US court will hear religious challenge to health law’s contraceptive mandate

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2336
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday 25 March over whether secular, for-profit corporations can refuse on religious grounds to provide coverage for contraceptives to employees.

The case before the court consolidates two lawsuits from corporations owned by devoutly religious families who oppose the use of intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptives, which they consider to be abortifacients.

One lawsuit was brought by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City company owned by five family members. The company runs more than 500 art and craft stores across the United States, employing about 13 000 full time employees, and an affiliated company runs a chain of 35 stores that specialize in Christian books and educational materials, which employs about 370 staff. …

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