Supreme Court rules against Obama's ACA in 'Hobby Lobby' contraceptive case

U.S. Supreme Court
Is religious freedom more important than women's health?

In a tight 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that two evangelical Christian family-owned corporations are not required to pay for insurance coverage for contraception due to their religious freedom protections under federal law.

The decision marks a major defeat to a requirement put in place under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), reports the New York Times. The challenge was brought by two corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, who argued that this portion of the ACA ran against their religious principles.

Both companies argued, against scientific consensus, that emergency contraception like Plan B, Ella, and a T-shaped widget known as a intrauterine device, or IUD are equivalent to abortions because they prevent embryos from implanting on the womb.

The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, has sparked a storm of reactions and conversations across social media from conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between. As of this writing, #HobbyLobby is the top trend on Twitter.

Many Republicans and conservatives are taking a victory lap, claiming the decision is a win for the First Amendment and religious freedom.

On the other side of the debate, opponents believe that the decision will have a profound negative effect on women’s health.

This marks the end of one major battle in a much larger war over issues as vast as contraception, abortion, women’s rights, and healthcare. The war is far from over, however, and the next battle may be waged in Congress as opponents of this decision hope that legislatures can make an exception to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, in order to force corporations to provide contraceptive insurance regardless of religious belief.

Photo via Mark Fisher/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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