Posted: March 24, 2016 Contributor: administrator

Supreme Court Still Undecided About Birth Control Mandate

Yesterday, the scene outside of the Supreme Court was a diverse one. As seen in this Washington Post photo, nuns as well as healthcare provider,s rallied outside as the Court heard objections to mandating birth control coverage. In case you missed it, those who are opposed to birth control for religious reasons (i.e. houses of worship, churches, mosques, and synagogues) are exempt from having to provide birth control to their employees.

The issue that has caused an uprising as of late is that non-profit religious organizations are not exempt from this. While these organizations personally do not need to fund birth control coverage, their health insurance does. Essentially all it takes is signing a one-page letter that states their opposition and then the government works with the insurance carrier and supplies the employees with free birth control should they opt to use it.

Many people believed this would end the objections but it has further fueled the flames. Several of these organizations feel that signing this paper actually violates their religious rights and believe the government should allow them to opt-out from this.

While it may seem hard to understand, these non-profit organizations aren’t providing the funding for birth control directly, they are providing it indirectly through their insurance provider.
One group that firmly hopes all employers, including religious groups, will be forced to cover birth control in their insurance plans is composed of pediatricians.

A recent Washington Post article discusses their take on this charged issue and it takes a different turn than you might think. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently spoken out regarding his concerns for what this decision could mean for our nation’s youth. In this recent article, he speaks of a potential connection between objection to vaccinations and objection to birth control. He believes this could be a slippery slope for religious groups (or others) who oppose vaccination to no longer cover that as well.

Yesterday, during Zubik v. Burwell the Supreme Court justices heard arguments regarding the government’s current policy of having organizations sign the one-page letter. This recent case is very reminiscent of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. Groups protesting this included the East Texas Baptist University and Denver’s Little Sisters of the Poor who still feel they are playing a roll in the “sin.” With the recent death of one Supreme Court justice, many are worried that the decision will be stuck at a 4-4 split but only time will tell.


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