WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that some private companies in the United States can limit access to birth control in their employee health plans.
It ruled 5-4 in favour of Hobby Lobby, a retail chain based in Oklahoma that had cited its owners’ religious beliefs for denying certain contraceptive coverage for its staff.
The hotly awaited decision — in a controversial case at the intersection of religious freedom and health care — was the first related to President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform since the court upheld the law two years ago.
The controversy related to four of the 20 contraception methods that Obamacare requires be 100 percent reimbursed by health insurance plans — two types of morning-after pills and two types of intrauterine devices, or IUDs.
Hobby Lobby’s devout Christian chief executive David Green has said that, because his craft supply store chain follows “biblical principles,” it could not comply.
But the Obama administration argued that a for-profit company such as Hobby Lobby does not enjoy the same protections afforded to individuals under the Constitution.
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