Local News

Lancaster County company can refuse to pay for employee birth control

The Supreme Court of the United States says companies do not have to pay for their employees’ birth control, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. In a 5-4 decision issued Monday morning, the court ruled that the government failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive way to provide cost-free access to birth control and that the government can pay for this coverage itself. the ruling applies only to birth control, and not to other insurance mandates, like blood transfusions or vaccinations, an important distinction.

The court also made it clear that the ruling does not allow for illegal discrimination cloaked as religious belief.

The challenges to the mandate were brought by Lancaster County’s Conestoga Wood Specialties, as well as Hobby Lobby Stores.

Conestoga Wood Specialties
The decision is also a win for a Lancaster County Company. Although it didn’t get as much attention, Conestoga Wood Specialties was the other  company fighting for this decision.

For the owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties the ruling is something they have waited more than a year for. “Suddenly everybody burst out in applause. There were thank you lords and eventually everyone just went into prayer. I mean they have been carrying around this burden for a year and a half now, saying what do we do in the way that we run our business because we are Lancaster County Mennonites after all, we have certain beliefs.” said Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel with Independence Law Center. Wenger represented the East Earl Township business owners. “Contraception is not against their religion. It’s drugs that can result in the death of a new human life,” said Wenger.

The ruling means the company will avoid fines of $100 per worker per day. The company’s workers will have to pay out-of-pocket for the morning-after pill or other emergency contraception until the government offers an alternative.

“If the government can tell us to violate our most deeply held convictions, there’s no stopping what the government can do. So if we like liberty, if we like freedom, we should like a decision like this,” said Wenger.

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27 Comments to “Lancaster County company can refuse to pay for employee birth control”

    Tom said:
    June 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    What if Bob and Ted are married and Bob gets pregnant who will pay. Can Bob sue
    the insurance company for his wife Ted.

      Joe said:
      July 1, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      Even if Ted were female, Bob cannot sue an insurance company for his failure to read and adhere to birth control pill instructions. I have tongue in cheek and you have head wherever it is you have your head.

      burtward said:
      July 2, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      Where are Carol and Alice?

    KevSco said:
    July 1, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    And so it begins. Bring on all the companies which have strong moral convictions against paying for birth control. Won't be buying anything from these folks ever.

      Jim C said:
      July 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      And they probably won't care.

    Melissa said:
    July 2, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Thirteen years ago, i was on medicaid. After the birth of my son, medicaid paid for birth control for 2 years under the rule that if i got pregnant during those two years they would not cover the pregnancy because they offered an alternative. because medicaid is a form of welfare, i was thrilled! a way to prevent pregnancy and hopefully keep me off more welfare. unfortunately, three months in, medicaid stopped the program because it cost too much. i never understood how a pregnancy, child birth and after care is less expensive than $30 a month birth control. to this day (and i have been off medicaid for 12 years), i still wonder about that. the fact that insurance companies are doing this makes no sense to me as it seems that it would be more cost effective. help a family prevent a pregnancy so that you don't have to pay for it… duh

      toveri said:
      July 2, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      because 95% of women will get birth control on their own if Medicaid does not offer it.
      so the insurance companies are saving the $30 a onth for all of these women and only have to pay for 5% who get pregnant.

        Bob said:
        July 4, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        There is nothing that promises free birth control. Period. If you want it- get a job and pay for it. Period. Of course that would mean having these folks actually take responsibility for their actions and that will never happen. They are nothing but self-absorbed lazy leeches.

      Jim C said:
      July 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Or maybe people could try being responsible and not make babies that they can't afford. I know, what a concept right?

        Bob said:
        July 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        Wow! I am surprised some many folks gave your response a negative vote. My bet is these folks are the one's who are sucking off sucking off the system and haven't done an honest days work in their lives. Twenty bucks says they are also the same folks who refuse to accept ANY responsibility for their own actions. Complete and utter dregs of society.

          Jim C said:
          July 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

          People don't like to accept responsibility lately it seems, there is always a scapegoat to be found; if they make babies they can't afford then it is their company's fault or the government's fault. It is sad really because these people are voting and reproducing with reckless abandon.

