The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision Monday ruled that a “closely held” for-profit business can opt out of Obamacare’s controversial contraception requirement based on religious objections.
The case brought by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain with about 13,000 employees, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania cabinet maker, challenged the Affordable Health Care Act requirement that employees provide free contraception coverage, including abortion-inducing drugs.
Hobby Lobby’s argument was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects the individual beliefs of citizens.
The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, said the Department of Health and Human Services “argues that the companies cannot sue because they are for-profit corporations, and that the owners cannot sue because the regulations apply only to the companies, but that would leave merchants with a difficult choice: give up the right to seek judicial protection of their religious liberty or forgo the benefits of operating as corporations.”
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