Skip to comments.Court strikes down mandate for birth control in ObamaCare
Posted on 11/01/2013 10:25:55 AM PDT by jazusamo
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 companys 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 laws mandate.
Fridays 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 womens 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 womans procreative practices.
She added that denying coverage of contraception would not undermine the Affordable Care Acts 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.
This story was updated at 12:52 p.m.
Sponsoring FReepers are contributing
$10 Each time a New Monthly Donor signs up!
Get more bang for your FR buck!
Click Here To Sign Up Now!
0bama and the Rats are really ticked at the D.C. Court of Appeals now!
Ironically this mandate helped Obama get elected.
He doesnt care about it now.
Sandra was quite distressed at the news...
Thank you Lord!
Other judges? This line appears to contradict the rest of the article.
Does this mean Hobby Lobby will stay in business?!?!?!?
And so, if abortion is “a constitutional right” because of some assumed “right of privacy” found by 5 judges, why is Obamacare REQUIRED to demand we load ALL of a person’s medical, financial, tax and gun ownership information into a single government database just to satisfy the government’s desire to control all health care information?
Congressional republicans can sit back and say they won't interfere and let the process work it's way through the courts. That's what progressives do to laws they don't like.
OscamOcare continues to take body blows from all directions... Without an opposition party to repeal it #RINOScum, it needs to be attacked from all directions...
Let’s see what happens when the suit to force the employer mandate is heard... Delicious!
Hang this argument and pending case around the necks of Dem pols running for office. I especially want to see that beech in Texas, Wendy Davis be forced to answer if she supports jamming this caropla down the throats of small businesses. Also nail it to that creep McAuliffe in Va.
Now we know why Obamma wants to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
ANY court ruling ANY aspect of Obama’s fascist law unconstitutional exposes the pirate Roberts and his illicit ruling to pass this abomination onto the American public. Any doubt about for whom Roberts works should now be settled. Little barry bastard boy’s regime own Roberts.
The only problem is an appeal to the SCROTUS. John Roberts cannot be trusted.