The Trump regulation allowing employers to opt-out of contraception coverage for employees due to religious or moral objections was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 7 to 2 ruling on Wednesday. While churches, mosques, and temples were originally exempt from the birth control mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), religious organizations such as schools and other nonprofits were not.
The Right celebrates the ruling. Justice Clarence Thomas said that the Constitution in no way supports the right to abortion and that “abortion precedents…should be overruled.” Speaking for the majority, he supported the exemption and said it was Congress, not the president, who allowed for it: “No language in the statute itself even hints that Congress intended that contraception should or must be covered.”
“The government has no business forcing pro-life and religious organizations to provide drugs and devices that can destroy life.”John Bursch, Attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom
The Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious communities have been hounded for years by activist lawyers and politicians who demand they sacrifice their beliefs on the altar of left-wing dogma.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 8, 2020
The Left disagrees with the decision. While two of the Supreme Court’s more liberal judges sided with their conservative counterparts, the two dissenting justices chastised the decision that “leaves women workers to fend for themselves.” A United States Circuit Court judge warned that the exception to birth control coverage will affect mostly poor communities:
“Cost is a significant barrier to contraceptive use and access. The most effective forms of contraceptives are the most expensive. After the ACA removed cost barriers, women switched to the more effective and expensive methods of contraception.”Patty Shwartz, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
The New York Times opinion columnist Gail Collins wrote that “easy access to birth control is the key for keeping the abortion rate low,” implying the Right should actually be in favor of contraceptive coverage. Challenging Trump’s ruling, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro stated “This fight is not over.”