DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to look at a controversial topic on Tuesday. The debate is over employers offering health insurance that covers the cost of birth control. Hobby Lobby said that it would have to pay more than $1 million a day in fines if it violates the Affordable Care Act as written.
Planned Parenthood has called this a battle over women’s access to contraception.
The Affordable Care Act states that companies need to provide health care that covers all forms of contraception at no cost. However, the owners of Hobby Lobby, which is a privately-owned comapny based in Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit and said that this conflicts with their religious beliefs.
The law exempts religious nonprofits, but some for-profit companies are trying to convince the court that they are also entitled to an exemption.
“It’s our rights that are being infringed upon, to require us to do something that’s against our conscience,” stated Hobby Lobby co-owner David Green.
“It’s not about whether women can take it or not. We’re not trying to control that,” explained Hobby Lobby co-owner Barbara Green. “We’re just trying to control our participation in it.”
Hobby Lobby said that they do not object to every part of the contraceptive mandate. Lawyers said that the company is only opposed to drugs or devices that end human life after conception. The arts and crafts company is not alone in this fight. Dozens of other companies have filed similar cases.
“They believe that these drugs could take a human life, that they would be tantamount to abortion,” explained Lori Windham, an attorney who is representing Hobby Lobby, “and that’s not something they can be a part of.”
Supporters of the law say that it protects women’s health care choices. “I don’t need an employer coming into my exam room and telling me how to treat a patient,” said Jeanne Conry, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“The worry is, if they’re allowed to discriminate against this health care decision that they don’t agree with, what others will they be able to deny their employees in the future,” said Kelly Hart with Planned Parenthood.
Demonstrators from both sides of this issue are protesting outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court is expected to make a ruling by this summer.
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