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Justices: Can't make employers cover contraception

9 months ago June 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2014 Monday, June 30 2014 Monday, June 30, 2014 7:21:51 AM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is going to have to find another way to make sure that women have health care coverage that includes contraceptives.

The Supreme Court today said some corporations can opt out of that requirement, if they are owned by a small group of people with religious objections to providing the coverage.

Under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, contraception is among the services that must be provided at no extra charge.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the opinion in today's 5-to-4 ruling, says the administration could now simply pay for pregnancy prevention itself. Or it could arrange for insurance companies or third-party administrators to take over the responsibility of paying for the birth control.

Among the justices in the majority today was Chief Justice John Roberts -- who, two years ago, cast the pivotal vote to save the health care law. Today, he sided with the four justices who would have struck down the entire law.

In a dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court today was discounting the disadvantages that would be faced by employees who don't share the religious beliefs of their employers.

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