Elsewhere online
May 28, 2015

Court Decisions Buoy White House on Contraceptive Mandate

Federal appeals courts have thus far found that the Obama administration has done enough to accommodate faith-affiliated nonprofits that object to providing birth-control coverage to their employees, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, writes The Washington Post. In three recent rulings, appellate judges held that the White House plan to shift the burden for securing contraceptive care to the government or third-party insurers gives women access to birth control without infringing on groups' religious rights.

Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center, said the recent decisions are consistent with the Supreme Court's June 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed some private businesses to opt out of the contraceptive mandate for religious reasons. The high court said the government must find the least restrictive way to achieve its goal — making no-cost birth control available to women — without substantially burdening religious beliefs. "We think it’s clear there's no substantial burden" due to the accommodation, Ms. Borchelt said.