Federal Appeals Court Hears First For-Profit Challenge to Contraception Rule

May 22, 2013 10:48 am

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ACLU Brief States Employers Cannot Impose Beliefs on Workers by Denying Basic Healthcare

May 22, 2013

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CHICAGO – The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today in two cases filed by for-profit companies, one a construction contractor and the other engaged in manufacturing vehicle safety systems, challenging the Obama administration's rule requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend-of-the-court brief stating that the owners of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors and Grote Industries cannot impose their personal religious beliefs on employees by withholding coverage for health services with which they may not agree.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a similar case brought by national craft supply chain Hobby Lobby tomorrow. That case will be heard en banc in the first instance. Two more cases will be heard in the coming weeks. The ACLU has filed support briefs in all of these cases.

"These cases represent an important moment as to whether anti-discrimination laws will extend to women's health," said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU. "Nearly every American woman uses contraception at some point in her life. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but just as religious objections to de-segregation were not an excuse for racial discrimination, private businesses cannot use religion as an excuse to deny basic health care to the women who work for them."

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