US Federal Appeals Court Rules For-Profit Must Cover Contraception
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that Autocam Corporation - a for-profit entity that provides manufacturing services for automotive and medical industries - must comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage mandate.
Autocam claimed that providing contraception coverage in its health care plans at no extra cost for employees would violate its rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In a unanimous opinion, the Sixth Circuit rejected Autocam's argument and determined that secular, for-profit corporations are not "persons" protected under the the Act.
Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, praised the decision. "Religious liberty is for people, not Big Business," Lynn said. "No corporation should ever be able to tell its employees that they can't have access to contraceptive coverage simply because it offends the boss' religious views." Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .