

mcamp2
7 years ago
Reply to  radfox61

If the cost of contraception is too high, maybe you should keep your legs closed. As others have said, If the man doesn’t care enough to pay for contraception he may not be worth spreading for.

Gail Ostendorf
7 years ago

I never hear about those people who use prayer, pos!itive thinking, diet and exercise instead of medicine. This seems to be an even a bigger issue regarding trampling on religious beliefs and freedom. It’s my understanding that under
Obamacare, you must have regular check ups. Again, you feel fine but you must see a doctor. None of this would
have been such a big issue if it was not crammed through Congress, because there was a democratic majority. I’ve
never heard of such a stupid comment “pass it and them read it”. Every time I’ve voted on something, I’ve read it,
eliminated the problems and then passed it. Let’s face it, the Democrats did not want a bipartisan bill and that was
the problem.

Don
7 years ago

I live in CA. there is no birth control we have so many illeagals that have many children & our jackass leaders keep giving them all our rights do you think they would ever vote{even if they are illeagal} for a responible leadership like the GOP

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Don

Of course not. They would vote the straight line Democrat ticket. Even many conservative think tanks estimate at least 85 percent of these illegals would end up voting Democrat. That is why the Democrats are so insistent about comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Once they’ve granted citizenship to all the illegals, those illegals will add between 11 and 20 million new voters to the Democrat voter rolls. That will give them an unbeatable numerical advantage in almost every federal and most state elections. The Republican Party would be reduced to a permanent after thought as the progressive agenda moves forward completely unobstructed.

mark schmalz
7 years ago

If people are so stupid to think that BC, abortion, etc. have anything to do with health care……..this is nothing more than gov’t control. It will become another China if we let this go on. We can start getting of this only by removing most depts. starting with the dept. of education. PEOPLE, PLEASE QUIT ASKING THE GOV’T TO TAKE CARE OF YOU, OUR FREEDOMS DEPEND ON GOD, NOT OUR GOV’T.

Gloria Sterling
7 years ago
Reply to  mark schmalz

I worked in Public Health and believe me, there are places women can go to get either free or much discounted birth control help. I have called it “sex planning”, not “family planning” because hardly any of the clients were interested in “planning” families. After sometime I was exempt from working in those clinics, not so much for my beliefs, but, rather, the way I counseled and prayed with my clients.

Debby Michalowski
7 years ago

Good for you Gloria Sterling! The world needs more people like you who have common sense, morality, and faith in God, and don’t “keep it private”, but counsel and pray with those you come in contact with, even if it’s (fake gasp) at work! I was a nursing student who watched as a public health doctor examined a woman after her sixth (!!) abortion had taken place six weeks earlier. He counseled her that there is birth control which is very effective and she should use it rather than having repeat abortions. In response, she lay there and laughed! It was obvious that she had absolutely no remorse for having had her six children killed in her womb. Abortion was her form of birth control in her promiscuous lifestyle. Family Planning didn’t enter her mind, except her plan to kill them all. Obama “care” supports the promiscuous lifestyle. It would force the rest of us to pay for sinful behavior and for the very painful murders of preborn children.

Morris
7 years ago

What I don’t and can’t seem to understand is why the issue of ‘birth control’ or ‘contraception’ is deemed a “health care” issue the government must become involved with and force insurance companies to become financially responsible for providing coverage. The choice to not bear a child is a private, personal matter between (hopefully married) consenting adults, just as it is their private, personal choice regarding the selection of an effective method of preventing pregnancies if they so choose. As I see it, this personal choice is not an illness or disease requiring medical treatment and insurance coverage. If a pregnancy occurs, the health of the mother and the child naturally become “health care” issues requiring medical attention, although that is NOT the subject matter being dealt with. I believe the Obama administration should extract its long slimey tentacles from people’s bedrooms and allow couples to resolve these types of personal decisions in their own way and at their own expense — a couple’s choice to avoid pregnancy by purchasing and using contraception not remotely a “health care” issue!

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Morris

Socialists don’t believe “the people” have the intelligence to make responsible personal choices on their own. Therefore, there needs to be an enlightened class to rule over the peasants and ensure they make the right choices by making the choices for them. Thus birth control and contraception, along with all the other mandated items associated with Obamacare have to be forced upon the people for their own good.

PaulE
7 years ago

It’s up to the Supreme Court to decide this now. Nothing the Republicans put forth in a bill will be allowed to be brought up for a vote on in the Senate by Harry Reid. So all these challenges to various pieces of Obamacare will go nowhere at the present time. It makes for great theater and photo ops, but the reality is that until and if we ever manage to re-take both houses of Congress and the White House, we’re stuck with this terrible law.

Steve Wolf
7 years ago

When you start with an 0bama brain-fart, you end up with a turd.

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