Supreme Court Rules for Religious Exemption - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Supreme Court Rules for Religious Exemption

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It's a blow to one of the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act. The Supreme Court has ruled that Hobby Lobby does not have to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees.

The decision is the first time that the Supreme Court has allowed companies the ability to declare a religious belief and people on both sides of the issue are now wondering how it will be interpreted.

The limited ruling states that for-profit companies can claim a religious exemption to the healthcare requirement if they have a sincerely held religious belief.

"We're not trying to impose our religious beliefs on anyone. What we have a right to expect and demand of the government is that the government does not impose its secular religious beliefs on us," says Bishop David Kagan.

"I would say that true religious freedom gives everyone the right to make personal decisions. Including whether and when to use birth control based on your own personal beliefs and what is best for our health," says Amy Jacobson of Planned Parenthood.

Jacobson says while she's disappointed in the ruling, women will still have access to birth control if they want it.

"The birth control benefit, it still remains in place after this ruling. So, millions of women will still be able to get their birth control with no co-pay and I want women to know that they can go to play like planned parenthood and to local county clinics to be able to access that care," says Jacobson.

Both Jacobson and Bishop Kagan say they don't know what precedent this ruling sets. But Kagan says he is hopeful it will allow non-profit companies with religious beliefs to have the same exemption.

The decision was close, with five justices voting in favor of Hobby Lobby and four against.
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