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Contraception battle

August 2014

A company, whose founder has strong Christian convictions, has won a court battle over offering contraception coverage as part of its employees’ healthcare plans.

Under the Obamacare Act in the US, employers are obliged to cover contraception and abortion on their employees’ life cover, with the exception of religious organisations, non-profit groups and churches, on grounds of conscience.

In July, Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based craft company founded by David Green, took its case to the Supreme Court and won, allowing itself to assert religious claims to avoid covering some or all contraceptives in employee health plans.

According to reports, the 5-4 ruling means that businesses can refuse to provide contraception coverage, if they claim a ‘sincerely held religious belief’.

Hobby Lobby and 49 other companies had argued that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has never before been applied to for-profit companies, did apply to them because of their religious principles.

The victory was swiftly followed by a request from evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois, but the government has warned if Wheaton is success-ful, this will block its students and employees from free access to emergency contraceptives.


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