Contraceptive commentary: Religious liberty should not be constrained; women employees are forgotten

Published on March 27, 2014 at 6:08 AM · No Comments

The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare V. Religious Liberty
The Affordable Care Act returned to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, as the Justices heard a major challenge to the law's birth-control mandate. Five and maybe even six Justices across ideological lines seemed discomfited by the Administration's cramped conception of religious liberty (3/25). 

USA Today: Don't Exempt Hobby Lobby: Our View
Respect for Americans' religious convictions is one of the nation's bedrock values, so it's never an easy call when faith clashes with national policy. That's the conflict a sharply divided Supreme Court grappled with Tuesday when the justices heard a case pitting the beliefs of two deeply religious, business-owning families against Obamacare's requirement that health insurance cover all FDA-approved contraceptives, including IUDs and morning-after pills that the families find objectionable (3/25). 

USA Today: Uphold Religious Liberty: Opposing View
Millions of Americans are losing their health plans as Obamacare takes effect. Waiting for your cancellation notice has become the modern-day equivalent of waiting for your draft number to come up. The Department of Health and Human Services' mandate of early abortion pill and birth control coverage will only make things worse. It threatens the jobs, health plans and livelihood of millions of Americans (Cathy Cleaver Ruse, 3/25).

The New York Times' Taking Note: The Women On The Sidelines Of The Hobby Lobby Case
Most of the news coverage of the highly-anticipated contraceptive-mandate cases -- which came before the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning -- has focused on the idea of religious liberty, and to what degree a for-profit corporation can exercise that liberty like a real human person. But the real human persons at the center of the case -- specifically, the women whose access to contraception is at stake -- were notably absent from much of the conversation in the court (Jesse Wegman, 3/25). 

The Washington Post: Slippery Slopes Before The Court
In the context of talking about limits on free speech, it's common to say that your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. That seems like a sensible way to think about the freedom of religion case just argued before the Supreme Court: whether employers can be required to pay for contraceptive methods that would violate their religious convictions. ... Respecting the religious claims of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood threatens to diminish the rights of their workers (Ruth Marcus, 3/25).

The Washington Post: Hobby Lobby Case Creates Unexpected Allies In Dershowitz And Starr
The two convened at the Willard Hotel on Monday, the day before oral arguments in the case were presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a delightful back-and-forth punctuated by yarns and anecdotes, the two legal luminaries affirmed at least two points of agreement: (1) separation of church and state is good for religion; (2) corporations are people and people are corporations (echo Mitt Romney?) and, therefore, Hobby Lobby should be permitted an exemption from the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act (Kathleen Parker, 3/25). 

Bloomberg: Say a Prayer For Hobby Lobby's Employees
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Let's concentrate for a moment on the "Inc." part. Hobby Lobby is a for-profit corporation selling arts and crafts. It is asking the court to declare that its religious beliefs are violated by the Affordable Care Act's mandate that health care insurance provided by employers include contraception (Margaret Carlson, 3/25).

The Arizona Republic: Hobby Lobby's Dangerous Birth-Control Challenge
Before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments based on two lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act provision requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their health-care plans, it might be worthwhile to take a look back before moving forward. As a foundation, it's important to understand that contraception is basic preventive health care for women with strong support from the American public. It is not just a well-established standard of medical care, but is supported by long-standing federal laws and policies (Brenda Thomas, 3/25).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

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