Supreme Court hears contraceptive mandate case
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/07/20, 11:52 am
Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned whether the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can force employers—including religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor—to offer birth control under their insurance plans.
What did the justices say? When the Trump administration in 2017 announced a broader religious exemption to the contraceptive and abortifacient mandate, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, federal courts blocked the move, saying the White House overstepped its authority. But Justice Neil Gorsuch pointed out that President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare reform law gave HHS the power to enforce and allow exceptions to the mandate. “The challenge before us is whether the agency has exceeded its statutory authority,” he said. “And looking at the statute here, it’s about as … expansive a delegation of statutory authority as one might imagine.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who called in to the proceedings from the hospital, said allowing broad religious exemptions is unfair to women who may need to find other coverage for contraceptives or pay out of pocket, “precisely what Congress did not want to happen.”
Dig deeper: Read more background on the case in Liberties.
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Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.