Health Care and Contraception: Did the Supreme Court Get It Right?

  1. Should religious family-owned companies be required to cover contraceptives under their insurance plans? The high court says no.

    I'm curious how you nurses feel about this? Please take a second to vote in our quick poll.

    This is a highly political topic, I'd rather not turn this into a hot argumentative subject, so please keep your comments civil But please feel free to comment. Thanks

    Here is an article on the topic:
    Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate



    In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.What did the court's ruling do?

    The court's majority said that the for-profit companies that filed suit-Hobby Lobby Stores, a nationwide chain of 500 arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a maker of custom cabinets-didn't have to offer female employeesall Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptivesas part of a package of preventive services that must be covered without copays or deductibles under the law. The companies had argued that several types of contraceptivesviolate their owners' religious beliefs. The ruling also covers a Hobby Lobby subsidiary, the Mardel Christian bookstores.
    Last edit by brian on Jul 1, '14
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  2. Poll: Was the Supreme Court right to rule that the Affordable Care Act violated the religio

    • No - The ruling allows bosses to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Besides, the Constitution grants religious freedom to individuals, not corporations.

      67.93% 1,023
    • Yes - The religious beliefs of company owners take precedence over their employees' right to have access to birth control.

      32.07% 483
    1506 Votes
  3. 603 Comments

  4. by   Cuddleswithpuddles
    I agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in spirit. I am not religious and I am pro-contraception, but I generally agree that a family-owned companies should be able to conduct their businesses in a manner congruent with their beliefs.

    The application of this ruling, however, is potentially disastrous for women. What if more large companies start claiming they are family-owned businesses in order to save money on healthcare services for women? Women are then left in the dust.

    The bigger issue underlying all of this nonsense is this: Why do Americans have to be deeply reliant on an employer for healthcare coverage?
  5. by   elkpark
    What's next? There are people out there who sincerely believe that the Bible forbids the mixing of the races. Should they, as business owners, be exempted from Equal Opportunity laws because of that? There are people who have sincere religious views about the role of women in the family and society. Should they be entitled to refuse to hire women, or pay them significantly less than male employees for the same job because of their personal religious views? Once we've started down this road, where does it end??
  6. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    This ruling could be a disaster for anyone who works for a business owned by a Jehovah's Witness or Christian Scientist. It's also another great example of why health insurance should not be tied to employment.
  7. by   roser13
    Would the ruling be the same if, say, an Islamic-owned company made the same claim? An Hmong company claiming cultural restrictions?

    Have you all followed the articles regarding how Hobby Lobby has conducted itself in the past? Purchasing most if not all of its merchandise dirt cheap from China, where forced abortions and infanticide are rampant?

    Investing in companies that manufacture the very abortion drugs that they are objecting to?

    I think this is a disastrous ruling that will open the floodgates for businesses to opt out of providing healthcare coverage for anything they darn well please by claiming a religious objection. A Jehovah's Witness-owned company could refuse to cover blood transfusions because it's against their tenets. A Jewish company could decline to cover organ transplants because they believe that the body should be whole when it is interred.


    The list is endless.
  8. by   Esme12
    If they pay for Viagra they should pay for birth control. When getting an erection is more important than a woman right for choice about her body...we are in trouble.

    This is going to have a trickle effect. It sets a dangerous precedence. Just and gay rights for equality and marriage and FINALLY won in the supreme court...they can still be denied thier rights becasue they are same sex?

    Once again I just sit here and shake my head.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from Cuddleswithpuddles
    I agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in spirit. I am not religious and I am pro-contraception, but I generally agree that a family-owned companies should be able to conduct their businesses in a manner congruent with their beliefs.

    The application of this ruling, however, is potentially disastrous for women. What if more large companies start claiming they are family-owned businesses in order to save money on healthcare services for women? Women are then left in the dust.

