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Supreme Court Excuses More Employers from Contraception Coverage

The Supreme Court has ruled that employers with moral or religious objections to contraception may refrain from providing medical coverage for it. In 2017 the Trump administration announced that it would allow more employers to opt out of providing free birth control as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but lower courts blocked the changes. The 7-2 Supreme Court decision was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who found that the administration has the authority to implement the desired changes and followed appropriate procedures to do so. 

Conservative groups support the decision, and White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany stated, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a big win for religious freedom and freedom of conscience.” Liberal groups and Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, denounced the decision, which Pelosi called a “fundamental misreading” of the ACA. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the decision will make it “easier for the Trump-Pence Administration to continue to strip health care from women.”

The Trump administration has joined several states in cases seeking to overturn the ACA in its entirety, which the Court will hear in its next term which begins in October. The government has estimated that the rule changes will cause between 70,000 and 126,000 women to lose contraception coverage in one year.