      Cindy said:
      July 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      THEY ARE PAYING FOR BIRTH CONTROL STILL. They will not provide for pregnancy ending products. Pills, IUD's

      Bob said:
      July 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      OR you could act like an adult and accept responsibility for your own actions instead of making everyone else pay for your lifestyle. I will give you credit IF you truly have been off welfare for the last 13 years….

    voiceoftruth19 said:
    July 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    How about all of go back and read what the supreme court ruled on. It is not all birth controlls. If it just for plan B and birthcontrols that kill fetus's.

      velesot365 said:
      July 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Plan B does not kill the fetus. Please do some research before providing false information.

    Jim C said:
    July 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Good for them. If people don't like the benefits package offered by an employer then don't work for them. Problem solved. Nobody lost anything here, no rights were taken away, BC isn't restricted, if you want it then buy it yourself.

      marj413 said:
      July 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Exactly! Not sure why people act like they are being forced at gunpoint to work for companies like that.

    KeHa said:
    July 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    ohhhh and that chemo and radiation therapy you NEED for cancer treatments? that may well end up being against someone else's religion… oh well… that's gonna SUCK huh?

    No one understands the ramification of this atrocious decision. Pathetic.

    so glad Viagra is still covered!!! woooooooooooooooooo

      marj413 said:
      July 2, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Dumb comparisons, however if you work for a company that doesn't offer coverage for those things then find another place to work, problem solved.

        Jim C said:
        July 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Apparently people are held at gunpoint and forced to work at Hobby Lobby, LOL!

    burtward said:
    July 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Its neat the company that started this pays a $15 minimum wage. Hey, a cashier at Hobby Lobby gets more pay than the worker at the DCCC (CCCP) Democratic Party of D.C. Isn't that ironic that Hobby Lobby pays more wages than any Democrat owned retailer in the USA. That's the crux of the deal in the Hobby Lobby employees have plenty of income to actually go out and buy birth control off the shelf at Walgreens. The lady sitting at the front desk of the Democratic Party of Chicago, (Barry's US based home town), can't afford to buy it because she only makes $11.15 per hour.

    Deacondave said:
    July 3, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    As long as these companies now be required to pay the woman's salary in full for lets say the first 5 years after child birth while she stay home and give the child the care he/she needs until starting K, and guarantee rehiring woman at company with credit for working the 5 years, go for it- what? They don't want to? You say they feel they should have freedom to decide that for themselves too? This knife cuts on both sides baby. With freedom comes responsibility for the individual and for all businesses/gov't agencies and all.

      marj413 said:
      July 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      That is the dumbest thing I have read on this board so far. Pregnancy is a CHOICE, if you don't want to deal with a kid then don't have them, try planning it out and ensuring you're financially able to not work if you want to stay home for five years.

      Lots of irresponsible inbreds on this website who feel that it is everyone else's responsibility to pay for their choices.

    Guest said:
    July 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Don't any of you find this company to be hypocritical at the most basic level. This family incorporated to distance themselves and their personal assets from responsibility for the business's liability. If one of their cabinets falls off the wall onto someone, the business would be liable, but the injured party could not go after the family…legally, the family is not the business. Now, this family wants to push their personal family religious beliefs onto the business, i.e. they want to be recognized as the business. So perhaps the next liability claimant to sue this corporation should should argue that they aren't really a corporation and go after the family's personal assets also. This was a ridiculous decision that further establishes personhood for businesses, and will have very adverse long term effects on the individuals who make up our nation.

      Guest said:
      July 3, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      This is a company, NOT a person! They are in the market place and get the benefits of being a corporation. The Motel (Heart of Atlanta) said it was against their religion to serve black people. The S.CT. said corporations that serve the public had to serve all of the public. This radical reactionary Court has rewritten the Constitution to meet the religious convictions of the 5 justices. This is the worst Court since J. Taney said black people were property and set the conditions for the Civil War.

    CINDY said:
    July 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Inaccurate reporting is a big problem. THEY ARE NOT…NOT PROVIDING BIRTH CONTROL. THEY ARE NOT PROVIDING ABORTION INDUCING ITEMS. PILLS, IUD'S

      Jim C said:
      July 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Hey, facts have no place here, we must all act based on misinformation and emotions!

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