(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that some corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees. According to national news reports, the Supreme Court was divided 5-4 on the issue, which was brought forward by Hobby Lobby Stores.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Hobby Lobby was required to provide contraception coverage in its health insurance offering to female employees at no extra cost. Today’s ruling states that the federal government failed to show the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act is the “least restrictive mean of advancing its interest” in providing no-cost birth control to women.
Wyoming Catholic College President Dr. Kevin Roberts weighed in on the issue saying the decision, “trimmed the sails of an overreaching federal government. Our very first freedom is the freedom to worship and believe as we choose, so it is gratifying to see the Supreme Court protect the conscience rights of Americans, including private business owners.”
WCC is currently involved in a lawsuit on the issue, but because this ruling covered only closely held corporations and not non-profit organizations, there is no direct affect on that lawsuit. WCC has been granted a temporary exemption because its insurance provider was granted an injunction by the U.S. District Court in Denver. WCC is also a plaintiff in the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne’s lawsuit.
Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming also issued a brief statement on the matter. “The Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious liberty today,” he said. “The federal government should not have the ability to force people to pay for contraception. I am pleased the court affirmed that Americans have that right to make their own decision on this issue.”