U.S. District Court for Colorado rules against birth control mandate

Posted on July 30, 2012 | No Comments

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On Friday, July 27, the U.S. District Court for Colorado barred the Obama administration from requiring a Colorado air-conditioning company to provide contraceptives to its employees without a co-pay, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) directs. Hercules challenged the mandate by arguing that it violates the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The injunction is specific to the air-conditioning company, however, and thus is not a sweeping victory for opponents of the contraceptive mandate. The case, Hercules v. Sebelius, was brought to the Court by four siblings who own Hercules Industries. The siblings oppose contraceptives and “seek to run Hercules in a manner that reflects their sincerely-held religious beliefs.”

The ACA’s requirement to cover contraceptives without co-pay comes into effect on August 1, 2012. Religious institutions that primarily serve individuals of their one faith may opt to delay implementation of this provision for one year. Hercules did not fall into that category.

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