    The bigger issue underlying all of this nonsense is this: Why do Americans have to be deeply reliant on an employer for healthcare coverage?
    Large companies that want to claim that they're "family-owned" that are Publicly traded (not closely-held) will have to take a serious beating on their financials by being taken private again and then some. That means no more stocks, no (quite literally) non-family members of the governing board. It would be a HUGE disaster for those companies that do this.

    Forcing mom & pop shops of all sizes to disregard their religious beliefs could also be viewed as an attack on religion. For hospital chains that are religiously founded that won't do sterilization procedures that aren't medically necessary, would it be OK to force them to disregard their beliefs no matter who wants to be sterilized electively.

    In the particular case, the affected companies actually do pay for contraception, they just don't pay for the 4 options that they believe actually are a form of abortion.

    Here's the thing about this ruling though: it was decided on statutory grounds and not constitutional law grounds. They didn't reach to the 1st Amendment. They simply applied an existing statute to the specific case. If Congress feels that the Supreme Court was wrong, they can simply revise the statute. The decision was both 5-4 and 5-2 because two Justices thought that Hobby Lobby should lose no matter what (and didn't have an opinion) and the other two actually expressed a dissenting opinion.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I can't choose either answer to your poll as neither one fits.

    This decision doesn't mean women will not have access to birth control.

    Hobby Lobby only had issues with four of the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA, specifically those that are proven to interfere with uterine implantation of a fertilized egg, such as hormonal contraceptives like Plan B or IUD's. Because of the belief that a fertilized egg is the act of conception and therefore stopping the egg from implanting into the uterus causes the death of that embryo, a human being dies.

    Viagra is not the same thing as this at all. An erection and a fertilized egg are simply not the same.

    People can certainly disagree about when human life begins. However, in order to understand why people think the way they think, understanding where they come from helps us all.

    The ACA (Obamacare) doesn't guarantee that health plans cover it - Obamacare would never have passed with such a guarantee. And this is based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed by Prez. Clinton:



    The high court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case refocused attention on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that passed Congress overwhelmingly in 1993, with the support of some lawmakers still serving in both the House and Senate. The statute requires federal laws to accommodate individuals' religious beliefs unless there is a compelling interest at stake that can't be attained through other means.
    Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Ignites Debate Over Religious-Freedom Law - WSJ


    This doesn't stop women from being able to get contraception. That's hyperbole.

    I'm in favor of what the Supreme Court did here.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jul 1, '14
  11. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from roser13
    Would the ruling be the same if, say, an Islamic-owned company made the same claim? An Hmong company claiming cultural restrictions?

    Have you all followed the articles regarding how Hobby Lobby has conducted itself in the past? Purchasing most if not all of its merchandise dirt cheap from China, where forced abortions and infanticide are rampant?

    Investing in companies that manufacture the very abortion drugs that they are objecting to?

    I think this is a disastrous ruling that will open the floodgates for businesses to opt out of providing healthcare coverage for anything they darn well please by claiming a religious objection. A Jehovah's Witness-owned company could refuse to cover blood transfusions because it's against their tenets. A Jewish company could decline to cover organ transplants because they believe that the body should be whole when it is interred.


    The list is endless.
    Not all companies... just closely-held privately owned ones that provide healthcare coverage.

    The potential, however, is obvious. This ruling could very well begin the dismantling of the ACA.
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from akulahawkRN
    Not all companies... just closely-held privately owned ones that provide healthcare coverage.

    The potential, however, is obvious. This ruling could very well begin the dismantling of the ACA.
    And that last point makes me happy.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Take a look at the history of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (not a fan of Wikipedia but can't find a link with a respectable journal where you don't have to pay for access). Make sure to read how it started. Interesting.

    Religious Freedom Restoration Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  14. by   HappyWife77
    Religion and religious beliefs have always been respected in many arenas worldwide.

    And for that I'm grateful. I agree with the ruling.
  15. by   Muser69
    Supreme Court judges should all be atheists. Only fair way to judge separation of church and state.

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