Justices: Can't make employers cover contraception

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Associated Press

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 1:32 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is going to have to find another way to make sure that women have health care coverage that includes contraceptives.

The Supreme Court today said some corporations can opt out of that requirement, if they are owned by a small group of people with religious objections to providing the coverage.

Under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, contraception is among the services that must be provided at no extra charge.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the opinion in today's 5-to-4 ruling, says the administration could now simply pay for pregnancy prevention itself. Or it could arrange for insurance companies or third-party administrators to take over the responsibility of paying for the birth control.

Among the justices in the majority today was Chief Justice John Roberts -- who, two years ago, cast the pivotal vote to save the health care law. Today, he sided with the four justices who would have struck down the entire law.

In a dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court today was discounting the disadvantages that would be faced by employees who don't share the religious beliefs of their employers.

%@AP Links

195-c-21-(Mark Sherman, AP Supreme Court writer)-"cover the costs (second reference)"-AP Supreme Court writer Mark Sherman reports the Obama administration has a couple of options, including paying for the cost of the contreception itself. (30 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *195 (06/30/14)££ 00:21 "cover the costs (second reference)"

178-a-06-(Anthony Verdugo, executive director, Christian Family Coalition of Florida, in AP interview)-"violates their conscience"-Anthony Verdugo, who heads the Christian Family Coalition in Florida, says many business owners will have the ability to operate their business in accordance with their religious beliefs. (30 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *178 (06/30/14)££ 00:06 "violates their conscience"

179-a-05-(Marcia (MAHR'-shah) Greenberger, co-president, National Women's Law Center, in teleconference)-"women to swallow"-Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center, says the Hobby Lobby ruling is hard to take. (30 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *179 (06/30/14)££ 00:05 "women to swallow"

APPHOTO DCPM111: The Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014, following various court decisions. The court ruled on birth control, union fees and other cases. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (30 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO DCPM111 (06/30/14)££

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