SCOTUS: Companies can refuse to pay for employees’ 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 this 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.