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Birth Control: Is it up to you — and your boss?

How the Supreme Court rules in the so-called "Hobby Lobby" case over religious objections to contraception coverage could be as influential as the Citizens United case.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider a case where private employers say should be able to refuse to cover contraception in insurance policies because of their religious beliefs. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.com

Is your access to free contraception up to you, your insurer — and your boss? That’s the starter Q for today (Reminder 1: Keep it civil!)

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a case that would affect millions of people who rely on insurance coverage for contraception costs.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider a case where private employers say should be able to refuse to cover contraception in insurance policies because of their religious beliefs. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider a case where private employers say should be able to refuse to cover contraception in insurance policies because of their religious beliefs. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.com

At issue: How much of a person is a private for-profit corporation? The Supreme Court already found that corporations are “persons” with political free speech rights in the influential 2010 Citizens United case. Now, the question is whether a “corporation” can hold a beliefs protected by Constitutional free exercise of religion.

In the case the court will consider, the evangelical owner of the national Hobby Lobby chain and the Mennonite family that owns Conestoga Wood Specialties, are challenging the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act because it does not offer a conscience exemption for religious private employers.

Both employers say contraception drugs and devices are abortifacient and therefore it is a violation of their religious beliefs to require they offer employees insurance plans that cover these.

A few of many questions that follow from this:

— Do you need to live by your private employer’s religious convictions?

— If the court permits this, what would be the limits? Can an employer refuse to offer insurance that would cover medical expenses for an abortion in cases that risk the life or health of the woman? Can it refuse to cover mental health treatment not in accord with the owners’ beliefs?

— If you are a boss, how much say do you want in the family life of employees?

Reminder 2:  We have a rule at Faith & Reason. All views, respectfully presented, are welcome. So keep your tone civil, please.

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