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Fight over contraception coverage heads back to Supreme Court

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The battle over contraceptive coverage under Obamacare heads back to the Supreme Court tomorrow where the justices will hear arguments in a religion-based challenge from family owned companies who object to covering it in the health plans. Among the most vocal opponents has been Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., whose Evangelical Christian owners state that their “religious beliefs prohibit them from providing health coverage for drugs and devices that end human life after conception.”

The Green family, which own Hobby Lobby has more than 15,000 full-time employees in over 600 crafts stores in 41 states, and also operates the Mardel chain of Christian book stores. They are joined in their fight by cabinetmaker Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., which is owned by a Mennonite family employing 950 people.

“Women already have an income gap. If these companies win, they’ll have a health insurance gap too,” stated Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center.

In addition, the White House argues that should these companies prevail, it would “prevent women who work for them from making decisions about birth control based on what is best for them health wise, not on whether they can afford it.” An intrauterine device (IUD), for instance, can run as high as $1,000.

Another fear is that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the companies in this matter might allow them to invoke objections to other government mandates such as immunizations, Social Security taxes and minimum wages through the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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