Supreme Court declines to hear new contraception cases

WASHINGTON Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:55am EDT

Protesters pray at the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments begin today to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care, in Washington March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Protesters pray at the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments begin today to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care, in Washington March 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up preliminary appeals brought by Roman Catholic groups that want an exemption from part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law requiring employers to provide insurance that covers contraception.

The cases were brought by a series of Roman Catholic-affiliated nonprofit groups based in Washington, D.C., including Catholic University.

The legal issue is different from one involving for-profit companies that also object on religious grounds to the so-called contraception mandate, which was argued before the high court last week.

The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the two cases at this stage means that the federal appeals court in Washington will proceed to decide the issue. If the groups lose, they would have another chance to seek Supreme Court review.

The Obamacare law requires employers to provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women, including contraception and sterilization. The act makes an exception for religious institutions such as houses of worship that mainly serve and employ members of their own faith, but not for schools, hospitals and charitable organizations that employ people of all faiths.

As a compromise, the administration agreed to an accommodation for non-profits affiliated with religious entities that was finalized in July 2013. But the various Catholic groups said the compromise process still violated their religious rights, prompting a new wave of litigation.

Courts across the country have granted the groups injunctions which prevent the administration from enforcing the mandate during the litigation.

The cases are Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius and Priests for Life v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, 13-891 and 13-829.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and James Dalgleish)

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Comments (12)
Whipsplash wrote:
Earth to the Catholic church, MANY OF YOUR MEMBERS USE CONTRACEPTION!

Mar 31, 2014 10:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:
Earth to whiplash: Are you not part of the same group that demanded government stay out of your bedroom? You cannot endorse the legalization of homosexuality and gay marriage (because sodomy is some perceived “natural right”?) and then demand the Catholic Church abandon its core principles.

Mar 31, 2014 11:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TOTL wrote:
Earth to Whipsplash BUT THE CHURCH ISN’T FORCED TO PAY FOR IT!

Mar 31, 2014 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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