Birth control on next week’s Supreme Court docket

The U. S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next Tuesday in two cases that could help determine how and whether millions of American women will be able to obtain contraceptives.

Stuart Taylor, Jr., of The Daily Beast has the story:

The key question is this: can privately owned businesses be hit with crippling fines of $100 per day, per worker if their devoutly Christian owners refuse on religious grounds to include in their health plans four contraceptive methods that they equate with abortion?

The cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, are the leading edge of more than 90 other related, pending suits filed around the country by Catholic and other Christian plaintiffs, including hospitals, social service agencies, universities and schools, and businesses.

More than 1,000 religious institutions and other employers with millions of employees have similar religious objections. The administration has exempted a narrow category of these employers—mostly churches, other houses of worship, and nonprofits with religious missions. Religious groups, freedom-of-religion groups, and others who oppose the mandate have filed 59 friend-of-the-court briefs. Feminists, health care advocates, civil rights defenders, and others who support it have filed 23.

While this article provides a clear and useful summary of the issues before the Court, it perpetuates the notion that the beliefs of people of faith have lined up on one side of this issue and secular activists have lined up on the other. It just isn’t true.

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