Supreme Court: Employers can opt out of birth control coverage

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday opened the door for more employers and universities to deny birth control coverage in their company healthcare plans.

The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration and an order of Catholic nuns fighting contraceptive insurance requirements called the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“I am filled with joy today as I reflect on the last decade and rejoice that the Supreme Court has protected our ministry,” said Mother Loraine Maguire with the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Little Sisters of the Poor won its case that argued the Catholic charitable organization should not be forced to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide birth control to employees.

“To do so would be an irreconcilable contradiction of the belief that guides our ministry and our lives’ work,” Maguirer said.

The Supreme Court decision means employers can remove birth control coverage from their health care plans if they cite religious or moral reasons.

“I’m disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO). “Birth control is an essential part of a woman’s healthcare needs.”

DeGette said Democrats in Congress will fight back by introducing legislation eliminating the Trump administration’s rule that allowed the exemptions in the first place.

“We are going to do whatever we need to do to ensure women are the ones making the decisions about their birth control,” DeGette said.

Justice Elena Kegan and Stephan Breyer agreed with the court’s majority that the Trump administration had the right to create the exemptions to the ACA mandate but Kegan urged the lower courts to take another look at whether the rule can be legally challenged because it was created for improper reasons.

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