In a 5-4 decision on Monday, The U.S. Supreme court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. It's the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
FOX News Radio's Jared Halpern reports from outside the U.S. Supreme Court:
This is going to be a victory for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, the two for-profit companies who objected on religious grounds to providing contraception-- at least some forms of contraception as part of an insurance package that employers must offer employees. The Supreme Court, in this opinion rules that the companies should not be compelled to provide birth control-- at least some forms of contraception to their employees. As you can imagine it's a fairly divided, fairly nuanced opinion. We're continuing to dive into it to see exactly how far-ranging, how far-wide on this Obamacare provision the court is ruling. But again, the bottom line from the Supreme Court is that these companies-- Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood-- those with objections on religious grounds to providing some forms of contraception to their employees cannot be compelled by government to do so.
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Read a statement below from Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) on the Supreme Court ruling:
"Today's decision jeopardizes women's access to essential health care. Employers have no business intruding in the private health care decisions women make with their doctors. This ruling ignores the scientific evidence showing that the health security of millions of American women is strengthened by access to these crucial services. If the Supreme Court will not protect women's access to health care, then Democrats will. We will continue to fight to preserve women's access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room. Under Obamacare, more women in America are gaining access to quality, affordable care. Women are no longer discriminated against or charged higher premiums for simply being women. Millions of women in America, and thousands in Nevada, have gained access to free preventive care, like contraception, that was not available to them before. The bottom line is that today's decision is wrong for women. Your boss should never be able to make your health care decisions for you."
Read a statement below from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on the Supreme Court ruling:
"Today's decision is a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives. The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors. The plaintiffs in the HHS Mandate cases before the Court based their claims on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which passed Congress nearly unanimously in 1993. RFRA is a critical check on federal power and enjoys support across the ideological spectrum. The president's health care law remains an unworkable mess and a drag on our economy. We must repeal it and enact better solutions that start with lowering Americans' health care costs."