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US court says employers can deny contraceptive coverage for religious reasons

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4367 (Published 01 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4367
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1 Seattle, USA

In a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot force closely held companies to cover contraceptives if the owners have religious objections.1 2 The decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act all health insurance plans were required to cover essential preventive services without any cost sharing requirements.

Based on the advice of the Institute of Medicine, the Obama administration ruled this requirement should include coverage for all 20 contraceptive products approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Obama administration argued that since unintended pregnancies can have …

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