What did the Supreme Court decide on Obamacare and birth control?
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What does the birth control mandate do?
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Who is exempt from the birth control mandate?
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When did the birth control mandate take effect?
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Does the birth control mandate raise premiums?
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Is the birth control mandate popular?
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Who filed lawsuits against the birth control mandate?
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Do opponents of the birth control mandate oppose all forms of contraceptives?
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Which birth control case did the Supreme Court hear?
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Why did the Supreme Court rule against the birth control mandate?
Both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga argued that the birth control mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court answered three key questions in its ruling against Hobby Lobby.
Under RFRA, corporations are people too.In prior lawsuits, RFRA has been understood as a protection for individuals' practice of religion. The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga lawsuits asked the Supreme Court to decide, for the first time, whether RFRA's protection would treat corporations as people, in that they too have the right to practice religion.
The Supreme Court ruled that RFRA protections do apply to corporations like Hobby Lobby, and do protect their religious freedoms.
The birth control mandate "substantially burdens" for-profit corporations' exercise of religion. In the majority opinion, Justice Sam Alito wrote that the requirement to cover contraceptives violated RFRA because it mandated that businesses "engage in conduct that seriously violates their sincere belief that life begins at conception."
The government could expand contraceptive access in other, less burdensome ways. If the federal government wanted to increase access to birth control - which they argued was the point of this requirement - the Court thinks it could do it in ways that didn't violate religious freedom, like taking on the task of distributing contraceptives itself.
Alito points to an accommodation worked out for religious non-profits, where insurers rather than the employer pays for birth control coverage, as one possible way for the Obama administration to achieve its goal in a less-burdensome way.
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Is there a diagram to explain the legal challenges in the birth control lawsuit?
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