For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a for-profit corporation can refuse to comply with a general government mandate because doing so would violate the corporation's asserted religious beliefs.
By a 5-4 vote, the court struck an important part of President Obama's health care law — the requirement that all insurance plans cover birth control — because it conflicted with a corporation owners' religious beliefs.
One of the most watched issues before the Supreme Court this term may turn on the question of religious freedom. But it will also likely determine how women will be able to access a key provision of the Affordable Care Act – one seeking to guarantee no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance plans.
There was a clear difference of opinion between male and female justices at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The issue was whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to include contraception coverage in the basic health plan now mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
The female justices were clearly supportive of the contraception mandate, while a majority of the male justices were more skeptical.